Thursday, March 24, 2016

Caught Between a Leprechaun and a Bunny

I picked a grumpy Grape up from school on March 17th. As soon as he strapped into the seat, he demanded to know why "our Leprechaun" didn't leave him anything.

"Excuse me? We don't have a personal Leprechaun." (?!)

"Why not?"

"We aren't Irish."


I exhaled. Softball line of questioning. I could deploy the speech about why we don't receive Chanukah gifts with a minor tweak.

I mentally prepared the standard "We can help our friends celebrate" spiel, this time filling the blanks with, "by wearing green and solving the shamrock-shaped maze your teacher printed out for you."

I figured he doesn't need, at such a tender age, to know about green beer. Though why so many educated people think celebrating Ireland by mixing food coloring into Miller Lite is good idea remains beyond me. Shouldn't they be raising their pints of Guinness in the direction of the Emerald Isle instead?

But I digress. Like I said, not our holiday.  I thought we were done when the Grape landed his knock out punch.

"[Kid in class]'s Leprechaun left him $100." The Grape paused for dramatic effect, before adding "And peed in his toilet."

"What? How would you know if a Leprechaun peed in the toilet?"

"He said it was green! Bright green!"

(Glee and giggles rose from the backseat—delight he'd steered his Mamma into bathroom talk.)

"That is disgusting."

"Yeah. Why don't Leprechauns know how to flush? And why didn't I get $100?"

At this point, I suppressed the urge to blurt, "Because Leprechauns aren't real!" and also, "Because some parents are overboard!"

I stopped myself. I was not mentally prepared to field challenging inquiries about Santa whilst speeding along the Mass Pike.

And if other families want to pour green food coloring into their commodes, I guess that's none of my business.

Before you call me a hypocrite, let me state in my defense: Among Christians, practicing, cultural, and all over the spectrum in between, Santa Claus has nearly one hundred per cent buy in. 

But Leprechauns leaving cash?

This was the first I was hearing of it, and all I could think was: Does every small celebration need to be about  cash and prizes  for kiddies?

Can't they draw a nice rainbow and shamrock picture and be happy?

Leprechauns, if memory serves, are greedy little trolls. They stash their gold. They don't like sharing. (The only way to get their gold is to steal it. Stealing is wrong. Irish friends, let me know if my first grade teacher bungled it back in 1979, and I'll print a retraction.)

This year, Easter arrives early.

And it's come to my attention that "Our Bunny" is lame.

Our Bunny traffics in chocolates and other sweets. It's fun, low key, easy.

Dare I say magical and sweet?
Easter morning 2015

We never speak of how the plastic eggs get on my mom's lawn every Easter morning.

He's got to know adults put them out there, right?

He's seen adults prepare eggs hunts in parks, every year of his little life.

He must know. He's six. He fools himself, because it's fun. It's part of the game. Like when he pretends to hear the Tooth Fairy (whole separate post involving recent violent destruction of a sink trap).

Yesterday, he asked me, his little face all serious, if it was "too late to write to the Easter Bunny."

I was not about to be pushed down a slippery slope. "We don't write to the Bunny. He does candy. Santa brings toys. You can save your wishes for Santa."

"If I asked for a play house for the yard would the Bunny bring one?"


The Grape's face started to crumple.

I tried to regain ground. "The Bunny doesn't have elves and a workshop. No transportation infrastructure. No fleet of sleighs. It's a one-rodent operation. Nothing like Santa. Besides, you love chocolate."

"Fine," he said. "I'm going to write to [Friend]'s Bunny."

If, next Monday, he comes home from school with reports of kids getting big ticket toys from Their Bunnies, I guess we'll have to spill the beans.

There's no "we don't celebrate" speech to bail me out of the Rabbit Trap.