Sloan Visits the Easter Bunny

This past December, Sloan met Santa Claus for the first time. To be honest, Sid and I didn’t know how she would react. We drove out to a Christmas tree farm to have a family photo taken with the big guy. We posed for the photo and everything seemed to be going great as Sloan initially did not make a sound.

Sitting on Santa’s lap, Sloan did great at first (photo by Erin Dietrich).

However, that all changed when she looked up to see who was holding her.

The strange old man with the big white beard and red pajamas sent her over the edge. The tears flowed and her hands shook with anger/fear. That was that.

Sloan did not enjoy Santa (photo courtesy of Erin Dietrich).

Fast forward to this past weekend at the Easter celebration for Sloan’s day care. As you could probably guess from where this blog post is going, there was a certain costumed character in attendance. The function started with a pancake breakfast inside the daycare’s main gathering area. Immediately upon entering the room, the Easter Bunny was positioned to the right. We were able to divert Sloan’s eyes as we went the opposite way and snagged a table. Although we avoided the rabbit initially, our plan wasn’t to stay under the radar the entire morning.

Three years ago, I wrote about how strange/creepy most Easter Bunnies look. At the time, I said it is impossible to design an Easter Bunny costume that looks presentable, comparing the task to putting lipstick on a pig. My tune hasn’t changed. I still feel disturbed when I go to the mall during Easter season and glance at what is sitting in the throne.

Most Easter Bunnies look like they are carrying diseases (I do not know the kid in this photo).

So if I can still lose my lunch at the sight of an Easter Bunny, what would my daughter think? Surely, she would be traumatized for life. After we finished our breakfast, risking Sloan’s well-being, we went over to where the Easter Bunny was staged. When there was an opening, the three of us joined the rabbit on the bench. I held Sloan the whole time and she did fine as photos were snapped.

But one beast in a picture is more than enough. I wanted to step out of the festive Easter scene so Sloan could get one alone with the bunny. Sid stepped away too and we placed Sloan in a pair of furry arms. What would happen?!…

Absolutely nothing! Although she didn’t take the initiative to smile, Sloan contently sat on the Easter Bunny’s lap as we took all the photos we desired. She was so brave!

Sloan did great with the Easter Bunny, surprising me just a bit.

Well, I have another theory besides our little girl’s courage for why she didn’t freak out. Sloan’s favorite TV character is Harry the Bunny from BabyFirst TV, a soul who is just a tad cuter than your typical shopping mall Easter Bunny. Sloan watches Harry every day and really, really likes him. She also has a couple rabbit stuffed animals she enjoys. My hunch is that she thought the Easter Bunny was Harry’s brother or something.

Believe it or not, Sloan had an encore encounter with the Easter Bunny (pictured with Sloan is Miss Martha, one of Sloan’s daycare teachers).

Of course, Sloan might just be more mature from the time of her Santa visit. Whatever the reason, her first visit with the Easter Bunny was a success. Don’t Blink.

Silly Rabbit, Easter Bunnies are Weird

This morning I read a very interesting argument. Pam Stone, a syndicated newspaper columnist, might be the Scrooge of commercialized Easter traditions. However, I think maybe every now and then we need a little holiday buzz kill if the proposition is legitimate.

Stone’s advice for shopping malls across America is this: Get rid of the Easter Bunny.

After finding the mascot of Americanized Easter celebrations creepy, out of place, and cheesy, the final straw came recently. News came out that a company that specializes in contracting out Easter Bunnies to malls (yes, apparently these exist) placed a sex offender in a shopping center here in the South. This disturbing image of a pervert in an awkward, strange cartoon rabbit outfit pushed her over the edge. Get these weird costumed goons out of American culture, Stone urged.

Easter Bunnies are just odd.

Easter Bunnies are just odd.

I will say this: I don’t think I have ever seen a “classy” looking Easter Bunny. Honestly, I don’t think I have ever seen an Easter Bunny that wasn’t hideous. But in my opinion, that is the fun part! In my experience, it seems like no two Easter Bunnies are the same. You go into any mall or to any Easter Egg hunt and the mutated rabbit is going to have its own original take on the word bizarre. If I don’t say to myself “Oh My!” when I see a giant bunny sitting in a throne, something isn’t right.

Most Easter Bunnies look like they are carrying diseases.

Most Easter Bunnies look like they are carrying diseases.

I enjoy laughing at the various ways costume designers try to make an Easter Bunny look “natural”, “cute”, or “appropriate”. It is the definition of putting lipstick on a pig. It just isn’t possible. But what I found even more funny (and sad) was the scene I witnessed last night. On Easter Eve when Sidney and I walked through Coastal Grand Mall a mere 30 minutes before closing there was a line of 20 adults with their kids waiting for last minute photos with the Creeper Bunny. Why?

Creating a "cute' Easter Bunny is impossible.

Creating a “cute’ Easter Bunny is impossible.

I don’t feel strongly enough to banish the Easter Bunny. I get that some parents have traditions that involve their kids and the furry disaster. I also realize that children receive joy out of meeting the Easter Bunny and receiving whatever coloring book or fake ring that it hands out. But come on, can’t we all agree that these things belong more in our nightmares instead of shopping malls? Don’t Blink.