"I'm gonna find more eggs that you," Tina teased. We were sting at the kitchen table following church on Easter morning. I had come to their house to spend Easter since I was in college and away from home, and they had become my "adopted family".
I smiled. "I was just going to watch you and your sister hunt for them," I told her. She and her sister, Pam, had an Easter egg hunt every year out in the large back yard. It extended into some woods, and they had sheds and a swing set and quite a few good hiding places.
Tina looked crestfallen. "But you HAVE to do the egg hunt!" she exclaimed. "We get to have you here for Easter and it is our job to make sure you feel at home." No doubt she had picked that up from her mother. I didn't bother to tell her I didn't do egg hunts at home anymore either.
Tina had already done quite a job to make me feel at home. She had worried to her parents that the Easter Bunny might not know where I was and may not leave me an Easter Basket. Thus, I had also received an Easter Basket that morning for the first time in quite a few years.
Tina was giving me Bambi eyes. I thought for a moment. It had been a long time since I had done an egg hunt - but it had been equally long since I had received an Easter Basket. "Okay," I told her.
"Yay!" she exclaimed, then again repeated, "I'm gonna find more than you."
Her parents were amused (but understanding) about her wanting me to take part in the egg hunt. They sent us all to the girls' room while they "checked to make sure the Easter Bunny had left enough eggs."
As we waited, Tina AGAIN said, "Bet I can find more eggs than you can!" This was starting to grate a little on my nerves. Tina was cute, but the seven year old was getting a bit too big for her britches.
"Really?" I said, raising an eyebrow. "What if *I* find more than you?"
Tina looked confused for a minute. "Umm - you mean like a bet?" she asked.
"Sure," I said. "But don't tell your parents." They probably wouldn't mind, but all the same they might not like me encouraging their daughters in gambling practices. You never can tell with conservative parents.
She agreed, then said, "If I win, you gotta do whatever I say the rest of the day." Ah - she was going the personal servant route. She probably wanted me to do her chores - washing the dishes, setting the table, and making her bed.
"And if I win, you have to do what I say," I agreed. Tina looked like she thought that would never happen. I wouldn't be too hard on the kid, I thought. Just take her down a peg or two. I'd make her fold, sort, and hang up my laundry I was washing now in their washing machine once it was done. It would take her about an hour or so and she could watch TV while she did it.
"Yeah, ok," she agreed, shaking my hand.
Pam was watching all this with amusement. "I wouldn't have done that if I were you," she told me. "She's pretty good, and she can think up some weird stuff." I found out LATER that Pam already knew what Tina had planned - in fact, she was in on it.
"Oh? Like what?" I asked. She had caught my attention and she knew it.
"Oh - I think I'll just let you find out for yourself," she said with a sly grin.
"Yeah - only I won't, 'cause I'm gonna win," I asserted, although feeling a bit less certain now. Surely I could beat two little girls. They were getting to me, so I sat down on Pam's bed and pictured the back yard in my head, thinking about where all the good hiding places would be. Pam watched the TV, giggling every once in awhile (whether at the show she was watching or something else I wasn't sure). Tina sat in the corner, humming to herself and brushing the hair of one of her dolls.
Presently we were called outside. We were each given a basket (pink and lavender?), told where the boundaries were, and so on. Then we started hunting.
A few were easy of course. Some I saw but couldn't get to first - Tina and Pam were a lot faster than me. Then I started to have a hard time. Finally Rita (Mom) called out a hint to me that I was too engrossed with searching up high - the girls were little, and the eggs wouldn't be up that high (imagine little girls climbing in their Easter dresses and you'll understand why). I looked low, and found a few more. Meanwhile, Tina was getting them all over.
Of course, I realized my mistake later. Tina had done a few of these before and knew all the good hiding places already. They called us together to count the eggs. "The Easter Bunny hid 24 eggs," Bill told us. He counted Pam's first and came up with 8. A little math in my head told me this already didn't look good. He counted Tina's next - and sure enough, he came up with 9. Uhoh - unless I totally forgot grade school math... "And you have seven," Bill announced, counting mine.
