A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

The Legend of the Easter Monster

Well, just a few more days until Easter.

In addition to the spiritual significance, this holiday means three more things for me:

1.) need to buy stuff for the kids’ Easter baskets.

2.) need to think about what the kids are going to wear on Easter Sunday.

3.) need to stock up on wine.

The third item: done and DONE. (Priorities!) I’m armed and dangerous. In exactly four days I will be wearing an Easter Basket on my head and singing Lady Gaga songs until I pass out. Praise Jesus!

The other two items, not so easy. I’m not much of a plan-ahead kind of gal. Hence this picture of my children digging into their Easter baskets at Grandma’s house in 2004 wearing their Halloween pa-jay-jays.

One of these years I’m going to remember to dress them in pastel colors the night before Easter.

When the kids were smaller, Grandma was my Easter clothes dealer. She’s a planner. She starts thinking about shit like that right after Christmas. The woman is a machine, and not just because she scrapbooks with a stapler.

Here’s a sample of the kind of outfits Grandma used to put together and mail to us weeks ahead of time for Easter. So cute!

Now that 2/3rds of the kids are so big, they are harder to shop for. Plus, nobody wants to mail us anything now that my dog Ike has been assaulted by a courier.

So now I’m on my own for dressing the kids. And I just found out the hard way that if you wait until 4 days before Easter, you are pretty much screwed. I’m just gonna take a wild guess that this is what they’ll be looking like on the day of our Risen Lord:

Which is actually a step up from how they’ll most certainly look the day before:

So if you see us at church on Sunday in our not-so-finest (or covered with mud), please understand that I just couldn’t get it together this year to outfit my children properly.

Now as for the Easter baskets, it’s not my lack of planning that’s going to put the damper on them this year. It’s something else.

But first, you should know about the Legend of The Easter Monster.

When I was a little girl, I was orphaned and raised by a pack of wolves. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. But my parents had a less than amicable divorce and my mother worked outside of the home, a lot (or so it seemed to me), to provide for me and my little brother.

We had a colorful array of nannies over the years. “Nannies” makes it sound so much fancier than it actually was, particularly since some of them were manual laborers who owed my mom’s boyfriend a favor and said they’d keep an eye on us while they repaired our roof or painted the house. Needless to say, especially compared to today’s helicopter-parenting standards, we were grossly undersupervised much of the time.

This is important to know because, coincidentally, I didn’t have the best morals as a child. When you are raised by wolves, your main priorities are food and shelter, and character development is much lower down on the survival totem pole.

Anyhooo… every Easter morning, I would wake up early, tiptoe downstairs, and find our hidden Easter baskets. Then I would carefully and quietly transfer all the good stuff out of my brother’s basket into mine and move all the black jelly beans from my basket into his. Then I would put them both back in their hiding places and tiptoe back to bed.

A little while later, my sweet and gentle little brother would tap me on the shoulder and say “Iris, wake up! It’s Eastuhl! The Eastuhl Bunny was here! Yet’s go find our baskets!” And I would fake yawn and stretch and go with him to “find” our baskets. Then I would sit back and revel in the majesty of watching that sweet little boy delight in his basket full of black jelly beans. He was just so happy to have some candy and didn’t seem to notice or care about the lack of variety. Then I’d casually find mine and try not to rub it in too much that the Easter Bunny brought me two of everything wonderful: ginormous chocolate bunnies, Cadbury cream filled eggs, a rainbow assortment of Jelly-Bellies. My brother would always cock his head to the side and say something like “Huh. Why did you get all that stuff and I only got black jelly beans?” To which I would always nonchalantly reply, “I guess the Easter Bunny just likes me best.”

Then I would magnanimously offer to share some of my spoils with him, usually before my mom was even awake to know what horrors I was bestowing on her baby.

Yes. It is true.

I was a monster.

And it is a miracle that my little brother is not a serial killer today.

He eventually caught on and my little game came to an end, but I still delight in the retelling of it. And my children are absolutely fascinated by what a hideous creature I was to that sweet little brother of mine. It’s such a foreign concept to them since they are loving gentle angels who actually support and protect each other. Weird. I do not get those kids at all.

At some point in my moral development I finally realized that it is actually better to give than to receive (or pilfer and lie), and so now I usually relish putting beautiful Easter baskets together for my children.


