You know it’s been an unusually action-packed Easter Holiday when you wake at dawn on Sunday morning to find two small, worried faces nose-to-nose with you.

“The Easter Bunny!”

“Didn’t COME!”

“AH!” You say, immediately wide awake and feeling like worst-grownup-ever, “He DID! But, he, ah, wasn’t sure what the plan was, with so many of us here, and, um, little Zane might have woken up early and eaten all the chocolate before breakfast! So! He, um, gave them to me and I put them here in this cupboard to, you know, keep them safe!”

Pretty good for 6 a.m., don’t you think? Though I should point out here that I HAVE had lots of practice, explaining Tooth-Fairy failures to appear. Two kids went away completely satisfied with my explanation, and older siblings gave me scornful “Oh my word, NOT mother-of-the-year” looks.

I can explain! See, on Saturday, we all went to Brownsea Island. It was pouring with rain, and we were in the mood for ADVENTURE and picnics in the rain! So we geared up and packed a truly wonderful picnic (several types of sandwiches, snack eggs, cherry tomatoes, oranges, apple rings, pork pies, drinks, thermos of brewed coffee, chocolate, bikkes, nuts…) and off we went! Intrepid Explorers!

When we got off the bus in Poole, I almost immediately realised that my mobile phone was not in my pocket… it had fallen out in the bus, which was speeding off into the drizzle.

The travel office assured me that some phones do get back to their owners, but that all offices were closed for the long weekend. Sigh! I called the mobile company and blocked the phone. Anyone finds a black Samsung Mobile on a blue bus, I’d love to get it back…

But when you’re looking for Adventure and Excitement, you have to expect these little inconveniences, so the intrepid explorers were once again on their way, with spirits unquenched!

We boarded the ferry in Poole, the sky clearing to a slightly brighter grey. It was great to be on the sea, heading towards we knew not what! Snacks were had, to fortify us.

Brownsea Island appeared ahead, veiled in mist… okay it was drizzle, but let’s set the Adventure Scene here! What a great place for an adventure!

Tragedy struck when the older boys disappeared WITH MOST OF THE PICNIC, and we had to snack on cherry tomatoes and apple rings until we found them. Next time, we’ll arrange a central meeting-place!

We explored the churchyard and graveyard, as we love to read gravestones… weird, I know. We spooked ourselves looking at one grave, and mourned another. We climbed an old tree, and collected shells on the beach.

Max decided he hated his brothers and would never speak to them again, but it didn’t last. We lost the older boys. We peered into tunnels in the undergrowth, which must have been made by animals and were just the right size for a small boy and girl.

We inhaled the seaweedy smell, and tried to track the footprints of the missing picnic, ah, children. We saw some red squirrels, busily leaping from treetop to treetop, and we wished we could leap like that.

We looked at tiny water-bugs bugging along, and tricked the peacock into thinking we had food for him, so he pecked someone. We sighed at the daffodils.

We found the missing boys, picnic intact, and our thermos of coffee was still good and hot, so all was well.

We headed back to Poole on the ferry tired and happy, glad that we would be home soon.

Alas, our bus had other plans, and took us home via who-knows-where, on a meandering journey through village and hamlet, up hill and down dale, eventually depositing us in Bournemouth Square late, where we were rescued by a taxi driver who didn’t mind six muddy, wet, exuberant people spreading picnics and sand.

We arrived home so exhausted that we could have gone straight to bed.

Except that we couldn’t, because more cousins were arriving, and we had to stay up late laughing and eating and having way too much fun.

And THAT is why the Easter Bunny may have been a little confused and disorganized on Sunday morning.

I made up for it by cooking up the tallest stack of pancakes ever seen, aided by my seven-year-old niece who is a pancake-flipper extraordinaire.

But, that mother-of-the-year award has, once again, slipped out of my grasp.