A few days before Easter, as soon as we had nice enough weather to be outside, we dyed Easter eggs. I marched all the kids outside and told them to sit at the table and wait while I made several trips inside to get everything. Asking kids to WAIT and NOT TOUCH is a big ask, I know. I made the kids swear a no touching oath before I left them sitting at the table with cups of dye in front of them.
“We will not touch the dye,” they all repeated back to me.
“ONE MORE TIME!” I shouted, before going back inside to retrieve the eggs.
“We will not touch the dye!”
I was gone for 10 seconds, maybe, when I returned with 24 hardboiled eggs, I immediately noticed a squirrely look in David’s eyes.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“Nothing,” he said, then looked hard at Mary Virginia.
I looked at the table. The cups of dye hadn’t been touched. That’s when I heard the ticking.
“What is that sound?”
“We don’t know!” Mary Virginia shouted, a little to quickly.
I almost immediately realized it was coming from the grill. I checked the burners, they were all off, but still TICKTICKTICKTICKTICKTICKTICKTICK
“WHO TOUCHED THE GRILL!?” I yelled.
David looked up at me with nervous eyes, “No one did! We didn’t touch the grill!”
My mind started racing. Was gas pouring out of the grill? Would a spark ignite the whole thing? I stopped fiddling with the knobs.
“EVERYONE OFF THE PORCH RIGHT NOW!” I screamed. They ran off the porch, and once everyone was safely (I hoped? How far do you need to go to be safe?) I pointed a scolding finger at them, “I AM NOT DISAPPOINTED THAT YOU TOUCHED THE GRILL. I AM DISAPPOINTED THAT YOU LIED ABOUT IT.”
“But, Mommy, we didn’t touch the grill!”
That’s when I borrowed a line directly from my dad, “Well if I didn’t touch the grill and YOU didn’t touch the grill, then who touched the grill? SOMEONE TOUCHED THE GRILL!!!”
Satisfied that these could be my last words to my beloved children, I ran back into danger onto the porch to double-check the burners. They were off, but the grill was still making the same TICKTICKTICKTICKTICKTICK sound.
I’ve literally never used a grill. I’ve never started a grill or turned on a grill, so I had no idea how to turn everything off. I called Tom, who didn’t pick up. Then I called my dad.
“DAD I NEED HELP!” I said. “The grill is turned on and I don’t know what to do, it’s going TICKTICKTICKTICKTICK and how far away do we need to be if it explodes?”
“Do what?” he asked.
I explained, more coherently. My dad almost immediately told me that there was no danger, the gas was probably turned off, so even if the kids messed with the grill it wouldn’t be spewing gas.
“Check the starter?” he suggested.
I went to the deck, lifted the grill cover and saw that Mary Virginia had scooted her chair all the way back, and the back of the chair lined up perfectly with the ignition button, smashed and held it in.
No one had touched the grill.
I moved the chair, the ticking stopped.
“Wanna say hi to your mom?” my dad asked.
“Nah, I said. We have a bunch of eggs that aren’t going to dye themselves.”
I invited everyone back onto the porch (where I profusely apologized to them for calling them liars) and we commenced with Easter festivities!
The whole thing was about as scary as the time the dishwasher changed cycles and I mistook the sound for the garage door opening for a murderer/kidnapper/robber/etc.
We dyed 24 eggs. Thomas dyed one or two, then he mercifully lost interest and instead wanted to eat the eggs. He ate four, then occupied himself by swatting at Brigham with a hanger.
The big kids loved it. They dyed everything, then asked me for more eggs. When I told them I couldn’t handle another blood pressure spike in one afternoon, they re-dyed all of the eggs until most of the eggs — and the tips of their fingers — were a putrid grey/brown.
Happy Easter from the Krieger family. We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday celebrating Christ’s resurrection.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” – 1 Peter 1:3