Night Manoeuvres

The Easter bunny remembered to arrive with all propriety and adequate egg hunt preparation in our house today, thank goodness.

As I propped my eyes open with match sticks yesterday waiting for optimum child sleep conditions before frolicking about the house balancing mini eggs on picture frames, pursued by the cat, who thought it was all a marvellous game, I wondered blearily why things that are wonderful surprises for children cannot be planned for at any other time than about three in the morning or thereabouts.

If you don’t have children, this part of parenting may seem like one of the perks of the job: the administering of wonderful surprises that make your child’s eyes light up, and restores their faith in a magical, benevolent and gift filled universe etc.

If you do have children it becomes one of a long series of things you absolutely must not forget to organise for fear of ruining your offspring’s childhood forever, and being held responsible for their nascent career as a misery lit author.

It is a sad fact that as a parent you are doomed to spend large parts of your life wandering around in the dark, either literally or metaphorically. Even when you could be sleeping because your child has actually deigned to go to sleep and stay asleep (which is by no means a given for the first fifteen years or so of their life, no matter how tired they are) something crucial will inevitably transpire that means you have to get up and crash around in the pitch blackness, swearing under your breath and trying not to be killed by rogue pieces of Lego.

Not only that, but you have to remember props: fake snow, reindeer pooh, cash, presents, chocolate eggs, inspirational notes etc. Or just notes that say: ‘I’m sorry that the tooth fairy couldn’t make it yesterday. Work was backed up thanks to an overload of fruit smoothies in the LE2 area. Your tooth is guaranteed to be picked up at some time between the hours of 1.00 a.m. and 4.00 a.m. Sorry for the inconvenience.’

I have been responsible for the creation of many notes of this nature I am ashamed to say.

Next time round, can we invent some magical festivals that involve sedate afternoon tea and surprises coming through the post, or some other delivery system that does not require me to fumble about in the darkness essaying to find teeth the size of rice granules in the dark, or forging supernatural beings’ hand writing?

It’s just a thought.

The children were deliriously happy with their chocolatey trophies and after breakfast a crazed easter egg hunt ensued in which Tallulah once more demonstrated her absolutely ninja chocolate tracking skills and Oscar had to be helped by the rest of us as he singularly failed to see anything, even when that anything was egg shaped, wrapped in gaudy foil and stuck in front of his nose. It is fair to say that he is not naturally observant.

No Cub Scouts spotters badges for him.

Misadventures from previous years have taught us that although the hunting can be carried out individually, the allocating of eggs should never be left to the laws of the familial jungle, as in who finds it eats it. We have a new rule, which is that all foraged eggs must be tipped into a master bowl at the end of the hunt, and then shared equally between all participants.  This is genius and resolves many tear stained arguments and EC egg mountain situations.

These are the things Miriam Stoppard should be advising you about. Literally life saving information in some cases I suspect. As she doesn’t even mention this kind of thing at all, which is a gross oversight on her part, it is left to me to impart such pearls.

You are very welcome.

2 responses to “Night Manoeuvres

  1. Remember one Christmas Eve, when girls were littles, 3 am, putting together Playmobil Victorian dollhouse, which required you to put 1000s of small pink flower petals onto green stalks, which then went into window boxes. This after actual house construction took about 2 hours. Thank goddess our traditional Christmas morning beverage is coffee with kahlua; key after 2 hrs sleep.

  2. We had the tooth fairy when I was a kid and nothing else! I did an Easter egg hunt once with my cousins when I was staying with my grandma for Easter. And there was definitely no reindeer pooh, ever!

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