April Fools jokes are a little cruel. They are designed that way. In some sense, you are lying to a loved one in order to fool them. On another sense, it is all in good fun, and as long as no one gets hurt physically or emotionally, I can justify it.
For me, some of my favorite moments growing up were little practical jokes that we played on each other– especially hiding when somebody comes in, and then jumping out and scaring them. My dad used to love to do that, and he would laugh uproariously when you got fooled, or when he got fooled. Sharing a joke together is to me an important part of being a parent.
They are now some of my favorite memories of my now-deceased father.
I guess I’m hoping that likewise, these moments, even if they can be a little frustrating in the short-term, will turn into some of my son’s favorite memories of me.
|An April Fool’s Pranks from 1857- there is
no Washing the Lions Ceremony.
Each year, I’ve played some pretty good practical jokes on my son– one year, I brought him to school even though school was closed for the day (which meant he had to wake up super early!) I made up for that by letting him have donuts for breakfast.
Another year, I convinced him it was snowing and he put on his snow boots and all of his other stuff to go to school and went outside only to find out that it was a beautiful day. (Here’s that video below)
He’s tried to get me too, (when he was two he told me (pretty unconvincingly) that he had pooed in his bed. It’s all in the delivery.
You can read about (and see some video) of some of my best April Fool’s pranks here
This year, no video. I decided to try a different tack. It’s a Saturday, so school was out. I knew he knew it was April Fool’s Day (we had discussed planning to play a trick on my wife, but it didn’t really pan out). I didn’t try to surprise him with something crazy. Instead, after breakfast and he was busy reading, we had this conversation, very casually.
Here’s our conversation (with my thought process)
ME: “Okay, Mom and I’ve discussed it, and we’ve decided to take you to see the movie Logan. I think you are able to handle it. We’ll go to the matinee today.”
HIM: “No, I don’t want to see that, I want to see King Kong.”
MY THOUGHTS: What? He wanted to see King Kong? I thought he wants to see Logan. I’m sure he told me he wants to see Logan.” King Kong might have worked. OH well, too late now.
ME: “No, I’ve already bought the tickets, we have to go.”
HIM: Starts to cry and whimper
MY THOUGHTS: I can’t believe he’s crying about this. He must have figured it out. What? He’s really crying? I better go tell him. I walk over to him on the couch. Those are real tears! He’s really upset!! I pick him up in my arms like a baby and say:
ME: Guess what, little bear. “April Fool’s! “
HIM: More crying, and then finally laughing that he really got got.
I had no idea he was going to take it that way. I really thought he’d be excited about Logan. I’m glad we got through it, and I was able to make him laugh at the end, and of course to REALLY get him, but felt bad after I made him cry about going to the movies. Not that he should cry over something so ridiculous. And I have lots of experience making kids cry. I am a professional clown after all! Anyway, it’s making me re-think practical joking. I am sure I will still do it, but I don’t want to make the kid CRY.
What do you think? And what was your prank for April Fools?