April 8, 2012

Why We Will Never Go to a Community Easter Egg Hunt Again

As we followed the hoards of people on their way to an Easter egg hunt we had high hopes. I imagined something like the last scene of  "Steel Magnolias."  You know, where everyone is socializing under the shade of a tree while the children run around in their Easter best? That one.

We were greeted by throngs of people pushed up against a ribboned off lawn that was filled to the brim with Easter eggs. Children were squirming in parents' arms as they were forced to look and not touch the thousands of eggs in front of them. There was one woman walking around with a megaphone announcing 10 more minutes before the zero to 2-year-olds could hunt.

Five minutes later the woman allowed part of the crowd to go under the ribbon.

Even though everyone knew the hunt was scheduled to start in 10 minutes, they assumed she had given in to the pushing crowds. Kids were rushed under the ribbon and the egg hunt began, or so it seemed. Parents were yelling at eachother. Some stayed back, others pushed forward as if they were given a green light.

Here is where I admit that we were some of the people who went ahead. The mob mentality got to us and survival mode kicked in. Gwyneth had to get some eggs, damn it. As I went under the ribbon onto the grass, I stupidly thought that an age appropriate Easter egg hunt would involve letting the babies do whatever they wanted. I thought I would just let Gwyneth run around on the lawn picking up eggs if she wanted to. As I walked under the ribbon and set her on the lawn, I suddenly realized I had to protect my baby. I had to protect her from the parents.

She was nearly trampled, trampled I tell you. Not by all the other toddlers, but the mothers who were shouting at their BABIES to “get the eggs!” I saw a baby’s basket filled with more than 20 eggs while Gwyneth managed to pickup two.

I was terrified as I took my eyes off  Gwyneth for a second to search for my husband. I’m not being overdramatic. Children were crying and parents were yelling at one another, it was mass chaos. I scooped her up, turned to my husband and we exchanged a glance of “we need to get the hell out of here.” And that’s just what we did.

As we walked away we heard  the woman with the megaphone announcing that the hunt did not start and everyone needed to wait. I wish I'd seen how the hunt went from then on. From what I read on Facebook, it didn’t go well.

As we drove away from that horror scene, I announced to the family that was to be our first and last community Easter egg hunt we would ever go to. No free plastic Easter egg with a stale Now and Later candy is ever worth that nonsense.

Did you go to any egg hunts this year or have a similar experience in the past? Were you at this particular egg hunt? How did you feel about the situation?

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