Chicago dad pledges not to go overboard on Easter

This week’s blog post is by The Paternity Test co-host Matt Boresi, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood  of Chicago with his wife (“Professor Foster”) and their 5-year-old daughter Viva, who will be eating Peeps and Robin’s Eggs until at least the Fourth of July.

Every holiday has gotten more commercial, more involved, more expensive, more time consuming–and maybe more fun–over the past 15 years. Halloween goes from September to November, Christmas goes from November to January, St. Patrick’s Day is two weekends and the week between, and Super Bowl seven layer dip now has 14 layers.

And Easter? Easter used to be one egg hunt at your home, a trip to church and some afternoon ham. Cut to 2017, where if you go to less than a half dozen egg hunts with your children, the government will come and take your kids from you and give them to someone who cares.

I have to admit I’ve fallen hook, line and Reese’s for the inflation of Easter. And why not? It’s the first holiday after daylight savings happens and the snow stops. Even if most Chicago egg hunts take place in a field of mud with a cold breeze, at least it isn’t dark and everything isn’t covered in black snow and road salt. You get to wear pastels, which remind me of “Miami Vice,” a show which allowed cool dudes to push up their blazer sleeves, forget their socks and be totally rad to the sound of Glenn Fry. Plus CANDY. There’s very little not to love about Easter.*

So, ever since Viva was born, I’ve gone WAY overboard on what I instruct the Easter Bunny to set out for her to find in the morning, She doesn’t even like sugar all that much, but she has so much candies, and so many eggs and gifts hidden around the house and yard for her that she actually gets bored, stops for brunch, and then goes for round two. I’m under no illusion that all of the Easter pomp and frippery is for her anymore. Hiding tiny Twix bars in the landscaping is my love language.

And some of the candy isn’t even good; it’s just festive. Whopper eggs? Chocolate eggs? Peanut butter stuff? Great, great and great. Peeps? Uh, gross. Amusing to put in the microwave, delightful to put in little dioramas reenacting Watership Down, but not good to eat. Jellybeans? I can’t stand them, and Viva won’t touch them. Not the fruit ones, not the weird old person-y black licorice ones and not the hilarious novelty British wizarding school ones that taste like pus and oily stool or whatever. But candy is sold in large bags and there’s no point in throwing away half a bag of candy, so I just tell the bunny to put it all out there and let Viva scoop it up by the greedy fistful and throw it into basket after basket after basket. In our house, Easter is wicker’s time to shine.

So, this year, I’m going to try not to bury my child in candy none of us want, or in so many colored eggs we’ll be eating egg salad splotched with PAAS dye long after it’s chockablock with Salmonella. Here’s my plan:

-Don’t buy any candy just because it’s whimsical. I’m looking at you Cadbury eggs bursting with something akin to Elmer’s Glue.

-Don’t buy more candy than can be eaten by Memorial Day. By then you should be switching your caloric indulgences to barbecue, ice cream and Bell’s Oberon anyhow.

-Hide the candy and eggs better. Viva is getting older, and if I’m going to have less candy, I’d better have a more satisfying hunt. This year I’m add vertical challenges, puzzle boxes and Burmese tiger pits, but filled with pixie sticks instead of bamboo stakes.

Okay, there’s my promise. Watch this space to see if I successfully walked back my Easter mania, or if you’re invited over to fill your trunk with Russell Stover.

*There’s one thing not to love about Easter: Easter Bunnies with flesh wrists. If you go get pictures with the bunny this year, keep an eye out. About two-thirds of bunny costumes have a gap between the paw/mitten and the fur/sleeve, so a few inches of human flesh show amidst the white fur. It’s horrifying. I imagine that all Easter Bunnies with Flesh Wrists harbor a terrible secret–like that they are escaped convicts or Sean Spicers.

Want to hunt eggs while climbing walls with The Paternity Test dads in person? Head to Brooklyn Boulders Chicago on Saturday, April 15 from 9-11 a.m. for the third annual BKB Egg-Travaganza and enjoy VERTICAL egg hunts with your favorite funny fathers: Matt and Todd! $15 per child, parents are free. Details at the BKB website!

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