Is It Just My Kids, Or Are Easter Egg Hunts A Bloodbath?

Some people may associate Easter with pastels, Peeps, and a cute bunny, but in my experience, it’s a wild, risky, highly competitive holiday. An amateur WWE match gone sideways. And the reason is very simple: the egg hunt.

I’ve just seen too many wild things in these hunts. Like the time when I was in elementary school and my friend broke her elbow falling off a back porch during our neighborhood hunt. She was reaching just a bit too high for an egg that was hidden in a hanging planter, lost her balance, and boom. The feat resulted in a long afternoon at the ER, two screws to keep her bones in place, and a full-arm cast.

When I was in high school, my mom came up with a genius blindfolded Easter egg hunt. She divided us into pairs and instructed one person to blindfold themselves. Their partner was then in charge of verbally directing them to find eggs hidden all over the backyard. It was funny for a bit, until my father misdirected my youngest brother, causing him to face plant directly into a chimney shoot. His front tooth was pushed all the way up into his gums, propelling the other one on the ground and causing a pretty bloody and chaotic scene. Five surgeries and two permanent tooth implants later, my mother no longer gets creative with fun family activities.

Maybe your Easter egg hunts are mild affairs, but I still think it always gets a little Lord of the Flies when the plastic, candy-filled eggs are on the line even when your littles are dressed in adorable floral dresses and sharp blazers.

Now that I am a mom, I have become a bit Easter-cautious. I add no extra competitive flare to our festivities and yet, somehow, the egg hunt is still always a bloodbath. Despite my best efforts to present the egg hunt as a non-competitive, fun activity that can be done in a slow and careful manner, the vibe shifts to Hunger Games the moment their hands grip the baskets.

They sprint through the yard, determined to collect more eggs than their siblings. They become like wild animals, focused only on their prey, as they collide and elbow one another for their prize. And while they move around the yard, they taunt each other using trash talk and disparaging comments about the other person’s speed or egg-spotting ability.

But honestly, I think it’s unavoidable — and it’s not just the Easter egg hunt. Fact is, my crew is being led by a couple of wildly rowdy and competitive animals who turn any activity possible into a cage match. The word “hunt” immediately unleashes some kind of primal urge to win, which of course then leads to some illogical thinking and questionable behavior. Also, sour grapes and meltdowns. Overall, it seems like a bit of a setup for conflict if you ask me.

So this year, I plan to just brace for bunny impact. With a basket full of sugar followed by an inevitably competitive egg hunt I now know that just about anything can happen. I just hope they keep all of their teeth.

Samm is an ex-lawyer and mom of four who swears a lot. Find her on Instagram @sammbdavidson.

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