Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Egg(s) and I

It must be one of those traditional, family-oriented holidays; I just lost it with my kid.

In my defense, what kind of sick mind puts Easter in MARCH? March is St. Patrick’s Day, April is Easter, and May is Mother’s Day and me eating an undercooked omelet at an upscale brunch. It’s just wrong to be making sure Daughter is wearing green on March 17th, only to have some other (prepared) mother sing out “And Easter is less than two weeks away”. I took this news as one would take the news that the biopsy came back iffy--“No! It can’t be”. But it was.

For my own twisted pleasure, I looked up how the Easter Sunday is decided. In case you don’t know, it is “the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs next after the vernal equinox”. And that isn’t some astronomical Full Moon, you understand, but an ecclesiastical moon, which is determined from tables that are unavailable to laypeople (They might be in the Vatican Times, next to the Daily Jumble). I guess the moral of the story is I should just be happy that it didn’t land in February. I took my usual tack with an unpleasant situation: I pretended that Easter was a show on premium cable. As a basic cable-type person, it didn’t apply to me.

But you can only ignore the Pinnacle of Peeps at the grocery store for so long, not to mention the steady inflow of Easter-related artwork coming in from the school. This is the time of year that I pity the observant Jew, not to mention Buddhists, Muslims, and the odd Atheist; the Christians took what was a fairly adult, somber event (There was this guy, or maybe a God/Guy. He said a bunch of things that were really worth considering. For this, he had a terribly bad Friday. But the weekend got better), and turned it into “Hooray! Jesus sometimes resembles a chocolate rabbit with a marshmallow filling! Eat him!” It’s hard to compete with that.

But you really lose the Minimal Parenting Standard if you don’t get the eggs dyed in time. I could buy her a PAAS kit next week cheap, but everyone looks at you funny. I suppose we could pretend to be Greek, and celebrate the Greek Orthodox Easter on May 1st, but I’m not fond of lamb. So, I got the egg kit a couple of days ago. On the way home from swim class tonight, I simply could not remember whether we had more than three eggs in the house, so I dragged a chlorine-scented daughter to the grocery store to find a dozen unbroken eggs. Three days before Easter, this is harder than you might think. For the last week, people have been opening the egg containers, removing the cracked ones, placing them in other egg containers and grabbing unbroken eggs for their dozen. This means that what was left tonight was sort of like the Island of Lost Toys. It wasn’t a situation of “I need twelve unbroken eggs”, it was “Let the cracks be small, so that I can pretend it’s a cat hair on the egg. No, I don’t know why a cat hair would be on an egg in a grocery store. Shut up”.

I took my damaged little friends home. Since, due to scheduling, this is the last night that Consort and Daughter could do them together, I set the water to boil while opening the egg-dying package, while simultaneously removing swimsuit from Daughter and getting her into the tub. Daughter realized I was completely hectic and distracted, so she tried to outdo her personal best of 6,732 questions in under ten minutes:

“What makes the bubble bath bubble?”
“If an owl ate a raccoon, would it die?”
“What makes the tide?”
“How about if an owl ate a raccoon which had eaten a poisonous snake, would the owl die then?”

Somewhere during a storm of questions which were the follow-ups to “Why do dog farts smell worse than human farts, but not as bad as cat farts”, I finally broke down.


Words fail to express just how loud and whiny this was. If I had been my own kid, I’d have sent me to my room (which gets a little complicated, but there’s cloning for you). Daughter didn’t cry. I apologized immediately. The eggs boiled without my watching them, which only proves that an unwatched pot always boils. And I considered plural marriage.

I’m not saying I want another couple of women hanging around the house, laying equal claim to Consort and eating my jalapeno olives. But, the tasks of mothering are frequently brainless at the same time that they are mentally taxing. If I could divvy up the mind-sucking essentials of motherhood, I promise that I would be so much more excited about the frills. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a couple of friends in the house and be able to ask one “If you can cover bathing the kids tonight, Betty over there will make dinner, and I'll check the Vatican Times to see what holidays we need to plan for”?


Meanwhile, I am going to eat a blue egg-salad sandwich.


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