Bye, Bye, Bunny

Thu, March 29, 2007

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The big moments of childhood sneak up on you when you’re not looking.

The age of seven is supposedly the age of reason. I know for sure it is the age of scrutinization:

Mom, why do I have to be nice to J. when he’s mean to me?

Mom, why do I have to eat the broccoli if it doesn’t taste good to me?

Mom, what if I don’t want to have babies when I grow up? How do I keep them from getting in my tummy?

There was a beautifully naive time when I thought things would get easier as PunditGirl grew older. Of course, on some level they are, but the quality of her interrogations has definitely been ratcheted up, especially as we get into the more existential issues of life.

But you’re never ready for them. Especially when you’re at the mall.

After some Spring Break errands yesterday, we decided to head to the mall to grab some pizza for lunch. I had forgotten that this is the time of year when the Easter Bunny who lives next to the nuclear reactor visits the mall for photo ops. You know the one —
the bunny who is six feet tall, has unnaturally yellow “fur” and a strangely Chucky-like grin permanently fashioned on his face.

PunditGirl was transfixed and stared at the “Easter Bunny” for many minutes before I was able to convince her that Mommy really needed to go look at the pants on sale at Ann Taylor. Whining was part of the moment when I said we weren’t going to have a photo taken with the Easter Bunny (we already have more than one).

As she was lying on the floor of the changing room, Mommy searching in vain for a new pair of pants to accomodate the dreaded perimenopausal fat shift, PunditGirl said:

Mommy, that Easter Bunny wasn’t real. (pause for effect) The Easter Bunny isn’t real, is he?
(next pause) You and Daddy are the Easter Bunny, aren’t you?

After many minutes of trying to ascertain whether she wanted the ‘real, real truth’ or not, I gave in and spilled the eggs. She didn’t seem surprised. Nor was I. After all, this is the girl who wondered at the age of five how the Easter Bunny gets in the house — if he doesn’t come down the chimney, how does he get in without setting off the house alarm?

You can guess what came next. As I was doing my best speed modeling of a few spring dresses, the inevitable follow-up question (she’ll make a great reporter) came, very matter-of-factly:

Mommy, you and Daddy are Santa, too, aren’t you?

Yup. That castle of magical lies, uh, I mean, stories has come a crumblin’ down. But, she seems to have taken it all in stride.

Interestingly, she didn’t ask about the Tooth Fairy. She’s a girl who likes to count her money, so why ruin that good thing?
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15 Responses to “Bye, Bye, Bunny”

  1. Shannon Says:

    What a great way to bring it all to a close. I cried buckets when my mom told me Santa wasn’t real. I’m still trying to decide what to tell my girls as they get older.

  2. Mayberry Says:

    Oh, so sad! I am not looking forward to that!

  3. impromptublogger Says:

    Oh, that is very sad. Santa was “outed” by a classmate at the beginning of 3rd grade, and then the Tooth Fairy got busted herself trying to put money under the pillow (blush). But dd would love to have the Tooth Fairy back since you get money (tee-hee)

    Easter Bunny never was an issue since we don’t celebrate Easter.

  4. Gunfighter Says:

    My wee girl asks the same questions about the Easter Bunny et al, but I counter by saying, “Well sweetie, I have Santa etc… on my email list, and that is how I stay in touch with them. This way, when you tell ME what you want, I can tell them”

  5. Queen of the Mayhem Says:

    I am dreading that talk with The Princess. She is eight and just when I think she has figured it all out, she comes in with, “Mom what will happen if Santa dies?” I don’t blame you for telling her…..might as well get it out there….sounds like she already knew! Junior Mayhem is lucky his daddy and I ARE Santa because if he was forced to adhere to the real rules….it would be coal for SURE! :)

  6. karrie Says:

    We still have not decided what exactly we celebrate–I’m an atheist and my husband a lapsed Baha’i. I think it sounds easier just to tell him the truth from the start. I wonder how much of the joy is the loot vs. having something fun to believe in?

  7. Her Bad Mother Says:

    But you *are,* in some grander, metaphysical sense, the Easter Bunny. And Santa. And all good, safe, constant things.

    Can’t we just leave it at that? Call a halt to all such questions?(Please?)

  8. Franki Says:

    I hate to admit this on a public site, but I believed in the tooth fairy for about a year after I stopped believing in the Easter Bunny and Santa. Go figure. EB and Santa seemed to go together for me but the tooth fairy was her own woman. You might have a bit longer with that one.

  9. flybunny Says:

    Oh we had this same conversation about 6 wks before Christmas and like you, I spilled the beans for the 9 yr old only – the 8 yr old refuses not to believe.

    My oldest likes to remind me on various occasions that she “knows” and it is pretty funny and she does a good job of keeping up appearances for her sister.

  10. PunditMom Says:

    HBM, I like the way you think!

  11. Mom101 Says:

    I just love that she was able to think it through and then ask you – instead of running home crying because some douche in the playground burst her fantasy bubble. That’s exactly the right way to ease into the next phase. You’ve raised a critical thinker! Now why am I not surprised?

  12. Kate Says:

    Wow, major milestone!

    You made me think of my mom when you wrote about Punditgirl asking whether you or daddy were the Easter Bunny. I found out as I grew up that my mom actually was the Easter Bunny. Er, what I mean to say is that she was the secretary to the Recreation Dept in our town and dressed up as the Easter Bunny every year for the egg hunt. Once I found out it answered the riddle to why dad always had to take me to the hunt, and mom always mysteriously “disappeared”. It’s a nice memory, though.

  13. Lawyer Mama Says:

    Well, crap. If only they could believe in magic for forever.

  14. Momish Says:

    I imagine while it is sad to see that innocent and magical part of them go away, there is also a relief too. I haven’t even gotten to the stage of recognition, yet alone doubt. Years away!

  15. chyna823 Says:

    When I asked, I wasn’t told that Santa wasn’t real–I was told that my mom and dad were Santa. It’s the truth, and it didn’t “take Santa away” in the way it would have if I’d been told he didn’t exist at all. So I wasn’t upset when I found out–I thought it was super-cool that I was in on the big grown-up secret!


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