I just read Cheeseboy's blog about Easter Egg Hunts and having spent the past hour with my kids at an egg hunt I am inclined to agree.
This was just a little local egg hunt, the kids from maybe ten families. I'm guessing there were close to 20 kids, give or take a few.
We were invited to bring over a dozen filled eggs per child earlier in the day. I dropped off 28, just to be fair.
As the egg gatherers gathered it was recognized that some distinction needed to be made between the toddlers and the sixth graders. Where do you draw that line? Finally the dad in charge announced; "All those seven and under start when I say go. Eight and up, run to the corner and back when I say go, then you can start looking."
Okay, at seven years old Thing 2 is one of the older of the little kids. She might actually score some eggs this year.
The older children sprint off to the corner, Thing 1 trailing half heartedly in back. The little kids toddle off to look for the obvious eggs they can see right in front of them. At this point Thing 2 comes over to me and asks, "When are you leaving?" When am I leaving?
"Honey, go gather some eggs!" I say urgently, waving stupidly toward the front yards where I can see eggs peeking out of the bushes.
"But how long are you staying?" She asks. I'm watching the little kids pick up all the obvious eggs.
"We're all staying until it's over," I tell her. "Go over there, no one's over there and get some eggs!"
She glares at me, she doesn't want to go over there. But she does. I watch her wander aimlessly. I turned to talk to another parent. Thing 2 wanders back. I peek into her basket to find not a single egg. Other kids wander past with several layers of eggs in their baskets. Thing 2 wanders off toward the herd.
In the end, she had five eggs. Thing 1 had about eight. Neither seemed terribly upset. Several older children dropped a few more eggs in Thing 2's basket as they walked by. She hugged them happily, either not recognizing it as a pity gesture, or not caring.
The trading ensued, and both girls were happy with their eventual haul.
In general I do not enjoy the neighborhood egg hunts. It makes me too tense to see the other kids dashing from place to place gathering eggs while my kids float around, occasionally finding something... though in the end I'm happy there's that much less candy coming into the house. I expect there will be plenty tomorrow to make up for whatever lack they had today.