easterBy Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK
Colored eggs. Happy kids. Delicious treats. Brawling parents. It doesn't sound like your Norman Rockwell version of Easter and yet in Macon, Georgia this is exactly what people got last year at the annual city Easter egg hunt thereby causing organizers to cancel this year's festivities. I'd say I was surprised except that Macon is one in a long line of cities reporting problems with parents at egg hunts in recent years. I've even seen it myself in action.
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A few years ago when my oldest son was 2 and my second son was a newborn I took the kids to my local Easter egg hunt. Toddlers and parents lined up at the starting line around a field filled with candy-filled eggs, waiting for the whistle to blow. Two-year olds don't move very quickly, especially shy ones that are tethered to a mom hauling an infant and so by the time we made it on to the field almost all the eggs were gone. My son stood in wide-eyed shock as older kids barreled past him and parents "saved" eggs for their kids by, well, picking them up and pocketing them. It became quickly apparent that if my boy was going to get anything I was going to have to help him. And fast.
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Scurrying around in the mud I scored a few foil-wrapped eggs and he proudly placed them in his basket. And then it happened. Before I could even blink, a parent (a mom!) swooped in and took the candy right out of my toddler's basket and into her kid's. I yelled a weak "hey!" but she didn't even glance at me as she continued pillaging. I didn't punch her but I could sure see how that would happen. My son burst into tears. Another kid knocked him over. Then I burst into tears. The baby cried because I was crying. It was a scene.
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Fortunately firefighters came to our rescue. Literally. The egg hunt was put on by the local fire station and they had several fire trucks positioned around the perimeter with real firemen inside. Once my son got to take a tour the lousy foil eggs were forgotten. A sticker badge cured any last tears. He forgot all about the travesty, but I didn't. Days later I was still fuming at the audacity of that other mom-she stole candy from a baby!-to the point where I banned any future city egg hunts for our family. We'll stick to the nice quiet one in our backyard, thanks.
Did you attend any Easter egg hunts this year? Did you experience any out-of-line parents?
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