I’m Not Trying This At Home

I’m perusing Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project Facebook page. I have to back up a moment here and say that I really respect Gretchen Rubin. I bought this book in hardcover last year and loved it, even though I was unable to implement a single suggestion.

The Happiness Project made me realize I was seriously depressed. The irony is not lost on me. She mentions early on in the book how there’s a difference between just not being happy and actually being depressed and honestly, that was what spurred me to get help. I owe a large debt to Gretchen Rubin for that.

I was then able to accept about myself that I simply do not have the capacity to manage and track my life to the degree that Gretchen does in her book. The Happiness Project is full of ideas that I like to daydream about, in no small part because they always make me very tired at the energy they would require were I to actually carry them out, and then I get a bonus nap.

Anyway, she put up a request for her readers to list suggestions of April Fool’s Day jokes that she could play on her daughters. I was happy to see this because I have been wondering the same thing: What can I do for April Fool’s Day, that won’t lead to a trip to the emergency room or the need for any other type of intervention from the authorities?

Then I started to read the suggestions from her fans. It became clear to me that her readers share a lot in common with her, namely being pretty organized and capable of staying on top of things in great detail (defined here as something more than being able to locate all your children and not leaving the house without wearing pants). Here are some of their suggestions for April Fool’s Day jokes, and why they won’t work in my house.

-Glue their toilet paper together
Umm, they wouldn’t notice. We regularly are without toilet paper for days at a time in their bathroom before they tell me. I do not know what they use instead of it.

-Put towels in the sleeves of the jackets – just enough so they can’t get their hands through! This would involve 1)knowing which sweatshirt of their Dad’s they plan on swiping that morning when I make them wear a jacket, 2) finding it and 3) being allowed to use dirty towels.

-Fold the top sheet of their bed in two and put the cover as usual. They will not be able to get into bed. This implies that we make the beds and that they have both a sheet AND a cover of some sort.

-Crumble a biscuit into their bed. Wouldn’t notice (see above).

-Put a sign on their backs without them knowing that says “Hug Me”. We’re really more of a “kick me” family.

-Mix up all their morning ritual stuff – toothbrush in the shower, shampoo where the blow drier belongs, etc. This assumes that these items actually have a place that they are regularly returned to. This would be erroneous. This could only lead to the blow dryer going in the shower and electrocuting somebody.

-Pour cheerios and milk the night before and freeze it!! They won’t eat Cheerios!! On the off chance that there is both a breakfast cereal they will eat AND milk, there probably won’t be room in the freezer, and it will be the day they want toast anyway.

-Super glue coins to the sidewalk.
Yeah, if my sidewalk were made of WOOD. And they hadn’t stolen all my change. And let the dog eat the Super Glue.

-Hide three items in the house labeled 1, 2, and 4 and tell them you will take them for ice cream when they find ALL of them. I don’t even understand this. What happens when I pull a joke I don’t understand? Do they then explain it to me? It sounds like it just costs me ice cream.

-My best was waking my kids up 15 minutes early and telling them i was 30 minutes late HURRY! I work nights, for God’s sake. 15 minutes is a damn lot to ask.

-The best one I ever did on my KIDS was that I told them that the lawn mower was broken, and the homeowner’s association was about to fine us, and so I needed them to cut the lawn. I gave them each a pair of scissors and a ruler and said, “Make it about 1-1/2 inches.” My sons (twins–maybe 7 years old at the time) grabbed the scissors and began chopping away with glee. My daughter (11?) said, “MOM! My FRIENDS will SEE me!” and I replied, “Well, start in the backyard then!”…I let them go for 5 minutes, and then said, “APRIL FOOLS!” BWA HA HA HA HAAAAA! Okay this woman is my HERO. This is quite possibly my favorite kid practical joke ever. Unfortunately, my “lawn” is so small you actually could cut it with a pair of scissors, in about ten minutes. Here’s what would happen if I tried this. I would first have to find the scissors, which, even though we have at least six pairs in our house, are never where I think they should be. This would take at least half an hour. Then I would set the kids out there, cutting away with the scissors, go pour myself a cup of tea and completely forget that I was in the middle of an April Fool’s joke, and they would be done cutting the “lawn” before I finished my tea. Oh, and we don’t have a home owner’s association, and if we did they would have mandated martial law on our property by now.

-The principal at my kids’ school agreed to write me a letter that says our school is changing to 12 month school years and summer holidays will be ending after only a few weeks. Definite potential. But I think our principal hates me because when he called me that one time about how #4 had paid a boy to run into a tree, I laughed.

-Tell them you are pregnant! None of us would believe this. We all know better.

Best twelve bucks CC ever spent.


12 thoughts on “I’m Not Trying This At Home

  1. I LOVE reading your posts. They ALWAYS make me smile…reading your writing is kinda like my happiness project =) (I have not read the book however….)

  2. I’m sitting here trying to imagine what kind of family thinks freezing a bowl of cereal makes a good gag…I have to admit I laughed most at the part about your kid paying another kid to run into a tree, which means none of these would work for me!

  3. Too funny! I want to read that book, The Happiness Project.

    A good April Fool’s joke – take a towel and pour kool-aid in it. Fold it back up and put it in the bathroom for kids to use when they get out of the shower. They will turn the color of the Koolaid. It’s hysterical! 🙂

  4. I gave up the jokes on my boys years ago….I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, they are WAY smarter than I am. The fact that you still want to fool the littles on April Fools day, only makes me like you more. 🙂

  5. I am not motivated enough to either pull a prank or be happy. Maybe I need to check this book out. (ugggg)
    I LOVE making the kids cut the grass w/ a scissors

  6. Put baby powder in the hair dryer.

    Oh, and if I say I’m pregnant, nobody will believe me. I had a vasectomy 22 years ago. Oh, and I’m a guy. The only pregnant guy I know about is Dave Lister. He had twins.

    And yep, I’m late to this here party. As usual.

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