Looking back on my childhood, one of the reoccurring memories of Easter was decorating coloring eggs with my brother. It seemed like it took us an entire day from start to finish though I now have confirmed that it probably only took an hour. Funny how time as a kid and time as an adult varies so much. Last year we had bought some PAZ Easter egg kits but never used them since Little Abbey seemed to young to enjoy coloring them. This year however, I knew she would have the attention span and would actually enjoy it so one slow evening last week, we prepared Easter Eggs.
I boiled 14 eggs up ahead of time so that Mrs. Abbey and I could both eat an egg while Little Abbey was decorating the other twelve. I called Little Abbey over to the kitchen table and set a cookie sheet in front of her with six small juice glassed for the six colors of dye. I cut open the dye and directed her to put one tablet in each glass, which she dutifully did. I added the vinegar to dissolve the tablets and then the water to make up the rest. After bending the little metal egg dipper and demonstrating how to lower an egg into the glass, I turned her loose.
The first egg she dumped from too high of an altitude causing it to splash out some of the dye, which is why I put the glassed on a cookie sheet so no harm was done. I emphasized that she needed to do it gently and the remaining four went in nicely. Since the directions called for stirring the eggs from time to time for even coloring, I showed her how to check the eggs by pulling them up and then telling me what color they were. At this point I could have walked away and let her entertain herself for an hour but I didn't. We waited for ten minutes or so and then I showed her how to lift them out and set them in the little cardboard drying rack. She was able to do the other five without a hitch and soon six more eggs were soaking in the dyes occasionally being lifted out and admired by a 34.5 month old.
When the second batch was dyed, I moved the first batch back to the egg carton while Little Abbey fished the most recent ones out to dry. While I was emptying the glasses of dye out and rinsing the glass before a mishap could occur, Little Abbey transferred the still wet eggs into the carton as well, just as daddy did. So a little of that dye got rubbed off on the cardboard but no real harm done.
Back in my day, the PAZ kits came with stickers that you held under water and then transferred to the egg by rubbing on them with your fingernail. That meant that the sticker got so soggy that it practically dissolved into pieces before you got it transferred or that you didn't wait long enough and tore the decal trying to apply it. Either way, you ended up putting the pieces of a sticker together like a puzzle on the eggshell. Modern PAZ kits have eliminated this problem by having a sleeve that you just slip over the egg and when you dip it in boiling water, it shrink wraps itself around the egg. The only drawback is that the kid now has no creative part in placement of the various stickers. They are either on or off. You can no longer place the rabbits so that they appear dead, choking on an egg, or with an egg sticking where the sun don't shine, etc. You are stuck with the premade scene of a rabbit, mouse and turtle frolicking among colored eggs and flowers.
Little Abbey was really proud of her eggs and carried them around for a bit so that everyone could see them. I finally snuck them back in the fridge where she would forget about them until Easter morning when I plan to hide them for her to find. The finding process was always the highlight to my Easter right behind receiving an Easter basket full of jellybeans and that large chocolate rabbit. We are skipping the basket of sweets this year since she really doesn't need them at this age but will probably have to give her them next year. Probably the next best thing after the sweets and finding the eggs was turning all those eggs into deviled eggs. Kind of ironic way of celebrating Easter but I always loved my mom’s deviled eggs. I hope to turn some of Little Abbey's eggs into those tasty little devils and perhaps maybe some potato salad or tuna salad. Now that I'm on the topic of food, perhaps I will buy Little Abbey a large chocolate rabbit and just forget to give it to her. Mmmm mmmm.