No, This isn’t some horrifying tale about an Easter bonnet that has come to trash my life. Leaving a trail of tiny yellow chicks, pom poms and glue in its wake. Or is it?
Growing up in America, I remember Easter always being a tacky basket filled with jelly beans, awful florescent green plastic grass, ACTUAL eggs that have had their shells dyed and a trip to see the Easter bunny at the local shopping centre. This also usually ended up in a questionable yet equally funny photo the parents could use as blackmail later in life.
Sometimes you’d have the odd Easter play at school or an egg and spoon race with the above mentioned dyed eggs. That was it really, I don’t recall Easter being a massive deal. Everyone was more excited to have two weeks off of school. Or two weeks in Cancun if you were old enough.
Oh no. Not in the UK. Here you treat Easter like a second Christmas. Except instead of Santa, it’s an Easter bunny who brings you more chocolate than you thought imaginable. And gifts. GIFTS?! I have lived here for 8 years and I am still trying to wrap my little head around this. Don’t get me wrong, it really is lovely but my brain and bank account can’t keep up.
Along with the massive celebration on Easter itself, you have the Easter Bonnet Parade at school. I originally thought kids wore actual little fabric bonnets like you see on Little House On The Prairie (watch it, you’ll thank me later). Nope. The tackiest of the tacky straw hats that are decorated to the 9s with tat. Now I love tat, so the first time I saw one I was quite excited. Then came the realisation that I’d have to make it. This wasn’t something you picked up on Etsy.
The first time I had to make an Easter Bonnet was when Naomi was in nursery.
I got invited to an hour workshop to create her bonnet with her. I didn’t think it’d be that bad because I didn’t have to deal with the mess. Rightly so, I walked straight out of there with a smug look on my face while they cleaned up endless amounts of feathers, ribbon and fluffy little chicks. What I didn’t expect was the amount of parent on parent competition over the decorating.
Thankfully I didn’t have to deal with that this time around as Naomi and I sat at our kitchen table this year to decorate hers. I had prepared myself for mayhem as this time I would have the mess to deal with. I layed out parchment paper to catch any glue dribbles and put the decorations into cute little bowls to keep things tidy. The paper slid everywhere. Naomi dropped bits and pieces on the floor which the cat promptly swatted across my downstairs. I am still finding pom poms.
The excitement also wore off for Naomi. She has free reign this time and isn’t confined to one room with an alloted amount of time. She lasted 5 minutes before she ran off. Literally ran. I was then left to finish off her bonnet. Now I’ve said before, I am not a crafty mom. Crafts make me uncomfortable, but I did my best. This was met by tears on how I didn’t do it right. I stooped to her level and said she should have done it then. We both cried. All was forgotten when I turned the fairy lights on and all of a sudden it was the best damn Easter bonnet she had ever seen.
I was happy come Tuesday when she actually wanted to wear it and participate in the showcasing of the bonnets at school.
I was fully anticipating a tantrum and her throwing her bonnet because she didn’t want to wear it. Yet again though, I was met with parent competition. Seeing as she walked up to the gates with the bonnet on her head, carrots swaying and lights shining, the other kids and moms glared. The bonnet quickly came off Naomi’s head before we were stoned by the crowd.
Thankfully Naomi is only in preschool so every parent was met with the same 5 minute enthusiasm for the bonnet and all were a little bit crap. However, the bigger kids treated this as serious business. I helped out my friend and picked up her daughter in an older class. I watched as all these kids came out with extravagant bonnets. One had a full sized stuffed bunny on the top. One was made to look like a Pokeball. One was a FULL ON R2-D2. What?! Surely in the name of competition you’ve lost the point of Easter bonnet. Who am I to say? I’m American.
I still stand by my statement of I don’t do crafts. Even though my daughter was elated on the day, that bonnet was a chore. I won’t ever be the mom pulling out all the stops so their kid wins the competition. My kid won’t have a whole damn R2-D2 on their head. I can rest easy in knowing that I have another year of rest before the Easter bonnet rears its ugly head again. Now I can focus on presenting a second Christmas to my kids and pretend a giant bunny left it in our house.