The combination of Easter, chocolate and the clocks going forward and having a small child in the house means only one thing. Ping! Ping! The sound of eyelids opening at five in the morning and then the distant thud of two feet hitting the floor followed by screams of, 'It's Easter!' Think Noddy Holder after a crate of sugar. There is then only what can be described as the sound of sheep stampeding through an underground car park. If we had a bedroom door - which we do not and no you can't whistle to let people you're up to something you don't want to be caught doing; the rule of the toilet with no door does not stretch to the bedroom with no door - would be thrown open. We can see the future echo of a hole in the wall where the door handle hits it when the door is thrust open by what can only be called a projectile of joy. This weapon of mass dizziness hits our bed bouncing up and down singing, 'Merry Easter' to the tune of 'Merry Christmas'. This WMD is met with grunts of, 'Oh God, no, just one more hour' and it does not go away. It does not go away. It doesn't matter how much you beg. How much you plead. Threaten or bribe. IT DOES NOT GO AWAY. It instead informs you that it is our civic duty to the Easter Bunny to get up and start in what can only be called...fun. Fun is not five in the morning. Fun does not exist at that time. Only walks of shame. Only hangovers. Only stomach bugs, calving and a feeling that you are one of the living dead exists at that time before dawn and then the realisation that if you don't get up he will bring it up at during his wedding speech.
We're not a grumpy couple, we bicker, we sometimes argue, we sometimes rattle the windows with our yelling but we are not grumpy or sour. We have plans. We planned for this moment, between all the house renovations, the painting, the plastering and the feeling that our feet and hands are made of lead, we planned for the Easter Bunny. We have been silently hoarding for weeks but last night we went into meltdown after spending several hours cleaning books and putting them back on shelves, then realising we hadn't eaten and then eating steak and kidney pie and chips just short of midnight. We then went into a second meltdown as we realised we hadn't hidden his Easter egg hunt goodies. It has been complicated enough with him going to a church school and Andrew telling him the different versions of the crucifixion, and then explaining that people once thought hares laid eggs and that's where the Easter Bunny came from, and no he didn't nail Jesus to a cross and there was no chocolate at the Last Supper. Deep breath, panic, write clues, make paper eggs, hide them in a house that is largely a warren of boxes and forgotten things guarded by mean moths.
It's a nice tip to break up all that chocolate with an alternative Easter Egg Hunt. We've only got one child, we can only cope with one child at five in the morning, anymore and we'd surrender. We would wave the white flag but we have a child under eighteen and we have not seen anything truly white for years that has not had some sort of child infused stain on it. Andrew used to be a goth, he has reverted to this earlier version of himself but without the makeup, black covers a multitude of sins and snot. The great thing in doing a clue based hunt is that Little D has to show us he can persevere, stay committed to the hunt (which he has already shown, he won a massive hamper of chocolate off the local market by being one of a handful of kids who stayed the course on what can only be called the marathons of Easter Egg Hunts, the clues were straight out of The Times crossword: One gives the grocer a hard time) and read out the clues aloud. He has become a very good reader in the last few months, and is on the way to being a good speller. We can no longer spell out secret words for fear of him shouting them aloud in public. We had a spate of him shouting 'Penis' in public, we have no idea where he learnt it but he can bloody well spell it.
He soon finds the Lego we got him and you'd think he would spend hours just building it but you can never factor for the Daddy angle. 'Daddy, look at this. Come here, please'. Just when you crouch down and your knees crack, and that sigh/groan spills out, he strikes, 'Please help me'. Before you know it your watching them building a Lego kitchen with Little D directing the operations. Not even hot cross buns stops work.
After one hour of what anyone else would call name calling, arguing and some moderate boy violence. Which both of them say is merely, 'bickering'. They have built a Lego kitchen where a Mummy and Son are painting Easter eggs (the son very reminiscent of Little D), a Lego oil spill fire platform (who thinks these up?) and a Lego space station and moon buggy. Little D will spend the rest of the day changing Lego heads around, fusing Easter eggs with astronauts.
It is the Easter Parade. One creation more frightening than the last, who could stand to see Lego Darth Vader in a tutu? The worst creation so far has been one Lego man with twenty Lego heads upon his own head, like some barbaric serial killer it staggers towards you making a sound like a lightsaber handled by a small boy who trips over the foot stool and jabs it in your belly button. The great thing about the clocks springing forward is that through our sleep deprived addled eyes, everything seems a little madly perfect.