I understand 100% why parents put their kids on the Easter Bunny’s lap, despite their clear desire not to be sitting there. I totally get it. I have written before about photo ops and how important they can be to many (most?) parents. If I were an Easter-celebrator, I can see how I’d be so invested in having a cardboard-framed overpriced Polaroid (they aren’t Polaroids anymore, are they? I guess not.) of my kid dressed up in his Easter best (which, this year, seems to be any of a number of color-coordinated polos and argyles in matchy pastels from The Children’s Place) that I would be tempted to stick him on the [creepy, clearly fake] bunny’s lap and try to convince him not to scream while I am forcing him to sit there.
Of course, not all kids scream. I know there are some kids so fascinated and enamored with the [creepy, clearly fake] bunny that they wait and wait and wait for the day when they get to stand in line for a half an hour in their matchy pastels from The Children’s Place and when the time comes for them to climb up on his [creepy, clearly fake] furry lap, they do so with joy and eagerness. In the interest of full disclosure, I did see several such kids today at the mall. But, I saw way more misery than glee, I have to tell you. Babies and toddlers and preschoolers alike, held in what looked like a death grip by a big furry paw while their moms waved a big floppy carrot over by the cameraman, trying to get them to smile.
I generally try to avoid the mall during Easter Bunny and Santa season, but it so happened that, this morning, our playgroup was meeting to see the Makin’ Music people, who were putting on a free show at the mall. As a result, we had to actually walk by “Bunnyland” three separate times. And I am not exaggerating when I say that each time, as we passed, at least one kid was on the bunny’s lap, horrified and screaming and at least three more were pitching fits in the line (in their matchy argyle, of course, which was, not coincidentally being hawked in TCP’s window display right across the way.) I said in a bright voice to The Who, “Say bye-bye Bunny! Bye-bye Bunny!” and he obliged, but I have to assume he was wondering what was so great about the bunny when his comrades were so clearly distraught.
And this, my friends, is why I’m glad we are Jews. Because there’s no [creepy, clearly fake] mall Moses for all the little kids to sit on at Passover. And a good thing, too, because I can see how I’d be tempted to dress my little guy up in a sweater vest, hand him a stage-prop Torah and stand by the cameraman, frantically waving a shank bone, trying to get him to stop screaming and smile just for a minute, so we’d have this moment forever preserved.
***image from http://babyhartwein.com/index.php/site/2008/03/