I have a parenting bucket list — a collection of things I want to do and experience with my children — and many of the items on the list are things I enjoyed and have fond memories of from my own childhood.
On this list, until Sunday when I lit it on fire, was dyeing Easter eggs with Anders and Danica. As a child it was one of my favorite parts of the Easter holiday. I vividly remember sitting around my grandma’s giant dining room table with my cousins, taking turns dipping eggs into the brightly colored liquids.
Absent from my memories are color stained fingers, clothes, and dishtowels. I have no recollection of any temper tantrums or tears shed. We were all polite and cautious and docile. I suspect that we were all monsters and that I have really crappy long term memory.
It was with uncontainable excitement that I boiled two dozen eggs on Sunday morning and then set them in front of my children with six cups of dye. I explained the steps, the connection between longer times spent submerged and the vibrance of the color, and even provided them both with their very own white crayon to make a design on their eggs.
I turned on my camera and got ready to capture the magic. Less than five minutes later my 3-year-old had overturned three of six cups of dye onto herself, the table, and the floor, and my son was howling because some had splashed into his eyes.
While my husband held a shrieking Anders under the sink faucet, I scrambled for the nearest towel to sop up the dye that wasn’t already absorbed into my daughter’s dress. Everyone screamed, no one’s clothing emerged stainless, and instead of capturing a Kodak moment I have a handful of pictures to serve as a reminder of how not to dye Easter eggs with preschoolers.
I think my parenting bucket list could use a few revisions.