By Marla Jo Fisher, The Orange County Register
Right now, millions of American householders are trying to figure out what to do with Mt. Everest-sized piles of colored eggs that their kids dyed last week.
Easter is the only time of year I wish we had a backyard pig, so we could feed him the eggs. Though most of those fun activities are declasse now that my kids are teenagers.
Teenagers refuse to color eggs, though they’ll dye their hair a disturbing rainbow of weird colors.
They’ll deign to eat chocolate bunnies, as a favor to you, but don’t want new clothes for church, and they certainly don’t want to hunt for Easter eggs.
I remember those hunts when my kids were little as a source of great excitement.
Every year, Curly Girl would have a great time, while Cheetah Boy would end up crying.
My son is a highly evolved competitor and determined hunter-gatherer. He also is a speed demon, hence his nickname.
At every Easter egg hunt, he would crouch down as if he were sprinting for the Olympic gold medal.
At the starting command, he would take off in a blur and grab all the eggs on the entire course while most of the kids were just putting their first foot on the ground. He’d then race over to me panting, and show me his basket overflowing with eggs.
“Look, mommy! I got them all,” he’d say, proudly.
Someday, that kid is going to make a great trial lawyer.
Then I would tell him he had to go put half the eggs back for the other children. This would upset him greatly, as it seemed so intrinsically unfair and un-American. Someday, when he puts me in a home, he’ll still be reminding me of this.
I broke down and bought the kids Easter baskets this year, even though they’re 13 and 15 years old now. Last year, I didn’t buy any baskets because they’d ignored the ones from the year before. But there was so much ruckus, you’d think I forgot about Christmas.
In the past, spring break was the time when I would haul my kids on some big foreign vacation. This year, we’re broke, so we’re staying in the USA.
The main advantage of foreign travel is you become so confused and aggravated wandering around a foreign country, where you get lost constantly and only half the people speak English, that you kiss the ground when you return to American soil. And truly appreciate the advantages you have living in this fine nation.
Except of course that when you get home, you still get lost constantly and only half the people speak English, but at least you understand the money and you can figure out how to use the telephones.
We are going away for spring break, as usual, but this year my son is playing high school baseball. And it seems that there are 1,844 games scheduled during the week that the kids are off school.
My son’s baseball team is one of the best in its league. It’s very hard to even win a spot on the team. All the team parents are really, really into baseball. It tends to be the family’s main avocation.
When I announced that we were going away for spring break, they just looked at me in bewilderment.
“But there are baseball games next week,” they said, raising their eyebrows.
I was tempted to retort, “But there are always baseball games. There have been baseball games since July. There are no league games this week. I’m not staying home so my kid can play yet another one.”
But I didn’t, because, clearly, all of those parents really were staying home for that reason. This makes me feel vaguely guilty, and like a bad mother. But then most things make me feel guilty and like a bad mother, so I try to let it go.
I did make it through the holiday without buying any ham. I like ham, especially the bone, which I love to throw in the slow cooker to make split pea soup.
Aren’t slow cookers great? You throw stuff into them, then go paint your nails and go take a swim, and when you come back, you have dinner. Sort of a poor person’s maid.
I read this book by America’s Cheapest Family that recommended taking your slow cooker on vacation with you, so dinner could be sizzling up and ready for you in the motel room when you get home from Disneyland or the Grand Canyon. I have actually considered doing this.
But this time, I think it might be hard to get on the plane. We’ll just have to endure spring break with food that was cooked fast.
Maybe we can bring some candy from the Easter baskets, if there’s any left. Someone just keep me away from the chocolate bunnies on sale for 75 percent off. Please. Thank you.
Marla Jo Fisher was a workaholic before she adopted two foster kids several years ago. Now she juggles work and single parenting, while being exhorted from everywhere to be thinner, smarter, sexier, healthier, more frugal, a better mom, better dressed and a tidier housekeeper. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her blog at http://themomblog.freedomblogging.com/category/frumpy-middleaged-mom-marla-jo-fisher/.