I have never been a big fan of the Easter Bunny. Even when I was a youngster I didn't like him... to be honest, he scared the crap out of me. A big overgrown bunny dressed in overalls and a bow tie sneaking into my house at night and hiding eggs? How bizarre!
My husband and I have been able to celebrate the Easter Holiday in the way God intended... religiously. We have also included the other parts of Easter as well, the candy, the baskets, the gifts, the egg coloring and egg hiding. We have always told our children that Mommy and Daddy do the gift basket giving and we also do the hiding of eggs. The Easter Bunny is the little guy out in the backyard that emerges from his winter hiding this time of year to eat my tulip sprouts.
We have never encountered a problem with this until this year. I have discovered that when you have older children mixed in with a toddler-the toddler is a lot more street smart than the older ones were when they were little. My toddler has an older brother saying "The Easter Bunny is a fraud!" only to be repeated by her at a less desirable time.
This year my little one has been asked many times if she is excited about the Easter Bunny coming to her house, to which she replies "We don't believe in the Easter Bunny" or my favorite, "The Easter Bunny only eats Mama's flowers, he doesn't hide eggs." This gets me a confused look from the little senior citizen who has posed this question to my daughter only to have me smile and shrug. She is only being honest-brutally honest, the way her brother has obviously taught her to be.
Today after Easter Mass the people in the pew in front of us turned around and asked my daughter if the Easter Bunny came to visit her last night. Their 5 year old daughter looked on excitedly clutching the ballerina Barbie that the Easter Bunny obviously left her in her basket. My daughter, in all of her three-year-old gumption said, "The Easter Bunny is a FAKE! FAKE! FAKE! My Mama is hiding the eggs when we get home from Church!" Each time she said "fake" she grew more and more animated, like she was saying "My Mom just lost 20 POUNDS POUNDS POUNDS!" (that is the only example that I could think of that would merit more and more animation and excitement.)
The poor little 5 year old looked like she had just been told there would be no Christmas this year. The mother clutched her hands over her daughter's ears and gave me a look that I am willing to bet should send her back to confession this week.
Lord help me when the times comes for my daughter to lose her front teeth and some poor unsuspecting person poses the question "Is the Tooth Fairy going to visit you tonight?" I pray that I am at least at the grocery store and not at Sunday Mass.