Well, just a few more days until Easter.

In addition to the spiritual significance, this holiday means three more things for me:

1.) need to buy stuff for the kids’ Easter baskets.

2.) need to think about what the kids are going to wear on Easter Sunday.

3.) need to stock up on wine.

The third item: done and DONE. (Priorities!) I’m armed and dangerous. In exactly four days I will be wearing an Easter Basket on my head and singing Lady Gaga songs until I pass out. Praise Jesus!

The other two items, not so easy. I’m not much of a plan-ahead kind of gal. Hence this picture of my children digging into their Easter baskets at Grandma’s house in 2004 wearing their Halloween pa-jay-jays.

One of these years I’m going to remember to dress them in pastel colors the night before Easter.

When the kids were smaller, Grandma was my Easter clothes dealer. She’s a planner. She starts thinking about shit like that right after Christmas. The woman is a machine, and not just because she scrapbooks with a stapler.

Here’s a sample of the kind of outfits Grandma used to put together and mail to us weeks ahead of time for Easter. So cute!

Now that 2/3rds of the kids are so big, they are harder to shop for. Plus, nobody wants to mail us anything now that my dog Ike has been assaulted by a courier.

So now I’m on my own for dressing the kids. And I just found out the hard way that if you wait until 4 days before Easter, you are pretty much screwed. I’m just gonna take a wild guess that this is what they’ll be looking like on the day of our Risen Lord:

Which is actually a step up from how they’ll most certainly look the day before:

So if you see us at church on Sunday in our not-so-finest (or covered with mud), please understand that I just couldn’t get it together this year to outfit my children properly.

Now as for the Easter baskets, it’s not my lack of planning that’s going to put the damper on them this year. It’s something else.

But first, you should know about the Legend of The Easter Monster.

When I was a little girl, I was orphaned and raised by a pack of wolves. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. But my parents had a less than amicable divorce and my mother worked outside of the home, a lot (or so it seemed to me), to provide for me and my little brother.

We had a colorful array of nannies over the years. “Nannies” makes it sound so much fancier than it actually was, particularly since some of them were manual laborers who owed my mom’s boyfriend a favor and said they’d keep an eye on us while they repaired our roof or painted the house. Needless to say, especially compared to today’s helicopter-parenting standards, we were grossly undersupervised much of the time.

This is important to know because, coincidentally, I didn’t have the best morals as a child. When you are raised by wolves, your main priorities are food and shelter, and character development is much lower down on the survival totem pole.

Anyhooo… every Easter morning, I would wake up early, tiptoe downstairs, and find our hidden Easter baskets. Then I would carefully and quietly transfer all the good stuff out of my brother’s basket into mine and move all the black jelly beans from my basket into his. Then I would put them both back in their hiding places and tiptoe back to bed.

A little while later, my sweet and gentle little brother would tap me on the shoulder and say “Iris, wake up! It’s Eastuhl! The Eastuhl Bunny was here! Yet’s go find our baskets!” And I would fake yawn and stretch and go with him to “find” our baskets. Then I would sit back and revel in the majesty of watching that sweet little boy delight in his basket full of black jelly beans. He was just so happy to have some candy and didn’t seem to notice or care about the lack of variety. Then I’d casually find mine and try not to rub it in too much that the Easter Bunny brought me two of everything wonderful: ginormous chocolate bunnies, Cadbury cream filled eggs, a rainbow assortment of Jelly-Bellies. My brother would always cock his head to the side and say something like “Huh. Why did you get all that stuff and I only got black jelly beans?” To which I would always nonchalantly reply, “I guess the Easter Bunny just likes me best.”

Then I would magnanimously offer to share some of my spoils with him, usually before my mom was even awake to know what horrors I was bestowing on her baby.

Yes. It is true.

I was a monster.

And it is a miracle that my little brother is not a serial killer today.

He eventually caught on and my little game came to an end, but I still delight in the retelling of it. And my children are absolutely fascinated by what a hideous creature I was to that sweet little brother of mine. It’s such a foreign concept to them since they are loving gentle angels who actually support and protect each other. Weird. I do not get those kids at all.

At some point in my moral development I finally realized that it is actually better to give than to receive (or pilfer and lie), and so now I usually relish putting beautiful Easter baskets together for my children.

Except…

The other day I overheard Mini-Me say “Ooooh, it’s almost Easter! I need to make my list.”

“Your list?” Nature Boy asked, incredulously.

“Yeah, for the Easter Bunny! So he knows what toys and candy to bring me!”

OH SNAP.

That’s not right.

Since when did the Easter Bunny become the Santa Claus of Spring? I do not like this, Sam-I-Am.

So I’m going to change up the Easter basket goodies this year. Yeah, I could do the black jelly bean thing, but that’s so 1979. I think I’ll put a new spin on it…

Look what I found at Ball*Fart yesterday:

Bright colored cleaning tools! I especially like the Microfiber cleaning slippers, and so will Mini-Me.

What do you think? Am I an evil genius, or what? They’ll think it’s a toy, but it’s really an instrument of torture. Plus they’ll have no choice but to help me with the housework.

Of course, I’ll throw in a few jelly beans (multi-colored) and some chocolate peanut butter eggs. And I’m sure their favorite Aunties will lavish them with chocolate bunnies like they do every year. I also bought a beautiful Children’s Book of Saints that I’ve carefully prescreened to ensure there are no horrifying Satan “reach around” pictures. So I’ve got the spiritual angle covered too.

Oh yes, The Easter Monster rides again. Protect your children, my friends. You never know when or where she’ll strike.

with Easter tidings of hope, joy, and evil,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.