The other day I overheard Mini-Me say “Ooooh, it’s almost Easter! I need to make my list.”

“Your list?” Nature Boy asked, incredulously.

“Yeah, for the Easter Bunny! So he knows what toys and candy to bring me!”


That’s not right.

Since when did the Easter Bunny become the Santa Claus of Spring? I do not like this, Sam-I-Am.

So I’m going to change up the Easter basket goodies this year. Yeah, I could do the black jelly bean thing, but that’s so 1979. I think I’ll put a new spin on it…

Look what I found at Ball*Fart yesterday:

Bright colored cleaning tools! I especially like the Microfiber cleaning slippers, and so will Mini-Me.

What do you think? Am I an evil genius, or what? They’ll think it’s a toy, but it’s really an instrument of torture. Plus they’ll have no choice but to help me with the housework.

Of course, I’ll throw in a few jelly beans (multi-colored) and some chocolate peanut butter eggs. And I’m sure their favorite Aunties will lavish them with chocolate bunnies like they do every year. I also bought a beautiful Children’s Book of Saints that I’ve carefully prescreened to ensure there are no horrifying Satan “reach around” pictures. So I’ve got the spiritual angle covered too.

Oh yes, The Easter Monster rides again. Protect your children, my friends. You never know when or where she’ll strike.

with Easter tidings of hope, joy, and evil,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


  1. melissa

    you did it again. make me laugh and want you dead so i can read all your thousands of published books. lol.
    only thing is i can see a slight problem.
    they got TWO slippers and we only got ONE mitt. that’s not fair!
    at least that’s what mine would say 🙂
    i LOVE reading your blog. you make me laugh and smile. have a good one.

  2. Rochelle

    Holy Happy Easter! I’m glad we share the same priorities – except that mine’s first name is Jack. My guys don’t like dressing up for Easter anymore which is a shame because I miss all the torture of finding matching outfits and listening to them complain about being uncomfortable. Ahh, memories!

  3. Shannon

    Gloriously diabolical!
    My little man (who is 3, and can often be found in a Spiderman costume, and has a crazy head full of blond curls) was sitting on my lap when I read this. He saw the pic of your kids on the couch and said, ” There I am! Who are those friends with me? Were they nice to me?”… I said, “of course they were!” …. crazy baby.

    • Megan

      My weirdo kid does that too. Same age. It must be that.

  4. Rebekah

    You gave your brother all the black jelly beans? That’s really low, Iris. I don’t even know how those got classified as candy – I’d almost rather eat at Binions.

  5. Anne

    Oh, I just love the look of those Slipper Genies Iris. I really need to get a pair (for the kids, not me).

    I’m also surprised at my kids association of the Easter bunny and Santa. They were hoping to catch up with the Easter bunny to tell him what they wanted. In the movie “Hop”, we saw just recently the Easter bunny ‘supposedly’ arrives in a carriage, looking a helluva lot like Santa’s carriage. What the?

    Hope you and your family have a lovely, lovey Easter and how blessed are they to have a fantastic Mum like you!

  6. Gibby

    This post made me spit out my jellybeans. My very colorful jellybeans!! What a nasty woman you are, or eh, WERE. I love it.

  7. Martha (MM)

    Great photos! I still crack up every time I think about that horrifying Satan “reach around” picture! Hey, we really only have 47 1/2 hours to go until lent is over! Midnight Saturday means it’s officially Sunday right? I’m going to start chilling my beer! 😉

  8. Christy

    Great post! My soon to be 14 year old daughter always asks “How’s the Iris post today?”. She is going to love this one. It is an Iris classic right up there with the children’s bible and Barbie cake post.

    This is really blasphemous but Iris, I think you will understand. My daughter’s birthday falls on Easter this year and she was kind of bummed about having to share “her day” with a holiday until she figured out that she is sharing the “rebirth day” of Jesus. Sorry to all those who may find her idea offensive but I know she means no
    disrespect. She had me in stitches! Thanks for serving as my confessional Iris!

  9. Megan

    Elliot keeps talkin’ ’bout his freakin’ list too. What the what? Did mini-me call him or something?

  10. Julie

    You’ve got some seriously stinkin’ cute kiddos.

  11. Bernie Bickers

    Why does the packaging for your big blue mitten have the word “Fanny” in big letters across the top? Did it really come from Ball*Fart or from that store by the interstate with the blacked out windows and red neon hearts?

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