The wonderful world of Justice and Mommy aka Mary!
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Little Napoleon, Great Gene's And Easter Eggs
Timbra and her boyfriend Jay needed a little break, so I decided to come over and watch the kids. I came armed with 2 dozen cage free eggs, a glow in the dark egg kit and a camo egg kit. Yes, that’s right camouflage eggs. How cool is that? When I saw the kit on the shelf at Publix there was no way I could pass it up. It was just too good to be true.
I made the children some chicken and served them dinner while I boiled and cooled the eggs. Justice and Hannah ate their dinner without much of a fuss. Luke was a different story. He’s a very picky little eater and very opinionated for somebody who’s still in diapers. When I first showed him his plate he squawked at me like sort of angry parrot and ran out of the room crying….forcefully.
When he calmed down a bit, he came back into the kitchen looking for candy. There was no candy, there was a nice plate with perfectly cooked chicken. I looked him square in the eyes and very politely laid down the law. “If you want to dye eggs with us, you will need to eat your chicken. If you don’t eat the chicken, you don’t get to dye the eggs. It’s your choice.” He looked at me incredulously, then ran out of the room crying….forcefully. Do you see a patter developing here?
At that point the realized Timbra had left and wanted his mommy back. I don’t think he was thrilled with cousin Mary who was trying to feed him a plate full of dead bird. From the kitchen I could hear him screaming at the garage door “MOMMY! YOU GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW!!!!” I couldn’t help but laugh at his futile demands. He was like a little Napoleon and we were his kingdom- or so he thought.
After a while he calmed down and tried to put the plate of chicken out of his mind. Three plates remained on the table. Two were empty and one was not. The children had all gone off to play and I needed to get the table ready for our egg dying extravaganza. Luke happened to notice me picking up Justice and Hannah’s plates. “All done” he said with an impish glimmer in his eyes. I looked back at him with my own impish glimmer and said “Justice is all done” and showed him the plate, “Hannah is all done” and showed him her plate, then I picked up his plate, still quite full and said “Luke is NOT all done”. He looked at me in disbelief, screamed and ran away.
I ignored his outburst and placed his plate squarely back on the table. The eggs were ready to be dyed and I was anxious to get the show under the way. I looked around the house and decided the best place to dye eggs would be the little table where the children eat. The only problem was, it was a really nice, really expensive looking table and past years have taught me that egg dye does just that. It dyes. It dye’s eggs, skin, clothes, carpets and more. I realized we needed a drop cloth of some sort and choose a large garbage back to protect the surface. It worked perfectly.
I filled plastic cups with water and a bit of vinegar then dropped in colored tablets and watched as the water began to congeal and change colors It fizzled like some sort of science experiment bubbling and bursting with an unforeseen energy. Next, I moved the eggs to the table, along with the cups of dye and other odds and ends that came with the Paas kits. I surveyed the table and decided we were ready to begin. I called the children and they came running. All three of them.
As we sat down to make our works of art, I quietly reminded Luke that he had to eat his chicken or he could not participate. At first he looked like he was about to cry again; but, when he saw the first egg go into the colored water he quickly changed his mind. I saw his already large eyes get even larger and noticed his little fingers reaching for a piece of chicken. He watched and ate as we dyed the first few eggs.
Soon he had fulfilled his obligation and joined in the fun. All of the children seemed to like picking which color the eggs would drop into and with some assistance from me they dropped their eggs in the color of their choice. We decorated some with stickers and some with glow in the dark paint. Other eggs were pre-decorated with a wax crayon that prevented any paint from dying the shell that had been colored on. Hannah really liked the wax crayon. It was like magic to her.
My favorite eggs were the camouflage one’s First we dipped them in one of the dyes, then we covered them with camouflage shaped stickers and re-dyed them in another, darker, color. When they were done marinating, we scooped them out and carefully peeled the stickers off. The effect was quite amazing. I think the pictures speak for themselves. (CHECK BACK ON THIS POST IN 1 WEEK FOR THOSE PICTURES!
