My husband is not a fan of rabbits. Firstly because he is a farmer and secondly because they are wrecking our garden. Rabbits are the main reason he bought himself an air-rifle for his 40th birthday, although he is yet to actually shoot any.
The Easter Bunny was not due at our house yesterday. Although it wasn’t just because of Andrew.
We usually spend Easter in Ireland with Andrew’s family. Easter comes under the category of ‘Things Other People Organise’. So no, I’d done nothing about it. Also, by not reserving the special Easter delivery slot that Tesco have been emailing me about for the last two months, I have been making a stand. I have been making Easter not become the New Christmas.
These are just a few of the reasons why, just like Christmas, Easter nearly passed us by. We were all set to be ‘meh’ about it and this was absolutely fine, until yesterday morning, when I suddenly had a five year old boy climbing onto our bed when I was still half asleep, asking if the Easter Bunny had been.
‘I thought you said you didn’t want him to?’ I said, eyes still shut, mild alarm bells ringing. ‘That you wanted to hide the mini eggs for Raffy?’
A look of wild panic sweeps through the ginormous eyes. Panic closely followed by sadness.
‘But I was only joking.’
More sadness. The ginormous eyes grow, then get a bit wet.
‘Did you tell him not to come?’
My brain struggles to work through the sleep fog.
‘Uhm… I think so.’
Proper tears now.
‘Did you speak to him on the phone?
‘Erm, I think I wrote a note?
Bear’s eyes get bluer, bigger, sadder.
‘Shall I try and call him?’
Bear nods, a bit less sad, then goes downstairs to watch Milkshake.
In the kitchen Andrew warns me off starting any Easter Bunny stuff. As he flips pancakes he whisper-hisses about the perils of lying to the children/our consumerist society/ the true meaning of Easter/ stopping the madness now. He tells me that Bear was with him yesterday when he bought the mini eggs in Tesco so he’ll know they’ve come from us and not the Easter Bunny. Although perhaps to prove that his opposition to the Easter Bunny doesn’t make him anti-fun he puts mini eggs in the pancakes.
The mini egg pancakes cheer everyone up. I ask Bear if they are magical, because by now, of course, Easter cannot be anything less than magical. Bear very politely asks me to get out of the way of the telly.
Andrew takes the boys off to feed the animals. I grab the bag of mini eggs and some mini Kinder eggs, determined to make Easter happen. I start hiding the eggs around the garden. And then I quickly remember that I love hiding Easter eggs! I’m really good at it too! I begin curating…
Look! There’s an egg, wittily fitted into an actual acorn cup! There’s one in the front seat of the toy truck in the sandpit!
I giddily remember who Easter, just like Christmas, is really for.
Then I remember that on her last visit mum brought down four big Easter eggs for us. I’d hidden them in the back of the wardrobe and forgotten about them. Then I have a brainwave. I’ll do a treasure hunt for them! I write down some clues to read out to Bear. Clues that the Easter Bunny gave me over the phone…
No! I can go one better. I can turn this into an educational opportunity and write the clues out in very big, clear handwriting for Bear to read himself! And then I can hide each clue in a different location!
By now I am laughing out loud at my own marvelousness.
The boys return from the animals. I tell them the Easter Bunny has been! He’s actually been! With a gob full of chocolate Bear tells me he knows, he’s already found a mini egg in the dog’s water bowl. Everyone refuses to wait until I’ve finished breastfeeding Edie, so out to the garden I go, baby attached to boob.
The Easter egg hunt is a great success. Within a couple of minutes they are both off their heads on sugar. There is unexpected sharing and graciousness. Bear thanks me for Easter. There is much excitement over the treasure hunt. The Spotify breakfast playlist cheerfully blares out the speakers. We follow the clues and find the four big Easter eggs that Nana will never receive any acknowledgement for, and everyone is happy.
And then, of course, comes the sugar comedown. Andrew criticises the Easter Bunny’s writing of treasure hunt clues. The Easter Bunny finds this hurtful and retaliates with nasty hand gestures. Raff, who has dispensed with the niceties of removing the foil wrappers from the Kinder eggs before eating them, sits on the garden steps, smeared in brown and foil like a Victorian street urchin. Edie pukes. Bear clutches the fence, hangs his head, and morosely declares ‘we’re not actually getting this party started.’
Later that afternoon we all go to feed the animals together. On the side of the path outside our house we find a dead rabbit. I reassure Bear that it’s not the Easter Bunny…
I am the Easter Bunny.