As a parent we take on a lot of alter egos. Santa Claus. The Tooth Fairy. The Easter Bunny. It’s our job to keep the façade alive for as long as we can. But, as we know, all good things must come to an end. Sooner or later our roles as those alter egos are gone faster than we can say “of course they’re real”.
In my house, the tooth fairy hasn’t made an appearance, but we are eagerly awaiting her arrival. So we’re good there. Santa Claus is still alive and well although my older daughter is starting to use logic when it comes to that jolly old soul. The Easter Bunny is another story. I think his days are numbered.
After this year’s annual photo shoot with the dear old bunny, my 6-year-old abruptly turned to me and said, “Mommy that Easter Bunny isn’t real.”
Put a dagger in my heart! Are you crazy woman? If you’re going to debunk one of childhood’s greatest myths can you not do it in front of your 4-year-old sister who still believes this God forsaken bunny hops around to all the houses dropping baskets of Shopkins to everyone, including her?
So, what’s a momma to do? Here are 5 things to say when you hear those dreaded words, “Mommy that Easter Bunny isn’t real.”
- Deny it, but play it cool. Children are like dogs. They smell fear. They will sense that you are nervous about their latest discovery. Instead of wiping the sweat off your forehead and rocking back in forth in the corner, lie…it’s for their own good. I told my daughter, “What? Are you crazy? Of course the Easter Bunny is real. He’s just like Santa Claus and Santa Claus is real.” It seemed to work for me…at least for now.
- Play the helper card. Santa has helpers so why can’t the Easter Bunny? Think of all these mall and Easter hunt bunnies that pop up as the real Easter Bunny’s helpers. They’re kinda like elves…right? Wink, wink. The mall bunnies help out the real bunny. The Easter Bunny outsources. Deal with it.
- Confront the elephant or in this case bunny in the room. When my daughter made this revelation I asked her why she thought this blasphemy was true. I got a simple answer…”Because I could see a face through the top of his head.” Good answer. My answer: “Really? I didn’t see anything. You must be seeing things.” Silence.
- Defer to the other parent. When all else fails throw the other parent under the bus. If your child is acting like he or she is on “CSI” and won’t let up with the questioning, hand them over to your partner. That’s what I did. “The bunny is real, right Dad?” See what he comes up with, hopefully it’s better than the hand you’re holding.
- Ask the burning question. If the Easter Bunny didn’t handle all the baskets then who would do all that work on Easter? If your child answers “you would mommy” then you need to tell him or her “ain’t nobody got time for that.” If your child answers with an “I don’t know” then perhaps you have won this round of bunny madness.
I know I will probably cry myself to sleep when my kids realize I’ve been lying to them all these years. They’ll understand it was for their own good. If they don’t at least they will have appreciated all the loot they acquired over the years. Sigh.