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Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy April

When I was in second grade my teacher was Miss Wheeler who liked to celebrate the months of the year. She had a contest with her mom to be the first to welcome in a new month. Miss Wheeler said she would wake up early just to call her mom and wish her a "Happy April" or "Happy May" depending on what the month was. After she shared with all of us students, each month the first time we would see her in the classroom, we would run up and wish her a "Happy Month". It was a fun game that we would normally lose. She had been doing it for years! I may not remember every month to wish someone a "Happy April", but it was the first thing that came to mind this morning, 21 years later. Teachers have such an impact on children; I pray they are doing their best to make it a good impact.

Today is April fool's day, something my daughter has been very anxiously awaiting. I don't remember her doing much as a joke in the years past, but this time she wanted it to be extra special. In order to prepare for today, she has been wearing toilet paper wrapped around her hand, trying to convince her classmates that she broke her wrist earlier this week. This afternoon, she's planning on revealing her healed hand, and shouting, "April Fools!"

I've never gotten into this holiday. Sometimes it just seems mean, especially for those people who forget what day it is. Since I noticed how excited Ariel was for today, I figured I should get into it for her sake. I asked her this morning if she would like me to play a joke on her, and she was excited to respond, "YES!" I told her I would, but only if she wasn't going to cry when I tricked her.

To which she replied, "You're gonna try to keep me from Allison's party!"

That was my plan, but I knew then that I must change it up a little bit. I wanted it to be believable, otherwise where was the fun in it for her?

Ariel has a birthday sleepover party planned for tonight with one of her girlfriends from church. She's been talking about it for a couple of weeks, so she is pumped!

After thinking and planning my joke for awhile, and talking with a few other individuals, here's how it was going to happen.

As she gets in the car when I pick her up from school, I'm going to tell her I have some good news, and some bad news. Which news would she like first?

"The good news is that she now gets to watch "Tangled" with us while we eat our pizza dinner." (We just purchased the movie this week, and have been patiently waiting to watch it. Ariel was very sad she was going to miss it, since she'll be at her friend's sleepover)

"The bad news is... her friend, Allison, has come down with Strep throat and the party is going to have to be postponed until next week."

When she calls my bluff, I have a very convincing voicemail saved from the girl's father detailing how the party can't be tonight. Allison is sick with strep throat and isn't feeling very well. The party will be postponed until a week or so. He then says he will tell Allison we wish her well since she's on medication. It's actually so convincing I had to listen to it again just to make sure I wasn't the one the joke was supposed to be played on.

As Ariel got into the car, she immediately tried to pull an "April Fools" on me by saying she sprained her ankle during P.E. today. I didn't buy it, and then proceeded to give her the choice of whether she wanted good or bad news first.

She's a smart one, and said, "This is your April's fool's joke!"

I told her "no, this is serious."

Ariel believed every word I told her. She took the news very well, and said how sad it was that Allison was sick on her birthday, but at least the party is going to be next week.

We went about our business. Ariel rode bikes with her dad after school and then played quietly on the computer while Titus and I fixed dinner together. It wasn't until 6pm that night that I called her over to me, and said, "You need to go pack your things."

She got this huge smile and starting jumping up and down, "You mean the party is tonight?"

"April Fools!"

After I said the words, her smile turned to confusion, "ohhh.. You sure got me. I thought it wasn't cancelled."

So I told her again, "No, really, you need to go pack your things."

Ariel started jumping up and down, so I again said, "April Foo-ooool's" and laughed.

She stopped, "Aww.. You got me again. I thought you were tricking me that it was cancelled."

Titus decided to chime in now, and told her, "Seriously, go pack your things, Ariel."

I couldn't help myself. I had to say it again. "April Fools!"

She responded, "I'm so confused. I don't know what to do."

At this point, I was laughing so hard, and told her "seriously, if you don't pack your things, you're going to be late for the party. It really is happening tonight!"

She gave me a great big hug and said that was the best April Fools ever. All afternoon we had been going back and forth about how no one could ever trick her. She was smarter than the average bear! (Yogi Bear) I told her then I guess I was going to need to try really hard. What she hadn't realized at that point was that the joke was already done. She was had.

She conceded that I was truly smarter than the average bear!


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