Eventually Hannah and Justice grew tired of our project and ran off to play; but, my little buddy Luke stuck with it till the very end. I think if we had a bucket full of eggs he would have stayed with me all night. He seemed to like naming the colors as they came out. “Pink! Blue! Orange! Yellow!” he kept telling me. He was quite proud of himself and his vast knowledge concerning colors. I have no doubt he will be an amazing conversationalist when he grows up.
The next day Timbra and the kids met me and Justice at Kelsey Park, in Lake Park, for the annual egg hunt. We had color coordinated the children’s outfits, hoping to take some pictures after the hunt and it was obvious that our efforts were worth the trouble. The children looked so nice standing side by side in their spring colored clothes. They were picture perfect.
First they had the 0-3 year olds “hunt” for eggs. They were so cute toddling about with their caregivers in tow and I think Luke was the cutest of all; however, I am a bit biased. Timbra carefully guided him about the lush grass and helped him pick up the brightly colored eggs. One by one he filled his basket to the brim. Eventually he became just a bit more interested in his purple lollipop and gave up on the eggs.
The timing was perfect because it allowed us to position ourselves for the next egg hunt. Justice and Hannah’s. They stood at the edge of the field with one foot just in front of the other readying themselves for the start of the race. With their baskets in hand and feet at the ready they sprung into action when the “Ready, set, go!” sprang from the megaphone.
Justice darted this way and that filling his basket with the fervency of a hungry cat while Hannah advanced further and further into the field with each scoop of an egg. They were in kid heaven and we were so proud to take their pictures as they sprang into action. SNAP, SNAP, SNAP went our cameras as we tried to capture their now. CLICK, CLICK, CLICK went our shutters as they memorized their movements in mega pixels and files.
The hunt was over almost as fast as it had begun. We caught up to our babies and sat in the grass checking the eggs for the coveted prize tickets while the last hunt, for older children took place on another field. One by one we cracked the eggs checking their contents. “Oh!” said Timbra, “Luke got a chocolate bunny.” “Oh!” she said again, just a few minutes later. “Hannah won a Chick-fil-A kids meal”.
Justice looked a bit deflated at this point; but, I lovingly reminded him that we were thankful for everything we had received and he recovered quickly. He has a pretty good view of the world and the advantages we have as Americans due to the importance I place on learning current events and giving back to our world community; therefore, he is more able than other children to adjust to having less. I am thankful for that.
After we had scooped up their prizes we made our way to the east end of the park for our official photo shoot. We placed the children strategically in front of a particular palm tree and began to shoot. They looked this way and that and Luke held onto his precious bunny for dear life. It was cute; but, we did have some trouble getting THE shot.
Next we placed them on a brick lined planter, which was the perfect height for a bench. Again the children seemed to be at a loss for where to look; but, they gave it their all. They kept getting up and down and it was then, that I noticed a great shot. Justice was running around the edge with his arms out wide for balance. Almost as quickly as I saw it he stopped and sat down for the pictures. Damn, I wanted that shot. I knew I needed to get him to do it again under the guise of fun. When he realizes he’s being photographed, he tends to pose and the picture’s become decidedly less interesting. He’s so completely amazing just being himself, he doesn’t even realize it.
After we got our pictures, I offered him the opportunity to run around the perimeter again. He was happy to oblige, and I was happy to shoot him. I got some of the most amazing pictures of this moment in time. It was one of his most precious moments as a child, uncluttered with the things that plague adulthood. For a brief moment he was just a soul with outstretched arms enjoying the ocean breeze and the free spirit that only a child can have.
Soon the children began to run through the lush, green, planter. They tromped through the thick, grass-like bushes, with the ferocity of atrocious dinosaurs. They snarled and laughed all at the same time as they traveled about their secret garden in childes delight. Their imaginative play was inspiring and produced some of the most incredible picture’s I’ve ever seen on everyday camera’s. Hey what can I say- the Gerber’s have great genes. I think the pictures speak for themselves.
The next day was Easter Sunday and after we had all gone to church we met at Timbra and Jay’s for the most delicious dinner ever. Timbra had never made a ham before and was a bit hesitant about the outcome; but, it turned out AMAZING! I think it was the best ham I’ve ever had and so did Jay. The whole meal was perfect and the company was even better.
Our Easter of 2008 was one that will stand out in time for years to come and I truly wish that we have many more like it to come. My StumbleUpon Page