Dear Fellow Parents: Calm Down, It's Just an Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Egg hunt
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Well, folks, spring has arrived. The weather is finally warming up, the flowers are starting to bloom, and in a few weeks, many of us parents will outfit our children in their prettiest pastels to participate in that most sacred of springtime rituals: the Hunger Games Easter egg hunt.

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Every year, thousands of us flock to our local churches, parks, and arboretums to take pictures of our kids as they fumble through the grass and collect colorful plastic eggs filled with Smarties and Starbursts. And, every year, there are parents at these hunts who simply can't resist their childlike urges to literally steal candy from babies and ruin all the fun for the rest of us.

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You know who you are. You roll up to the field in your Sunday best, a devilish glint in your eye. Sure, you look like a mere spectator, but as soon as the starting gun goes off, you begin your werewolf-like transformation into a hyper-competitive egg-snatcher who's out to win at any cost. In your pocket is a hand-drawn map of the park with the locations of plastic eggs cross-referenced from previous years' festivities. In your heart, there's only a blind, Lance Armstrong–esque determination to hoard more plastic eggs than the average landfill contains.

I see you, fellow egg hunt parent. I admire your thirst for victory, and I fear the wrath of your pointy elbows as you jockey your way through the crowds of egg-hunting children. But, I'm here to ask you, on behalf of all the other parents (and our toddlers you just trampled), to kindly calm the f*ck down, because y'all are getting a little crazy out there.

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Last year, parents at a Pez-sponsored egg hunt in Connecticut reported kids being shoved, pushed down in the mud, and left with broken baskets, thanks to rampaging parents who apparently missed the memo that these hunts are intended for children.

The year before that, parents crashed an Easter egg hunt in California and reportedly started elbowing toddlers and swearing at other families who tried to reach for eggs. It's a good thing they didn't get into any actual fistfights, because I'm pretty sure the Easter Bunny doesn't visit jail cells.

In Colorado Springs, an Easter egg hunt actually got completely canceled after aggressive parents tried to jump the lines and swarm the park before the hunt had even started. "I just kept thinking, the parents are the kids," one mom told Baby Center.

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Look, I get it. It's exciting. You want your kids to catch 'em all, and you want to go home with at least enough candy to make the fact that you're wearing Spanx feel worth it. Chocolate eggs may pair well with a nice pinot noir, and we might be excited as hell at the prospect of stealing our kids' huge haul of Easter candy after they go to bed. But we still need to at least pretend that we know how to behave like grown-ups.

That means no cutting in line, no swearing at other parents, no stealing eggs from the open fists of excited second graders, and no throwing elbows when surrounded by toddlers and small children who come up to exactly elbow height. Remember: The golden eggs aren't really made of gold; jelly beans don't taste that good; no Easter egg contains a prize worth a fistfight; and -- oh yeah -- your kids are watching.

I have faith in you, parents. I think you can use your sense of determination for good. This could be the year that kids finally get to hunt for eggs without the looming threat of hyperactive 35-year-olds in pointy shoes. And if not, well, I plan on rolling up to my local hunt with a full security detail and an extra large can of pepper spray, just in case.

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