Friday, April 2, 2010


1. Buy Eggs. Buy a dye kit (or trust to the little battered McCormick box, veteran of four Easters, nine birthday cakes and that unfortunate business with the pink Margaritas).
2. Boil eggs and cool a bit.
3. Get together the dye pack, a bib, the vinyl-covered highchair, the vinegar, a paper-towel covered tray for drying, and the camera.
4, Cover breakfast table with two black garbage bags, then a layer of paper towels.
5. Go to door to call in Child and her Ganner, to get started.
6. Notice that it’s such a nice day, it would be better for making pictures (and less messy) to do the dyeing outdoors.
7. Get Ganner started on getting out the small lunch table for the patio.
8. Pour about enough vinegar into a small bottle, to save lugging the new gallon up and out.
9. Get the big plastic KoolAid pitcher; put it in a bag with dye-pack, vinegar bottle, a black garbage bag, bib, measuring spoon, wet washcloth, and roll of paper towels.
10. Carry up the items; take them outside and set them on the table.
11. Notice and remember that the table needs a good clean-and-disinfect before using; go in and get the big spray bottle of Orange Pine Sol cleaner; clean tabletop.
12. Running Tag-Team with Ganner, who is busy amusing Child with a new watering can at the expense of her equally new shoes, come back in for high chair. Be thankful once again that it’s tiny and folds up.
13. Set up high chair beside table. Get all items out of bag. Take KoolAid pitcher back into upstairs kitchen for some hot water. Field request from Ganner to bring out the small high-chair with, "You mean THIS one?" Suppress urge to be surly.
14. Hurt finger trying to open dye pack.
15. Ditto, separating the pretty-but-obtuse little plastic tubs. Pour warm water into tubs.
16. Watch it cool while Ganner runs into the house to charge the camera battery. "It'll only take a minute."
17. Watch child slurp all the warm water from the pink tub, one spoon at a time, with the measuring spoon.
18. Drag up a lawn chair and wait.
19. Retrieve and re-fill spilled green tub, which was next on the sip-list.
20. Notice that the little envelope of fizz-tabs seems to have disappeared.
21. Hunt back through all items, including turning sack inside out and looking inside washcloth.
22. Find dye-pack on the ground, stepped-on and smushed into the mud.
23. Turn on hose and wash pack, hoping it’s waterproof.
24. Decide to go ahead and measure vinegar into tubs.
25. Fill four, then relinquish fifth undone, because Child is apparently still thirsty.
26. Go ahead and put fizz tabs into four, making surprisingly nice colors for a kit.
27. Remain happily innocent of how strong those colors ARE.
28. Put one egg in the dye in green tub, just to let Child try it out.
29. Child reaches for egg, dyeing all her fingers.
30. Handwipe and offer the wire apparatus, which is wielded enthusiastically.
31. Ganner emerges from house, snapping like the Grand-Paparazzi he is.
32. Notice that one of the tabs has not fizzed. Poke it with the measuring spoon and watch as it falls into tiny crumbs. Go into house for trusty old McCormick pink.
33. Get back outside in time to find Child cracking egg on table, then pinching off great shards of the shell. Ganner says it’s OK---he’ll eat it.
34. Child dyes five eggs, which go onto the tray for drying. Child retrieves all five and plonks them into tubs---with the uncanny knack of returning not a one to its original tub.
35. Remove pink egg from green tub; remark that you WONDERED how camo was made.
36. Observe that all five eggs have taken on a decidedly brownish cast, with a few branching over into brindle.
37. Put five more eggs into tubs. Joog them up and down a bit. Remove the most beautiful blue egg in all the history of Paas.
38. See the already-done eggs plonked on top of the eggs in the tubs.
39. Remove what you can, placate wailing child, offer more fresh white eggs into tubs.
40. Run around table and deftly catch egg wobbling for the edge.
41. Get all the khaki/camo eggs onto the tray, with the three once-dyed ones. Notice that Glum Green is this year’s new Pink.
42. Dump dye into the Weatherbush; gather up all items and cram back into sack. Vainly scrub Child’s hands and the splashes on her legs. Remember too late that she's going to dinner with her other Grandparents this evening.
43. Get out her new plastic bathtub, set it on the patio; run into house for a towel, a bathcloth with a little squirt of lavender bubble-bath in it, and a fresh Pull-up.
44. Bring KoolAid pitcher back into up kitchen for hot water; use hose to make water perfect temperature.
45. Let Child play with pouring bubbles back and forth with new watering can until water cools.
46. Scrub most of the residual dye from her hands and legs; bathe her.
47. Wrap her sudsy body in a big towel, bring her indoors, get her dressed for a nap and settle her in her room with three books, a stuffed bear, a Spring breeze through the windows, and the music of all five windchimes.
48. Bring in all the stuff in the yard; empty and wash tub; set in sun to dry.
49. Gently decline offer to sit and look at the 940 pictures Ganner made of the process.
50. Rejoice in the company I keep, and wish I'd been able to find those bunny ears worn by every child dyeing eggs since 1999.


