The Easter Basket, or Tripping Over More Crap from China

Crap from Easters past.

Crap from Easters past.

My son is now old enough to enjoy special days, so for Easter, we got our eggs on. No egg-dying kits, just toxic food coloring, white vinegar, hot water, and some crayons. Which is, I believe, what’s in those egg-dying kits.

I wasn’t sure how candy-heavy I wanted to be, so I started looking at what others were doing. According to The Bump's Facebook page, here’s a sample of what people are putting in their kids’ Easter Baskets this year:

  • Abby -- For my 7-month old: An outdoor Little Tykes swing (this was the "basket"), swimming trunks, a book, and some Gerber yogurt melts.
  • Dallas -- Sippy cup, Sophie the Giraffe, book about Easter, bib, and two other rattle type toys.
  • Elizabeth -- Lots of toys and clothes. And a small thing of jelly beans lol
  • Maritza -- She's only 10 months old so no candy. Instead she got a new sippy cup, book, bib, a minnie mouse bowl and of course new outfits
  • Marlene -- Chalk,bubbles,bath time books,reading books,sippy cup,big boy cup,fruit snacks,small plastic baseball bat and ball.
  • Andrea -- Mine is almost 2 so he got 4 mickey mouse movies along with a new shirt and a mickey mouse chair and some gummies and bubbles also got out side toys and more movies from grandparents

Wait, what?! When did the Easter Bunny turn into a Spring Santa Claus?

Note that I am sticking to the secular celebration of the holiday. I have respect for faith, religion, and tradition. I’m not open to debate about whether we should even celebrate the pagan aspect of the holiday. We do, we have, we will, and it’s a joyous co-celebration of Spring, fertility, rebirth, and renewal. If that upsets you, it’s beyond my abilities to console you.

Let’s also skip right by the fact that many of these babies have no understanding of or appreciation for Easter at all, religious or secular. Most of these comments are probably from new parents (The Bump’s primary audience), who are establishing their chosen traditions. And it’s mostly gifts.

When did this start? Am I the only troglodyte who remembers fondly baskets full of candy, at least 20% of which were the kind only my mother liked? Yes, Mom, we always knew. Coconut-filled egg indeed.

I gave it a benefit of a doubt for a minute, though. Candy’s not something we want him hooked on, and it’s an easy hook. So here are pros and cons of putting small gifts in the Easter basket.

Pros of Putting Gifts Instead of Candy in the Kids’ Easter Baskets

  • Less sugar in his diet
  • No sugar crash
  • You don’t have to exercise parental guidance on how much candy to eat at once
  • Maybe your husband will get the idea and buy you jewelry to put in your Easter basket some day

Cons of Putting Gifts Instead of Candy in the Kids’ Easter Baskets

  • Less candy for me
  • You have to shop somewhere besides the grocery store
  • Small gifts turn into big gifts over the years, and eventually you’re dishing out some real change
  • Fights over gifts
  • Impact on planet and people of manufacturing more crap we don’t need in countries with minimal environmental controls and questionable human rights records
  • More crap to clean up
  • More crap to look at
  • More crap to step on

I’m sure the kids will resent us someday when we don’t measure up to their friends’ Easter providers, but we’re not doing the gift thing. We welcome gifts from grandparents, Mom, and will cherish them always and tell them stories through the years of your kindness and generosity. But we’re also respecting your tradition, too, of baskets full of candy and a colored egg hunt.

So here’s this year’s basket: 6 purple peeps, 6 small chocolates that look like bugs. He didn’t like the peeps.

He loved the egg hunt.

Flocking Birds, or Are We Mature Enough to Raise Children?


It is December, and we are headed out as a family to get a Christmas tree. Husband had seen a great tree sale, so we packed up Elvis and Fang and headed off to find what would turn out to be a goose chase.

As we pull up to a light, I see a lot of little birds in a tree and on the wires by the road. It is a teachable moment, and I rehearse it in my mind quickly before I speak. This is going to be awesome.

I say to Husband “Check this out.”

Then to Elvis: “See all those birds? That’s a flock of birds! (grin) Can you say flock?”

Elvis: “Fock!”

Me: Snort. Suppress the giggle. “Very good! Flock!” Trying not to look at Husband because then we’ll both burst out laughing, and Elvis will stop doing it.

Elvis: “FOCK!”

I can’t tell you how delighted I am. This is almost as good as when my little sister used to replace “tr” with “f” and point and shout “TRUCK!” but that’s not what she said. It was more like this.

As we drive down the road, Husband says: “Those birds were flocking. Flocking birds.”

Elvis: “Focking burrrds.”

Me: “Wait, what? Is flock a verb? Flock’s a noun.” English is technically his second language after all. I usually have the edge on usage questions.

Husband: “Sure, like birds of a feather flock together.” Big happy grin.

Me: “Wow. You’re right. I was wrong. Hey, don’t make a big deal of it. Write it down and move on.”

Elvis: “Where are the focking burds, Mommy?”

He’s delighted at how happy we are that he learned this word. So the whole rest of the ride we talk about the flocking birds just to hear him say it. Which brings me to my titular question: Are we mature enough to raise children?

Titular. Snort.

The Turtle Says "Turtle!", or Teach Them What You Want Them to Learn

We are teaching our son what all the animals say. We don't know why. This might have been useful in an agrarian society, but nowadays, we don’t run into a lot of cows and ducks and horses and pigs, E-I-E-I-O. (What’s with the E-I-E-I-O? Does anybody get that part?)

Anyway, it’s often easier for a child to learn the animal sounds than the names of the animals, and we love getting a response, and they love the game, and it’s in all these books, so it’s what we teach.


But a couple of animals don’t make any sounds, or at least not that I know of.

What do you do when your child asks you a question and you don’t know the answer? Really? You tell him the truth? Hunh. Well, we make up something that will entertain us.

We told Elvis that a giraffe sounds kind of like Beaker from the Muppets: “MimiMEEmimi!”

The turtle puts both fists in the air and proclaims… “TURTLE!”

I consider this harmless misinformation for my own entertainment, but I will probably feel bad years from now when one of the boys gets in a fight because some guy in a bar argues the point of what a giraffe says.