Nobody Puts Easter Bunny in the Corner…or on a diet

In today’s local paper there was a syndicated column giving parental advice on healthy Easter baskets, an oxymoron if I ever heard one. This isn’t really a squee-worthy topic. It doesn’t discuss books (well, except at the very end), sci-fi, vampires, fairies, or hot guys in super hero costumes, but it elicited such an onslaught of disparaging remarks from my peers that I thought it worthy of addressing with a public post on Songs in Squee Minor. Not because the article offended us, but because we are generally smarmy and sarcastic types and it brings us great pleasure to do so. Also, ‘tis the season.

The author of this article argues that although retailers are pushing their pastel colored, sugar laden, kid addicting, child obesity causing, soul stealing, demon raising… wait, maybe I’ve gone too far…candies, the thoughtful individual might make alternative purchasing decisions with the assistance of the columnist’s creative suggestions. Now, I appreciate thoughtful purchasing decisions, but I scratch my head and wonder how many parents out there are saying, “Gee, I hate to stuff my kids full of high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes and flavorings, and marshmallow configurations of birds and rabbits, but I just don’t know what to do. I wish someone would write a helpful article about this subject.” I think if you’re smart enough to worry about your kids’ diets, then you out to be smart enough to figure out the solution on your own. But then Ms. Helpful would be out of a job.

Ms. Helpful acknowledges that “everyone loves treats, but Easter doesn’t have to be synonymous with candy.” My bad, I thought Easter was synonymous with the resurrection of Christ three days after his crucifixion, or, if you want to look to its pagan roots, a celebration of fertility and spring and new birth, etc. So, in this case, Ms. Helpful, I have to agree with you on premise. I’m pretty sure the angel that helped roll the rock away from Jesus’s tomb didn’t present him with a basket of plastic grass and Cadbury Crème Eggs. The disciples didn’t spend all that time in the Garden of Gethsemane because they were hiding eggs. But if we go on that premise, then we should deny ourselves of holiday treats altogether. Ehhhh, screw that. In my house the word “treat” means something special that you don’t get every day. So, if my kid wants to rot out his teeth on special occasions, allowances will be made. Carrot sticks and apple slices all year around. Treats on the holidays! Besides, Cdsquee says chocolate bunny ears in and of themselves are divine and holy. I tend to agree.

Ms. Helpful fleshes out her article with a quote from an industry expert. Oh those industry experts, so good for giving us useful quotes to help us reach our mandatory word count. “With a little imagination, parents can prepare a beautiful Easter basket with healthier treats, as well as nonfood items that can help take the emphasis off sweets.” Ms. Expert further suggests that parents skip the dyed candies and hold Easter egg hunts for exercise.

· All Easter Eggs will be filled with pellets of lead. That basket is going to get real heavy, so you might want to bone up on your protein intake.

· Suzie, are you walking? I said lunges!

· Ever hear about the sport of coursing? Well, instead of using dogs, we’re using you kids to catch the Easter bunny. You don’t catch him? No Easter!

· The eggs are spaced a ¼ mile apart. You want chocolate? You gotta burn the calories first.

· The Easter bunny has been replaced with Sargent Hartman from Full Metal Jacket and he doesn’t have Easter egg hunts for sissies. He has Easter egg obstacle courses. Now run you maggots!

Other healthy suggestions in this article:

· “Add art supplies such as crayons, brushes and watercolors to encourage your child’s creativity.” (For my somewhat inartistic kid, this would be considered school supplies. “Mom, am I supposed to give this stuff my teacher on Monday morning or what?”)

· “Put packages of dried fruit like figs, raisins and dates in the basket, or goodies like homemade fruit leather or trail mix.” (Why don’t I just set a $20 bill on fire instead and save myself the trouble of going to the store. Do I want to end up with said raisins flung in my face? Hmmm, not so much.)

· “Include a new toy or book, then top off the basket with a stuffed bunny or fuzzy chick. While it might be tempting to add a real bunny to your child’s basket (Be careful that your child knows the difference between chocolate candies and bunny poo) you need to know the commitment you’re getting into.” (You raised a child, but, no, a bunny may be a little too much commitment). “Baby bunnies are a terrible impulse purchase,” (My impulse purchases tend to be books and fashion accessories, but I’m sure that’s just because Amazon hasn’t yet sent me an e-mail for great deals on baby farm animals.)

“A rabbit can be easily injured or disabled due to improper handling.” Says Ms. Helpful, “Because rabbits look so kid-sized, it is often assumed that children and bunnies will be a good combination. However, the two are generally a mismatch, as even gentle kids can hug a rabbit too hard.” (Mommy? Why did Bunny make a crunching noise when I hugged him? What is that red stuff coming out of Bunny’s ears and nose? Why does Bunny just lie there all the time? Why does he have that terrible smell? Why are flies buzzing around him?)

“In addition, most rabbits go through a personality change. Baby bunnies are adorable, but when they enter adolescence at about 3 to 4 months, the once-amiable creatures begin to display a strong will [and] a desire for independence.” (Does the bunny get facial piercings and tattoos? Does the bunny drop out of school and follow Phish on tour? Does the bunny move in with its looser boyfriend/girlfriend and do drugs?)

Wow. I never really considered all the pitfalls of impulse Easter shopping. Thanks Ms. Helpful for giving me some healthful food for thought.

As an aside: If allowances are to be made for “healthy” in our children’s Easter baskets, then Songs in Squee Minor recommends…What else? Books! They’re low calorie and high in fiber. Here are some suggestions for your kid’s Easter basket.

· Watership Down; a Tale of Rabbits by Richard Adams (a must for any book lover, young or old)

· Velveteen Rabbit by Grennady Spirin

· Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson

· Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe (this suggestion comes from Cdsquee, a child expert)

· Dragonbreath; Revenge of the Horned Bunnies by Ursula Vernon (My older elementary boy is loving these graphic novels right now)

· Anything by Beatrix Potter

· I am a Bunny by Richard Scarry (This is one of my all-time favorites for small children. Pictures are beautiful. And there is a Kindle Fire edition out now. Too cool.)

· Little Bunny Follows His Nose (A scratch and sniff book! I had mine from childhood but it was almost sniffed out. I bought a new one for my son and he loved it.)

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Elizabeth
    Mar 22, 2012 @ 21:29:03

    This may not have made me squee, but it did make me laugh. I can’t believe they felt the need to tell you “Be careful that your child knows the difference between chocolate candies and bunny poo”… Seriously? It it really necessary for all fun things to be turned into exercise and all treats turned into homemade fruit leather?

    Reply

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