It was a great April Fool’s Day. Heath and I got a lot of things done on his medical day. He took a medical day to have a skin tag removed. The “surgery” took all of 30 seconds. Had I known how fast the whole appointment would be I would have gone with. The appointment was at 2:15 in a nearby city. Heath was home in time to pick up kids with me and enjoy our little joke.
We honestly didn’t know how the joke would be received. Since it wasn’t even planned we just went for it hoping for a good laugh. The results were more than we could have hoped for.
Yesterday morning before the kids went to school, Heath said something about us having liver and onions for dinner. Nobody even flinched. Gwen wasn’t interested but that was it. After Heath took Parker to school, he came home and told Gwen that we were thinking of changing the bedrooms. Gavin would take over her room because he was old enough he deserved to have his own room. Gwen would then move in with Parker. Heath was winking at me the whole time he was spinning this yarn.
Gwen was surprised at first but quickly settled on excitement. We told her that Gavin would keep her bed. She hoped that meant she could sleep in his bed on the top bunk. No, Heath told her that the oldest kid always gets the top bunk. She decided that while it wasn’t her first choice she would be fine with it. After all, she was finally getting a roommate!
She decided to clean her room to help us make the transition easier. For all she knew, we were making the change while they were all at school. If we didn’t have a million things to do it would have been tempting to switch the bedrooms. Like the Friends episode when the apartments were switched back while Chandler and Joey were at a basketball game. That would have been funny enough it may have been worth the hassle of moving all the kids’ stuff.
We didn’t have time, or much of a desire really. The words were enough. Heath told Gwen not to tell Parker about the rooms until after school. They don’t typically see each other at school but with the Fun Run yesterday, we didn’t know. Better to be safe than ruin Parker’s entire day!
While we waited to pick them up after school we wondered how things would play out. Gwen looked normal. Parker was in a bad mood. I should have known it was over the bedroom joke but I wasn’t sure. I don’t even remember how it started. I think Heath asked how the kids felt about it. Parker said that Gwen just barely told him and he was not happy about it. He didn’t like the idea of losing Gavin and he certainly was not impressed with having to share a room with Gwen.
Spring Break had officially begun and Parker had the news of a new roommate to kick off the festivities. I was glad Heath was with me to do the craft shopping after school. He would have missed out on so much if he wasn’t there. Gwen was happy to buy supplies for her craft. Parker previously made a deal with us that he should get to spend an equivalent amount of money on a Lego set. The craft shopping softened the blow of the roommate fiasco by a miniscule amount.
Me: We’re going to Home Depot too right? Remember we talked about painting the rooms?
Heath: Yeah, that’s a good plan.
Me: We can keep Gavin’s room the same but we’ll get some pink paint for Gwen and Parker’s room.
Gwen: Can we get light blue instead?
Me: Why do you want light blue? I thought you liked pink.
Gwen: I think Parker might like light blue better. He doesn’t look very happy and I want to cheer him up.
I looked behind me and Parker had buried his face in his hands.
Heath: What day is it today?
Parker: I knew it! I KNEW IT!!!! I knew it was an April Fool’s joke!
Gwen: I will never trust you again. EVER!
Gwen was crying at this point. It was an amazing turnaround of emotion from both kids.
Gwen: It was a joke? I cleaned my room for this! I told my teacher … it was a lie?
Parker: You made her clean her room!
Me: No, she started cleaning it …
Heath: And we didn’t argue!
Me: It was a nice benefit to the joke we didn’t anticipate!
Gwen was so upset that she had told so many people at school! She had told her teacher and all her friends. I tried to tell her that no one would remember by the time Spring Break was over.
Gwen: I will remember!
Me: I know you will. But no one else will remember.
Gwen: But I lied!
Me: No one will ever know. They won’t remember and they don’t care!
Gwen: I don’t trust you anymore!
Later I picked up Gavin from Track Practice. He talked my ear off about how fun practice was. He is not normally so talkative. I wasn’t sure where to insert the joke about us changing rooms. We were halfway home and there was a lull in the conversation. I told him we had made some changes while he was at school. He would be in Gwen’s room and we were moving her in with Parker.
Gavin’s eyes got bigger but all he said was okay. He thought about it for a second or two then started thinking out loud. He said he liked the idea. His room would finally be cleaner. He hates how Parker gets the Legos out but doesn’t clean up. He talked about how he has always wanted his own room. I didn’t know how to end the joke.
We got home and I told Heath that Gavin was thrilled with the idea of having his own room. Gwen and Parker’s faces clouded again and they shouted that it was an April Fool’s joke. Gavin took it well but he was clearly disappointed.
Then he showed me a note from the principal. If he hadn’t told me it was a joke I may have been upset. Nowhere in the note did it say it was a joke. The note said that the students were not adequately prepared for the upcoming state tests. The principal was proposing extending the school day for an extra hour each day for the month of April. Gavin said the principal was smiling when she came in and handed out the notes. She gave the kids a chance to get loud and indignant before telling them it was a joke!
Gavin had another note but that one was real. It was a note from his PE teacher saying that he was eligible for “The Trilogy” next March because of his participation in March Mile Madness. It has the dates for my benefit.
When Gwen asked what we were having for dinner Heath tried the liver and onions joke again. She wasn’t buying it. She no longer trusted us! Then he tried to tell her the liver would be from a baby cow so it would be nice and tender. Gwen freaked out! “They’re so innocent!” She is most likely to become a vegetarian. Luckily she knew her dad was joking. We ended up having sandwiches at Togo’s instead of innocent baby cow liver.
It was a great April Fool’s Day.
“April 1st is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.”
~ Mark Twain