It’s easy. As easy as taking candy from a baby, as the saying goes. But that doesn’t make it right. There are playful jokes understood to be in the spirit of family fun, and then there are cruel jests which can undermine the sanity of everyone concerned. Fortunately, fooling a family member is perfectly alright, just for one day.April Fool’s Day
The day of the year when trust vanishes in a haze of suspicion more blurry than a conspiracy theorist’s blog. All of a sudden, those complex understandings between people built up over years mean nothing at all. You listen to every statement made, every promise uttered, and fully expect to be told “FOOOOOOLED YOU”. So it’s not a good idea to make important family announcements on 1 April. Like telling your kids they’re going to have a sibling. Or that you’re moving the whole family to another city. No, that kind of news can wait for tomorrow.
Things not to do to your kids today include hiding their favourite stuffed toy
, saying that spinach and worms will be cooked for supper and suggesting you all go the cinema only to take them shopping for school supplies instead. Remember that glorious children’s book The Twits, by Roald Dahl? A married couple’s slightly-crazy pranking gets ever more serious and horrific until… well, you should probably go and reread it to find out how it ends.
It’s best to keep it nice and light. You don’t want to mess with their sense of security. After all, children are quite good at revenge, and what’s left of your mental health as a parent could be at stake.
Parents, as kids well know, are excessively gullible. Ok, maybe it’s just me, but when my child tells me something I generally believe it. They’re rotten at lying
, and giggle their way through surprises, so I can usually tell when the wool is being pulled over my eyes. Except when I can’t.
I’m a sucker. The kind of dad who makes it his life’s mission to alter the statement to say: Fool me once, and I’ll probably laugh; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me repeatedly, and I still won’t get it.
A parent can easily outwit a child, but a child will easily play on the insecurities, hopes and fears of a parent. Kids, hey? They’ll win every time.
Just in case you’re new at this, that “tea” your innocent-faced cherub just happened to bring to you in bed? It may be a good idea not to drink it. Or at least have some mouthwash close to hand in case of poisoning-by-beef stock.
Happy April foolery to you all!What’s the best April Fool’s Day prank your family has ever shared on each other? Tell us at email@example.com and you could win a R250 kalahari.com voucher.