When I was a teenager in high school a long time ago, my friends and I would sit around the lunchroom table and plan our futures. What kind of man would we marry? What would our children would be like? Most importantly, we would talk about the horrible awful things we would do to our kids insuring years of therapy and then roll with laughter. This included things like pretending we didn’t know them when they came home from school. Maybe rearranging the furniture in the rooms so they couldn’t find their bedrooms. Hide the family pet in a room and tell them that’s what they’re eating for dinner. And finally, instill in them a fear of sugar like Pavlov’s dog so that every time they are presented with a sugary treat they recoil in fear, then send them of f to birthday parties and let the hilarity begin. Now before you all get your shorts in a wad this was long before we had children or any concept of what child rearing was all about and we were only looking for laughs.
The actual raising of children has taught us how to torment them. You catch them unaware as they come out of the bathroom in a dark hall and scare them silly. This is especially fun because once they get up off the floor they will be laughing hysterically and squealing, “Do it again Mommy.” The fun thing is if they are young enough you can do it again right away and it will scare them again. In fact, you can do it 10, 15 or even 20 times in a row and they will squeal fall down and say, “Do it again.” It is a lot of fun with the young ones.
When they get older, the torment must become more sophisticated. When my son was 10, he desperately wanted a play station. For his birthday we got him one and his dad decided to hook it up so once he new what he had he could begin playing immediately. The night before his birthday my husband opened the box, set up the equipment, and put in a game so it was ready to go and then for fun he wrapped the empty box. The next day the birthday boy unwrapped the box and squealed with delight and then he opened the box. He looked at us puzzled and said, “It’s empty.” I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Bummer it must have been an error at the manufacture. We will have to go back and get another one.” At this point, he all but started crying and I must admit I felt bad. We showed him the play station all set with a game ready to play. He wiped his eyes, swore revenge, and started playing a game with is dad.
The next awful thing I did was about a year and a half later. The switch to our garbage disposal is about three feet away from the disposal so you have to walk away form it to turn it on. One day I was cleaning the kitchen and needed to run it. My son was standing by the switch getting something out of the cupboard so I asked him to switch it on. As soon as he did I screamed as though I had my hand in the disposal. Good boy that he is he switched it off and yelled “mom are you ok!” I was laughing so hard I could hardly talk. I think he told me he hated me.
For Aprils fools s day this year his Dad and I got him so good. He is attending a college prep school. Last year was the very first year of operation and we are all excited about the education he is getting from this new school. However, it is limited in how many students can attend. While it is a public school, each grade level is limited to 60 students. There is a long waiting list of parents who would like this type of education for their child and will probably never get the chance due to the limited class sizes. In early April of last year the school district hired a new superintendent. With this knowledge, we concocted a brilliant April fool’s joke. We told Cody that his new school was being closed because it was too exclusive and the new superintendent felt that was not what the school district was all about. He was not to worry though because while we did not want him placed in the regular junior high school there were several charter schools we were looking at. If we needed to, his Dad would work at Pizza Hut on the weekends so we could send him to a really good private school. We had him going. He really thought his school was closing and he said he did not want his dad to wok another job because he was hardly home now. He caught on when we stated laughing at him and he proclaimed, “You suck.”
Moreover, even though I am already trying to come up with a good prank for next year I cannot help but wonder, is it really a good idea to torment one of the two people who may someday be responsible for choosing a home for me when I get old?