Coloring easter eggs has been one of my favorite past times both as a kid and as a 20 something adult. I vaguely remember coloring them as a child but I do remember hunting for them – their bright primary colors bursting out at me from behind grandma’s chair, nestled next to a plant, under a big oak tree. The thrill of finding a brightly colored egg far exceeded anything else in the day (except for maybe the foot tall solid chocolate bunny). Now I get to transfer my thrill to my daughter who developed a passion for egg coloring starting last year in my mother’s kitchen. My mom bought an easter egg coloring kit for her. I was hesitant at first. All of the cups filled with water, easily cracked eggs, color dye everywhere. But, we were at my mom’s house so what the hey?! Maria loved it. She colored each of her eggs with pride and wrote on them and put stickers on them and treated them like fragile Waterford crystal. Hence, a tradition was born.
Maria spotted the easter egg coloring kit about a week after Valentine’s Day (yes, god love the retail shops with their easter items packed in stores the day after Valentine’s Day – just keep those holidays coming for our businesses). We bought the kit, and I was able to keep it up on the shelf for a few weeks before we decided that we just had to color some eggs. We decided that we would color some this early in order to get out enough eggs to all of our friends and family before easter. Maria begged me to start the process as soon as we came home from school tonight but I stalled as I picked up all of the poop outside in our backyard (I do have my priorities straight!). I kept pumping Maria up as I picked up the dog’s remnants so that when we walked inside, Maria was ready to go. Damn, I forgot you had to hard boil the eggs before you colored them! Ugh. That was a mistake. Maria broke down believing that it would take all night to boil the eggs and we would NEVER be able to color the eggs. Meanwhile, I filled the pot with water, got the water boiling, and placed the eggs in the pot. By that time, Maria had found the stickers in the box and the dye pills. I got her working on filling the cups with water and by the time she finished that task, our eggs were ready (always the key – keep them busy so they don’t have time to stew!). Maria placed one dye pill in each cup watching the pill slowly dissolve and commentating on what color the water was becoming.
Meanwhile, her brother cut his construction paper and drew his “letters”. He asks me what letter to draw, I state “A” or “J” or “B” and he acts like he is drawing the letter. Actually, the other day I looked down after telling him to draw a “M” and he had drawn what looked to resemble a “M”! He may be getting it – god knows he talks like a four-year old so he may as well start drawing letters like one. He had no interest in coloring the eggs, which came as relief since trying to watch the water cups, the eggs, and two hyper kids would have been a little much.
Maria was very concerned about cracking the egg while she placed it in the cup so I assisted her on most of them. We waited patiently for the color to soak onto the egg-shell. Maria would pick one out (with her hands of course), give it a scrutinizing review, and then place it back in the water for a little more coloring. Finally, she had enough of the waiting, and decided that no matter what color they were, it was just the right color for her. They dried pretty quickly and she began writing our names and hearts and designs. She wasn’t too into the stickers (I don’t think we ever got stickers with our kit) but she liked the little round egg holders that came with the
kit. She placed them gently in the holders after she finished her creation. She had a minor meltdown toward the end when we only had a yellow and two blue eggs left and Grandma, who was talking to Jon, asked if she would make her an orange one. She fell to the floor after looking up on the counter and not finding an orange egg: “Oh, no, mom, Grandma wants an orange egg and I don’t have one for her!” She sobbed hysterically and repeated “NO” each time I tried to come up with an alternative. Finally, I realized that we still had the cups of dyed water so I threw the pale yellow egg in the red cup and viola, we had an orange. I knew that science class which explained color mixing would come in handy some day. Maria immediately popped back to life and got that little orange egg all spruced up for Grandma and Grandpa.
I think the hysterical sobbing wore her out because after the orange egg, she left the other two to head into the living room with the boys. And there we have it, the 2010 easter season has officially begun in the household. The blue eggs lead the pack with four, pink eggs with two, purple eggs with two, green eggs with two, and orange egg with 1. Thank goodness for Grandma – she added a little more color to our world.