Two different events I LOVED as a child are completely traumatizing to me as an adult because of the mess and headache it takes to accomplish them.
When I was a kid, I loved carving pumpkins for Halloween. As an adult, I find it messy and a little bit scary to wield knives (even safety knives) around the children. They always want to put their fingers where I’m trying to carve. The pumpkin is always thicker than I remember, making carving it awkward and sometimes physically difficult. My vision for what the pumpkin will look like never comes true. The pumpkin goop is hard to remove and gets everywhere. Kids are slimy and it’s all so messy and such a pain that I almost wish that I didn’t introduce them to it. Someone always cries.
The other event just happened this past Friday. We dyed Easter eggs. Even though I am Jewish, the Easter Bunny always came to our house. Santa made halfhearted cameos, but the Bunny was a key figure in our holiday events. Considering my mom’s love of animals, this makes perfect sense. I didn’t even realize what Easter really meant until I was ridiculously old. All the Jesus songs about Christmas pretty much tipped me off from the beginning, but Easter? A bunny and chocolate? It’s hard to put the pieces together without some specific instruction!
I remember loving dyeing Easter eggs, so every year since I had Lily I’ve looked forward to egg coloring. Every year, I’ve been absolutely horrified by how terrifying egg dyeing turns out to be. While it’s fun to watch the eggs turn different colors, it’s panic-inducing to watch pink dye drip onto the counter and not wipe up. No matter how much newspaper you put down (this is actually a problem too. We don’t get a newspaper.), you end up getting some dye either on the counter or the floor. Every single year there’s an accident dumping the dye into the sink, or the sink just turns pink for a week no matter how much I scrub.
No matter how careful I am, dye gets all over our hands. The dye won’t come off for at least a week. We walk around looking like we don’t know how to wash our hands.
It’s awful. Has the dye always been this potent? Was my mother hiding her “OMG, the house will be forever dyed pink!” panic attacks than I am? I’m not sure. This year I was absolutely relieved that it was warm enough to dye eggs outside. There wasn’t much spillage and somehow no one’s hands got very dirty, but this is not what happened the previous years.
This year I also made sure to dye eggs while Dr. Toy Warden was at work. Dr. Toy Warden is far, far, FAR from a neat freak, but when he sees small children with paint or dyes, he freaks out about our house getting ruined. Having Dr. Toy Warden at home for this adventure alleviated the stress by at least half. You’d think having the extra adult around would make projects like this easier, but it’s actually easier to hear less freak outs about the dye than to actually have him there to help me contain the chaos. I freak out enough about dye on my own without having to hear it from him!
Anyway, it’s amazing to me that more people don’t publicly panic about Easter egg dye and pumpkin carving. Is it a big secret that these things sort of suck? Are we all pretending to enjoy doing them as adults when in reality we are all worrying about our counters turning pink and pumpkin goop getting on the carpet? Surely, I am not alone. I mean, it’s great to watch the kids get excited about these things and I think the experience is important for their childhood memories, but yikes this stuff is a lot different than I remember!