But that was put to rest today when we attended our first ever public Easter Egg hunt. It was sponsored and held by our favorite place, Town Square, and although Scotty was too young to participate, we were happy to pull up a spot on the sidelines and watch the show. And Oh My Goodness. What a show it was.
The event had been organized by age (1-3 years, 4-6, and 7-9) they continued to run different heats throughout the day. Participants were expected to wait in a line before grabbing for the eggs in the arena, which was surrounded by a small white fence. Needless to say, the folks at the end of the line had a much smaller chance of getting eggs than the people at the front. And they knew that. So there was a lot of pushing and shoving before the first bell even sounded.
And what did the little plastic eggs mean? You could trade it in for a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup at a nearby booth.
(after my experience last night with the peanut butter cookies, I stayed a safe distance away).
That's it. One, measly little Reese's cup. Per egg. You could probably buy a whole bag of them for the entry fee to participate in the egg hunt.
But again, the whole thing was (allegedly) for the kids, and there were millions of them ready to participate, Easter baskets in hand. Scotty had fun looking around.
It was during the next heat, the one with the one to three year olds (where the parents WERE allowed in the ring) that all of the bad behavior really took hold.
I'm not quite sure if it was the lure of the chocolate or just the fact that parents are crazy to capture their precious little Aidens and Rileys on film, dressed in their Easter best, but these folks seriously lost their minds. I don't know what I thought would happen, but I didn't quite expect people to be jumping the fence with their babies in tow and quite literally stuffing their pockets with plastic eggs. Once the first bell sounded, it was like all hell had broken loose - parents were trampling other people's kids, moms were pushing toddlers out of the way to ensure they got the perfect shot, and dads were yelling at their children to grab more eggs. It was almost worthy of an SNL skit, except it was real life.
Worst Parent of the Year goes to the dad who 1.) jumped the fence 2.) with his (what looked like) three-month old baby and when he knelt down to pick up some eggs, the baby 3.) flopped out of his arms. The grass was soft, thankfully, but that kid had no head or back control. And the dad, instead of picking up the baby, had the audacity to reach for more eggs. (At this point, I covered Scotty's eyes.) The mom was nearby, and she was laughing about it (while giddily stuffing her blouse with her own eggs). Whaaaaat? At least no one stepped on the baby while he was on the ground. I half expected them to leave the baby there as they ran to the candy booth, but they did pick up the child before making a mad dash out of the arena.
I will say, the most ironic thing about the egg hunt is by the time the last egg had been picked up (as I just stared on, slack-jawed and silent), there was virtually no smiling. Everyone looked miserable. Parents were yelling, kids were sobbing, babies were screaming...seriously, is this what this holiday has become? Oh, happy, joyous Easter.
Brian and I left a short-time later, frantically discussing what we had just witnessed. Needless to say, I think we are officially banning Scotty from ever participating in a public Easter egg hunt. We'll plant 'em in the backyard if necessary. Because as Brian said ever so eloquently, "If any one of those people ever stepped on Scotty, oh, I think I would probably lose my mind." And since we don't want next year's headline to read "EASTER EGG HUNT ENDS IN BRAWL; LOCAL COUPLE DETAINED," we're going to take a pass on all public hunts.
(and also, tragically, we lost our dear friend Sophie the Giraffe in the melee. I tried to retrace our steps when we realized she was missing but alas, she was already gone. The good news: Scotty had a death grip on his little blue hair brush and that is still safely in his possession, but Sophie is MIA. Oh Sophie, we hardly knew ye. I hope you are/were adopted by a kind and loving family.)