Our Easter celebrations gained momentum early last week on a shopping trip to the mall to buy baby shower gifts for our friend Lauren and her soon-to-be baby girl, nicknamed affectionately for the moment as Bump. On our way to Janie and Jack, Katie and I saw the Easter Bunny walking around---probably returning from having some carrots for midmorning snack. Then on our way back from Williams-Sonoma, we saw the Easter Bunny sitting on a bench in his forest. Kate and I pulled off to the side to watch him. Recalling the infamous stories about my appalled reaction to the Easter Bunny when I was Kate's age, I didn't suppose for a moment that she would want to sit with him. Yet, when we started to roll away in the stroller, she said, "More more!" I wheeled her back to face him and asked her if she would like to sit with him like the other children were doing. At this, she gave her sign for "yes" very enthusiastically...and so we got in line.
Kate was so excited when it was her turn! She popped out of her stroller and was ready to walk over to him without Mommy. When I put her on his furry knee, she was so proud and happy she could have burst. She got her "excited hands" (little clenched fists by her side) and a contented little smile. After the pictures, she didn't want to leave him, and, in fact, she cried when she realized she couldn't sit with him anymore. But I told her that we would be getting copies of a picture to take home and we would frame it and she could always remember her visit. Sure enough, she has been carrying around that picture off and on for days.
Last night we decorated our Easter eggs. I love being able to share that with Kate. Her first job was to drop the colored tablets into the vinegar to dissolve. She loved that! After the dyes were ready, we put our eggs in to marinate. Kate helped me baste the eggs and then supervised the rest of the job as she ate some dinner from her high chair. She loves her eggs. We played with them after bath, and then again this morning after our dance party. She has learned how to be gentle with them.
This morning we went to an egg hunt in Vintage Hills. I had explained to Kate last night how it worked, and sure enough, she seemed to understand as the hunt began. She put all of her own eggs into her basket, sometimes double-handing two of them very efficiently! Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny were also on hand at the park, and once again, Kate loved being near them. We took our picture with them as soon as we arrived, and then later she wanted to show them her basket of eggs and then simply wanted to sit near them on the concrete. Cute! I told her that because she had been so nice to the Easter Bunny and been friends, that he was going to visit her tonight while she was sleeping and leave her a gift. I bet he will hide some of her eggs, too, and maybe even leave a note.
We collected every bunny in the house yesterday and made a small "classroom" of them in the family room and read The Tale of Peter Rabbit to them (and to Kate). We should make this a tradition.
Kate is napping at the moment, and when she wakes up, I will have her help me make the lemon cakes for tomorrow. Lemon cakes are going to be our Easter tradition, I've decided. I have made them for Easter in the past, but now I have plans to make them every year. I think it is important to have strong traditional structures in place to commemorate each year and childhood.
I was very proud of Kate today---and always am, for so many reasons---because she didn't step foot on the egg hunt field until we were given the "Go!" even when so many other toddlers did and started putting eggs in baskets (and were allowed to, by their---ahem---cheater parents). She really had a respect for the event and behaved with decorum. Afterwards, she was so proud with her basket...sometimes she definitely seems older than 17.5 months.
Here are some pics:
Kate is excited about our egg project
We color the eggs together
Kate and her eggs after bath
She held up this egg when I asked, "Which one is your favorite?"
Kate's treasures after the hunt
Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny
Kate shows the bunnies her basket of eggs. Note the surprised look of Mrs. Bunny as Kate drops it there! ;-)
Kate loves them and wants to sit near them.
Kate opens Grandma and Grandpa's Easter basket early
A new springtime dress!
A chocolate bunny!