I blushed, Tina shot me a superior smile, and Pam giggled. We went inside after this and ate our early Easter dinner, Tina setting the table herself and never bringing up our bet. After dinner she did ask me to help her load the dishwasher - but didn't make me do it myself. I was starting to wonder if she either forgot, or just didn't understand the concept of a bet.
Around 4:00, Bill and Rita decided to go visit and check on both sets of parents. They would be gone for a few hours, and asked me if I would mind watching the girls. I had done it several times (in fact I was their favorite babysitter because I would actually play with them rather than just ignore them) and didn't mind at all. As soon as they were out the door, Tina was upon me.
"Remember that little bet we made?" she asked with a rather large smile.
Oh brother, here it came. "So, what do you want me to do?" I asked, rolling my eyes.
"Welllllll - you have ALMOST everything me and Pam had for Easter. You got a basket, and did the egg hunt... just one thing is missing..." She looked back at Pam and they both giggled.
"What's that?" I was confused.
Tina shot out of my lap and ran back to she and Pam's room. Two seconds later she returned, wrestling with a huge concoction of light pink satin, lace, and ruffles. "You didn't get to wear a new Easter dress!" Tina announced, dropping it onto the seat next to me. "Grandma got it for Pam, but see, she got an adult size 12 rather than a child size 12."
"Thank God," Pam mumbled under her breath.
"What adult size 12 would wear this?" I asked, holding it up to get a good look. It was all little girl, right down to an attached petticoat.
Tina shrugged. "You, for one," she answered.
"WHAT? No way - I am NOT going to wear that," I said.
Tina pouted. "I'll tell Mommy you made a bet and didn't keep it."
I was shocked. "Tina - you promised you wouldn't," I said.
"A bet is a promise. YOU promised you would do everything I said," Tina pointed out.
"You did do that," Pam added. I shot her a look that said, "Not helping!"
I was stuck now. I couldn't really give her a good reason for why it would be okay for me to break a promise, but not her. "Okay," I sighed. "But I have to change back into my clothes before your parents get back!"
"Of course!" Tina said, like I was stupid or something. "They'd kill me!" Actually, they'd probably kill ME, but I saw no reason to inform Tina of this.
"Hold on a sec!" Pam got up and ran back to the bedroom. She came out carrying panties and a pair of white tights. The two girls then herded me into the bathroom with all this, and (after a parting joke from Pam who asked if I would need any help) left me to get changed.
I first realized this wasn't going to be so bad as I pulled on the panties. They were cool and soft - Pam had chosen a silky pair for me; though I wasn't sure what fabric it was it felt good. The tights weren't bad feeling either, although later when I admitted it to Pam she told me I would change my mind if I had to wear them all the time. They just stretched far enough for me to wear them. I found out later that Rita couldn't figure out how Pam's tights got stretched out of shape so quickly.
The dress was embarrassing once I got it on, with those ruffles all over the place. I was surprised at how well it fit - but I still looked like a guy wearing a dress. When I came out of the bathroom, Pam and Tina took to fixing that, brushing my hair differently (it was a bit long, and Tina often liked to play with it and put it in pigtails), and adding light make-up. The result, when they let me see, was astounding. I could pass for their older sister. I really did look like a little girl in this dress and with the changes they made. The finishing touch was a pair of ladies shoes that belonged to Rita - they were white and appeared very much like Mary Janes.
After this, Pam and Tina had fun by hiding the eggs around the house and watching me do another hunt. For some reason, Tina seemed to find something hilarious every time I bent over to pick up an egg, and Pam finally whispered in my ear that I should probably kneel down to pick them up.
I did end up doing chores while dressed this way - I took the dishes from the dishwasher, and guess what? It was me taking about an hour to sort, fold, and hang my laundry. Tina talked me into playing Barbie Dolls with her, and Pam wanted me to try on more dresses, but we ran out of time. I was relieved - I think.
Putting my own clothes back on didn't feel nearly as good as it had felt putting on the dress and all. When Tina hugged me as I was leaving, she said, "You're gonna come here for the Fourth of July, right? Me and Pam always get these patriotic sundresses...."