The weekend before Easter, we took Alex to a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) egg hunt on the front lawn of our church. The hunt started at 3:30, and we were told that if we got there as late as 3:32, the eggs would probably be gone already. So we had woken A from his nap to get there in time, and he was a bit grumpy and uncharacteristically intimidated by the mobs of unfamiliar children that were running amok. For example, this is the look I got when I asked him to "smile for the camera".
Let's try that again.
Then I said something like, "This is supposed to be fun, so you better drop the attitude and give me a smile, or we will go home". I got this face.
Since the empty threats weren't very effective, I think I finally tried a different angle and mentioned something about chocolate and jelly beans. Success!
So it wasn't the most sincere smile ever, but I'll take a fake bribe-induced grin over a sour puss any day. He had a few Goldfish to get his energy up before the hunt, and that little snack worked wonders on his attitude.
Soon after, the kids lined up and got ready to grab eggs. I had bought Alex a new Tonka truck Easter basket because he is way into construction vehicles (and because it was the least sissified basket I could find at Target), and he was pretty excited to fill it up. Finally, they released the hounds, and dozens of kids took off across the lawn and started stuffing eggs into their baskets.
I wouldn't necessarily describe Tim or myself as being "overly competitive", but as Alex was taking his sweet ol' time picking up eggs and placing them carefully in his basket, the two of us were screaming things like, "Alex, over here!! Over here! Get that one! Hurry, hurry, hurryyyyyy!!!" I suddenly had this vision that the church lawn was a football field and that I was Alex's offensive guard, and I had the urge to start hip-checking preschoolers into the bushes so that Alex could get to the eggs before they did. I resisted the urge, and it turns out that Alex did just fine gathering eggs without my help.
A lot of the kids were picking up eggs, then immediately checking to see what was inside. But Alex was so excited about gathering the eggs themselves that he had forgotten they had candy in them. That didn't last for long.
We tried to cut him off after about a half dozen pieces of chocolate, but he just ran away from us with our picnic blanket and a giant chocolate egg stuffed in his mouth.
He ran around a little more and burned off some energy (and calories) before we headed home.
We left some jelly beans and a couple little eggs in his basket, then Tim and I helped ourselves to the rest of his candy. It was only fair since we're the ones who pointed out most of the eggs he had found.