Up until this year, my April Fool’s Day jokes have been pretty epic. There was the time I froze Harlow’s cereal, which resulted in a STAGE FOUR MELTDOWN. That’s a trick that only works once.
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Then there was last year, when April Fool’s Day, Easter Sunday and Passover all converged, giving me a once in a lifetime prank. I think this will go down as my favorite April Fools’ joke ever.
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Side note: Allie told me that after seeing this video, “this is not the Easter I like” became a running joke amongst her friends, which can be applied to almost anything— “this is not the pizza I like,” “this is not the vacation I like,” etc. So now I’m saying it all the time too. It really is a great catchphrase.
This year, I could not for the life of me think of a decent April Fool’s Day joke, which was made even more complicated by the fact that my kids were really looking forward to April Fool’s Day. They have been talking about it for weeks. Part of what made my previous April Fool’s jokes so funny was that the kids had NO IDEA it was April Fool’s Day. They barely even knew what April Fool’s Day was!
As the day approached, I was hoping that Mazzy and Harlow would forget, but then on March 31st, Harlow got up super early, woke me up and asked me to help her freeze a glass of orange juice for Mazzy for the following day. There was no chance she was forgetting. Even worse, Harlow kept giving me super obvious sneaky looks throughout the day, running up to the freezer to check on the orange the juice when Mazzy was right there, and saying things like, “Don’t look in the freezer, Mazzy!”
COME ON. Now Mazzy wasn’t forgetting either.
Finally, I had an idea. Mike had grown a beard on our Spring Break trip and was talking about shaving it off the following day. I told him to leave a mustache and pretend like he was going to keep it. Then I would go along with it and I say I loved it. The kids would freak out!!!! Mike said, “Maybe.” But deep down, I knew that he was not going to get up early enough to do this before they went to school. Also, I realized that even if he did go through with it, there was no way he was going to let me film the prank. Late that night, after the kids were fast asleep, I confirmed.
“Mike, do you think you are going to do the mustache prank?”
“I don’t know.”
“If you do do the mustache prank, are you okay if I film it?”
“What about a picture?”
What’s an April Fool’s Day prank without social media documentation??? That’s when I knew I really had nothing. Fine. Maybe my reign of great pranks was over. I went to bed.
Then, a little after midnight, I sat straight up. I had an idea!
I tiptoed into the kitchen, took out a box of Lucky Charms, poured it all in one big bowl and then picked out every single marshmallow. Then I hid the marshmallows up in the cabinet and put all the plain cereal back in the box. I don’t usually let them have Lucky Charms for breakfast (we call it a dessert cereal), but I figured part of my prank would be surprising them with the option. They had just gotten newly obsessed with Lucky Charms during our trip (the hotel served it for breakfast and the girls got them every morning) so I knew the excitement of letting them eat it for breakfast at home and then the disappointment of finding out there were no marshmallows inside the box would be a pretty big deal.
Woohoo! I had done it! An awesome Arpil Fool’s Day prank!
Sadly, the whole thing was a little anti-climatic. You see, when Harlow woke up the next morning, she ran straight into my room and yelled “Happy April Fool’s Day” like it was my birthday. She knew, I knew and now surprises would be tough all around. She was super excited to prank Mazzy with her orange juice, but Mazzy woke up like she does every morning— cranky and wanting to go back to sleep. I had to decide what was more important— playing my joke or letting Harlow play hers first. I chose Harlow. I kept waiting for Mazzy to settle down before delivering the juice, so Harlow grew increasingly impatient and Mazzy grew increasingly suspicious. In the end, Mazzy didn’t fall for Harlow’s trick at all, which upset Harlow, and then by the time, I said they could have Lucky Charms for breakfast, Mazzy was like, “Yeah right, Mom” and opted out.
Harlow, however, was not wise to my trick and poured herself a bowl. But, just as she was getting super confused by her marshmallow-less Lucky Charms, Mazzy told her that I had pranked her. And so. That was it. Not enough time had passed for a major reaction and yelling “Happy April Fool’s Day, Harlow!” felt like a bit of a dud. Although, on the plus side, Harlow thought it was a great prank, so there was lots of laughter this year instead of tears!
I guess we have entered a new phase of April Fool’s Day pranks where the kids are older and not so easily fooled. Maybe this means it’s all over. Maybe it means I just have to be more clever. Or maybe it means that next year, the kids will take over and it will be more about them getting Mom. We shall see.
But. I wasn’t done. Yesterday, while at work, I realized the best time to fool big kids is later on in the day when they have already played their pranks and forgotten it’s April Fool’s Day. So, late last night, after Mazzy finally finished all her homework and started to play with Harlow, I called her back into the living room.
“Mazzy! I just got an email from your math teacher! You need to get back in here!”
She came back in, looking worried. “What? What does it say?”
I pretended to read from my phone. “It says there is one more worksheet that he forgot to assign for tonight. He sent an attachment so I can print it out and you can do it.”
She got wide-eyed and furious. “WHAT?! Seriously??? That’s so unfair! He already gave us two worksheets tonight!!!!”
“Come here. You can read his note for yourself.”
She stomped over, her eyes wild and her lips affixed in an angry pout. I handed her my phone.
I finally got her.