Easter Baskets Are Boring With Jen In Charge


I am always making fun of my daughter for her strict adherence to a diet that doesn’t harm animals, fruits, vegetables or packing materials. She is a purist in her own way.

She started out as a sorta-vegetarian, which meant that she was a vegetarian unless she was visiting someone and they had cooked meat. She didn’t want to discuss, debate or acknowledge her vegetarianism, so she just ate what she was served. I liked that.

But, little by little, she became more adamant. And she realized it wasn’t the meat, it was how the animal was treated before it was reduced to meat. So then everything had to be cage-free, roaming wild, humanely raised, etc. That significantly narrows the field at the grocery store.

Milk had to be from “happy cows,” eggs from “meandering chickens.” Cheese went back to being wrapped in waxed paper, not plastic, and heaven forbid something came in styrofoam.

She had to have all these happy cows and meandering chickens roaming around a healthy planet with a healthy sky above it. That meant no fluorocarbons, aerosol sprays or spritzing of anything on one’s hair. When Jen spoke, it was with authority. For me, it was like watching the ozone layer disintegrate immediately over my head.

So, Easter arrived. We had a couple of all-natural eggs dyed in vegetable dyes, and I got the toddler some healthy crackers to put in a rather disappointing-looking Easter basket. In one bold, subversive move, I buried four or five jellybeans in the bottom. The kid, being a kid, immediately ferreted them out and crammed the entire handful into his mouth at once, before his mother could find out he was eating (brace yourself) sugar.

Skippy doesn’t know what sugar is, but he loves it. While he was licking sugary drool off his fingers, I had to hear about the evils of jellybeans from my daughter.

“Those things are gelatin-based! Do you know what gelatin is made from?”

“Yes, actually, I…”

“I hope this doesn’t become a habit.”

“Easter only comes once a year, Jen, and jellybeans are kind of tied to Easter. I think he’ll be OK.”

(I didn’t point out that, while we spoke, little Skippy was upending everyone else’s basket, hoping to root out a few more gelatinous, sugar-laced sweets.)

My basket, of course, was filled to the brim with chocolate rabbits and red gummy bears and orange circus peanuts and bright yellow marshmallow Peeps. The Easter Bunny knows what I like, and to each their own.

I sneaked off with my basket and the remote control and had a fine evening. You’d be surprised how well either white or red wine goes with Peeps.

Oddly, this morning I felt a little nauseous.

Could it be? Could Jen be right about sugar and dyes and gelatin?

She could. Either that or it may be time to grow up a little bit. Nahhh.