Tonja said...

I love it! This waas told as only you could tell! And, look at those green hands! Surprised it came off at all. She will delight in reading this on her 18th birthday!

Happy Easter to you and yours!

Anonymous said...

Rachel, you have all the fun! Read this to the spousal unit to many laughs, not the least of which was about the 940 pictures!

Southern Lady said...

Oh, how precious, Rachel ... that little green hand! We're going to dye eggs with Avery tomorrow and I'm going to print this so her mama and great-grandmama can read it. I hope we don't have any camo eggs this year, and, hopefully, no green or pink or purple hands.

I loved this post!

Kat said...

Too fuuny!! I could have written this about 20 years ago!



racheld said...

Why, I'm so glad to hear from all of you!! It was a busy day---we'd gone to Hardee's for breakfast, then to Big Lots for a few last little items, then home to a little yard work, and then started on the eggs.

I also didn't mention that after the whole thing was over and I sat down on the daybed to read her a book before she got into her own bed, I looked down in surprise at my brightly tattooed KNEES.

Y'all, please also bear in mind that every trip back in the house FOR something or to bring something back IN entails a trip up or down 13 stairs.

Worth every step---now WHERE did I put that Ibuprofen?

I wish you all a wonderful weekend and a Happy Easter Season.

Maggie McArthur said...

Oh, this is brilliant, vintage Rachel. I walked every one of those steps with you -- Consider a massage tomorrow and chug those Ibuprophins. And of course, the very best of the season!

Anonymous said...

Shrek Baby!!!

I laughed so hard at this! Can't believe I slept thru it.
Particularly like the 3 in the right hand of the box.

racheld said...

That last comment was from Caro---she reads every day, but I don't think she's ever commented. Her Proud Aunt Caro self just could not resist.

Jeanne said...

Rachel, you brought up some vivid memories of dying eggs with my five children years ago. Oh what a mess. Love that little green hand. Thank you for the smiles.

Happy Easter day to you and your family.(a bit late)
Love ya, Jeanne

Kouign Aman said...

Heck, they are easter eggs. What's a little over-dyeing?
We got the most amazing pink brown this year on one egg, as it was moved into each tub in turn: pink blue green yellow purple.

You are brave. I didnt essay easter eggs til age 5. We did our fun-w-colors in the tub til now. A couple drops of food dye in different small plastic containers and someone learned for herself how to make orange or green. Food dye is awful for purple tho. too much yellow in the blue.

As always, love your writing and seeing the world thru your eyes.

Anonymous said...

I just loved reading this - hope you do not mind if I print it out to keep. The love - the energy-the patience - the forever memories!!!

racheld said...

Maggie, the Ibu worked miracles, and we were all going strong getting ready for the dinner on Sunday.

Jeanne, isn't there always an EGG or a spill or a funny thing that you remember forever? That's all part of the charm.

KA---Of course, they're just eggs. And whatever art is inflicted upon them, they are GORGEOUS to Mommies and Grans. We're having this little tryout to see if THREE is too young to make a cookie house at Christmas. Thank you for the kind words!!

And Anon: Thank you SO much---that means so much to me that you liked it that well, and would want to read it again. Memories, indeed.

And I hope you'll uncloak someday---I'd love to meet you.

Kouign Aman said...

Oy. We tried a house at xmas (age 5). It was touch and go. I guess it depends on how much one can stay focussed on the process of building memories rather than the building of a house. At least, that's what I kept telling myself as herself ate a quarter pound of royal frosting along with the decorations. Age 3? Not at my house! But the memories!

Confess - khaki is your new favorite color, right? ;) You are SUCH a grandma! (that is a compliment).

Cape Coop said...

One of the best memories you've shared yet, Rachel. Thank you!

racheld said...

OH, yes khaki and camo and whatever hue is achieved by rubbing a succession of red, blue, green and black crayons over one spot in the Dora book til it's so thick it holds the pages open!

KA---I'll be glad to give you a little pattern I "invented" many years ago for the "cookie houses"---note I did not say "gingerbread." Even those kits in which you have to put the little pre-made planks together and hold them til the RI dries---that's tedious for grownups, let alone a kid with her eye on the icing.

Our cookie houses are just that, and look wonderful (if sometimes zany). They're cardboard houses, and you just glue on whatever strikes your fancy in the "bought cookie" genre. And decorate it with candy (also bought, sometimes at the Dollar Store). No icing bags involved, as you just smear the stuff on the backs of whatever you're attaching, with a popsicle stick or little plastic picnic knife.

Icicles optional, with the bag of frosting.


What a lovely thing to say!!! You're SO welcome, and it's always SO good to hear from you.