You’re Doing It Wrong

We just finished dyeing Easter eggs. This should be a joyful task, however, the control freak in me finds it less than soothing.
I should have known.
It happens every year.

I get frustrated.
I worry about food coloring leaving it’s mark on our clothing and counters and floors and fingers. Last year we had some sort of green food coloring explosion that left the skin around the nail of my left hand middle finger green for weeks. Weeks! Showering daily coupled with my obsessive hand washing tendencies did nothing (NOTHING!) to get rid of that green dye.
I boiled a dozen eggs last night in preparation for today’s festivities. All but two survived the boilage, which is amazing. I make hard boiled eggs often, but still manage to crack a few in the process every time.

When I arrived home from the gym, Caroline was playing at a friend’s house, so I took the opportunity to set things up without having a little shadow following my every move, peeking over my shoulder, asking endless questions and causing me to trip over her big feet.
I have personal space issues.
Caroline, quite oppositely, lives by the “closer is better” motto. If it weren’t for the fact that I clearly remember giving birth to her, I’d start wondering if she were even my kid. She certainly doesn’t look like me; I’d kill for the long lean legs she inherited from her dad. At my gym in Georgia, one of the instructors said she actually thought that because we look nothing alike and I looked too young to have a six year old (at the time), I was Caroline’s nanny!
I wish!
A paycheck and weekends off, would be fabulous.
Clearly this instructor needs glasses. I can’t dispute the fact that Caroline and I don’t look alike, but my developing crows feet, speak for themselves.

Anyway, in orderlyAlison fashion, I neatly laid out the paper cups on a cookie sheet. I carefully added 1 tsp of vinegar and made up six different color combinations using the little guide on the back of the food coloring box. Feeling generous, I left three cups out to let Caroline create her own color combinations. We were set.

When Caroline and her two cronies, Sarah and Rachel, appeared and saw the egg dyeing prep, they concluded that it would be a great idea if Sarah and Rachel brought over their boiled, yet stark white eggs so they could dye together. Oh yay!

“Um, sure” I said, half heartedly. Great, now I’d have to worry about six hands covered in food coloring. Three outfits to shield from wayward sunset orange splatters. Three people refusing to heed my direction. Oh yay!

Knowing that this would be fun for them, I lightened up a little. Creating memories for your child IS more important than having an obsessive orderly approach to the process. Letting go of control is hard for me, but I’m trying my best to focus on what truly is important: my sanity fun times for Caroline.

Feeling light hearted and generous, I let each of them create a color. Not too surprisingly they all turned out a muddy green color. That’s what happens when you mix red, blue, yellow and green haphazardly.
And then the dunking began.
Now the box states that the eggs should remain submerged in the dye for 5 minutes. Guess how long the girls left them in? 30 seconds is a good guess. Maybe 32, but not any longer.
I told them that the longer they let them soak, the truer and darker the color would be.
They didn’t care.
McCormick deemed it necessary to include this information on their box, so I believe it’s in our best interest to follow their instructions. They’re professionals. I’m sure they’ve endured countless hours of egg dye testing in their research and development laboratory. And yet, this meant nothing to three eager young girls. They don’t care about the process. Or deeply set dye colors. They just want to do it and move on to the next thing.

That’s the part that frustrates me year after year.
I’m sure I was as equally unconcerned when I was a kid.

I remember bringing out all the various miss matched coffee cups and doing the same thing year after year.
As I recall, my eggs were more vibrant than the ones we produced today. Maybe we didn’t use food coloring, but those Paas tablets instead? Or perhaps I’m imagining it.

Who knows!

As predicted, the girls had fun in the haphazard, carefree way that they find so appealing and I find so appalling.
Rachel splattered green dye on her clothes and then proceeded to spill the contents of the cup onto the counter. Thankfully our counters are blue and things were cleaned up quickly and without a trace of dye infiltration.

I wish I could say the same for my hands.
Unlike last year’s bright green cuticle stain, this year the color adhering to the palms of my hands vaguely resembles the color of Oscar the Grouch.

How’s that for evidence that God has a sense of humor?



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