Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Basketcase

Ah, spring in Morocco. The warming weather, gentle rains, balmy breezes, chirping birds, (Ok, I'm gonna confess I freakin' hate the chirping birds outside my bedroom window at 4:30am.) and Easter. Oh yeah, Easter. How does Easter always sneak up on me? Why is all our Easter stuff in storage in Colorado? And how are we going to make Easter in Morocco Easter-y or is it Easter-ish or Easter-esque? You know what I mean.

Two weeks before Easter. I haven't seen any Easter candy anywhere. Now I wouldn't expect to find chocolate Easter bunnies here except that before Christmas I found some reindeer chocolates for the kids stockings. But now I can't find a flippin' bunny anywhere. In retrospect, those reindeer chocolates looked alot like bunnies without my glasses. Maybe next year I should be total slacker mom and just buy 8 reindeer at Christmas and recycle the other 4 for Easter. So I've about given up on finding any chocolates for their baskets, that is until I go grocery shopping with Jade. And I see a display case at the end of the chocolate aisle in Marjane. There are only 6 intact unsmashed bunnies left. And I have Jade and there is no conceivable way I can purchase them with her. Damn it. When I return the next morning the display is gone. You have got to be kidding me. After frantically scouring the entire chocolate row, I find 5 huddled together on the topmost shelf. Yesssss! We have bunnies! Luckily all I needed to get was bunnies because an incredibly generous and thoughtful friend sent us two enormous packages full of Easter candy, crackers, cereal, granola bars, chocolate chips. Thanks to her my kids will have real Easter baskets this year!

Holy Thursday. Time to think about eggs. Luckily, one can get them anywhere. The thing is they are brown and covered with poo and feathers. This is just the gold standard Moroccan seal of freshness. It's not a genetically modified egg, it's a real egg that came from a real chicken that really, really needed to poop. It really does symbolize the bittersweetness of the whole rebirth process when you think about it. I mean rebirth is messy. And if you are American rebirth means you will go to Walmart and buy your paas egg dying kit and pretty it up. You can't get white eggs here of course you can't get your standard paas dye here either. So we're going to go natural, earthy and non-toxic. We'll use beets for red, red cabbage for blue, spinach from our garden for green and turmeric for yellow. I have everything we need I just need to cook them up on the stove when we're ready to color on Good Friday. We'll have the whole evening to turn our poopy eggs into impressionist works of art. It's gonna be great.

Good Friday. Oh crap, Jade has a birthday sleepover party. So egg dying is a no go. No problem. We have all day Saturday.

Easter Eve. Baseball is cancelled due to rain. So good. We have all day to color eggs together. I pick up Jade from her sleepover. Damn it. I remember Sky has a birthday party all afternoon. We'll just decorate eggs after he gets home. We'll just find something to occupy us this gloomy inside day. River and Ember are fighting. Jade is exhausted from her sleepover. No one is happy and the 15th chorus of "I'mmmmmmmmm booorrrrrrrredd" resonates in the whiniest of voices.

I'll just start preparing the dyes since they'll have to cook up on the stove with some water and vinegar. I pick the spinach from the garden, chop the cabbages and beets and locate the turmeric in the recesses of my spice cupboard. It smells like Russia with the cabbage, beets and vinegar simmering and it has fogged up the kitchen windows. Ok, the dyes are done we'll just wait until Sky gets home to decorate. Until that 16th chorus starts. I give in. We get out the eggs, find the crayons and pour out the still steaming dyes. We've got at least the next half hour or more covered. After all the girls are quite crafty and creative.

An egg or two are gently dropped in each one of the dyes. And we wait. And wait. And wait. And nothing is happening. And nothing is going to happen. The eggs are too brown.I never thought of myself as a racist until that moment. We ditch the dyes and resort to sharpees and paint pens. I'm pretty sure both of which are not natural or non-toxic when they permeate the shell. The question is is it more or less toxic than paas? And the bigger you think I care right now?

The night before Easter. Every year we watch that classic Here Comes Peter Cottontail tv special that we have on our ancient VHS tape. The tape that's in storage right now. Craig tries to download it on the computer, but that doesn't work. Huh. What else screams natural non-toxic earthy Easter? Probably that bootleg dvd of the Toothfairy that we bought in the medina. Same concept right? A strangely mutated home invader comes in and leaves your child gifts and wants nothing in return. So, we put the dvd in and even though illegal dvd burning guy swore it was in English, it's in French. Ok, so plan c. How about How to Train Your Dragon? I can't even stretch it to try to find an Easter correlation. But who cares at this point? After the movie, we enjoy this one of two nights out of the year that the kids willingly and without complaint run right upstairs and get ready for bed. Sky flings his covers open to climb in when out scurries a cockroach. Easter really is the season for rebirth I'm sure she's got tons of brothers and sisters. And eggs. Lots of eggs and I bet they poo on them too.

In the morning the kids are up way too early and discover their baskets full of goodies and the badminton set that the Easter Bunny left for them. It's 6am, dark dismal and raining but Sky can't wait to set up the net. Thank god because I can't wait to get on the internet and find a natural cockroach repellent that won't kill the roaches AND the kids. Success! I find one that is equal parts baking soda and sugar. The sugar attracts the roaches and the baking soda is toxic to them. Perfect. May you die a natural, earthy and non-toxic death. Ok, I admit. I don't care how they die. Just die. Die. Die. Then it occurs to me this death wish isn't very Easter-like. And then I wonder what kind of roach killer would Jesus use? I mix up the elixir of roach death and put little roach baits all over the house. I am ridiculously, ridiculously excited at such a natural, economical non-toxic (but hopefully only to humans) solution to our pest problem.

We play lots of badminton in the morning, despite the sprinkling rain. We have an incredibly relaxing afternoon at a friends house with a huge delicious spread and our kids playing in the yard getting dirty in the spring mud. The kids don't need the eggs or the candy or the movie. All they needed is mud and each other. Ok and some swords. So next year this is what I'm gonna do for our natural, earthy, non-toxic Easter. We're going to roll the poopy brown eggs in glitter glue, make mud pies shaped like bunnies and watch How to Train your Cockroaches (I'm positive this will be the sequel to How to Train your Dragon). And we're gonna invite our friends over to relax and enjoy it all with us.

Lesson learned: When things seem to good to be true... they are too good to be true. Anyone know of a great natural, non-toxic (to my kids) roach killer that the ants don't like?

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