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Tuesday, 01 April 2014 22:03

You Got Me - April Fools!

One of my closest friends is the most gullible person I've ever met. Seriously.

She is also the worst liar I have ever met. Which is a good thing - and hilarious when someone is planning a surprise party. Shortly before my Birthday I asked her on the phone if Brian was planning a surprise party for me, to which she replied "Look! A Bus!" and immediately hung up.

Another friend was planning a surprise party for her husband and she and I, and Ms. Gullible were discussing it at church when the husband - the one the party was for - walked up. Ms. Gullible shreiked and ran away. Luckily he had no idea what was going on, and remained oblivious, but we thought it was hilarious. 

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Anyway, this friend has a daughter about 3 years older than mine who has grown out of a few gorgeous dresses that I sent her a message asking about. Shopping in a friend's closet? Guilty... Anyway, the rest of the conversation went like this:

Friend: Oh, about that... I came across something interesting in my textbook last night  (she's in the middle of getting her Early Childhood Education degree, and we often make fun of some of the crazy ideas modern education has come up with...) And I actually believe this. It seems like a good idea.

Me: What?

Friend: The theory is that by providing toys for the child, you are actually disrespecting their right to choose what to play. You are dictating what they should play by making them play with toys that dictate their use. (This wouldn't actually shock me - some of the things her textbooks come up with are pretty insane...) So I've downsized their toys drastically. I want to give them the chance to think of what to play on their own. Last night [husband] and I took everything out of their rooms except art/craft supplies. We put everything else on kijiji and amazingly enough people came quickly last night and took it all for us!

Me: You're joking.

Friend: No - kijiji people actually pulled through for once instead of flaking. 

Me: I mean you're joking about giving away all of your kids' toys.

Friend: Well, it wasn't all of them. They still have all of their craft and art stuff and their playdough...

Me: How did your kids feel about that?

Friend: They were in the bath while we cleared the stuff. Then this morning we were running late, so [daughter] only had a chance to notice that the easel was moved to her room. 

Me: K, stop. This really isn't funny.

Friend: Why would it be funny?

Me: If you don't want Clara to have those dresses, just say so.

Friend: ... have you looked at the calendar today?

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I'm laughing to myself as I read this over, because it isn't nearly as funny without the angry voice in my head as she was sending me these messages. I was getting the girls ready to leave the house this morning, so I wasn't responding to texts instantly.  After her first text, I probably waited a good 15 minutes, not knowing how to respond, thinking something like "Seriously? that doesn't make sense... she can't be serious... ALL of their toys?"

Part of what made it believable, I think, is the fact that we've been discussing how many toys our kids have. I've been talking about downsizing our collection too - even as much as half, because so much of our girls' toys are never played with until a large group of kids come over, and then they're just all thrown on the floor and I get to spend hours cleaning them all up.  I think they would be better off - learn how to appreciate their toys, be more responsible for and take care of what they have - if they had a lot less toys, but ALL of them?? 

Also, my friend is a bit crazy. She has crazy in her blood, so the fact that she had actually lost it crossed my mind. I thought about her poor kids telling this story in a decade or two - how their crazy Mother sold all of their toys one night while they were bathing... 

I thought about how I would ever be able to continue talking to her.

All the while I was trying to also convince myself that it wasn't any of my business how she decided to raise her kids. If she thought toys were damaging, who was I to say she shouldn't sell them all? It's not like it would be considered abusive to sell all of your kids toys - although I'm sure some would debate that - but certainly not something worth calling the police over or anything, so who was I to judge? But I was judging. I thought she was being rash, ridiculous and crazy.

When I asked how her kids felt about that, I was hoping she would say 'We had a long discussion and they thought it would be ok...', but instead she said they were in the tub. This is the point at which I should have realized it was a lie, but because I had believed up until this point, I was already in too deep. By then I was angry - really angry, actually - and trying to figure out what to say, and still desperately hoping she was lying although it had COMPLETELY not occured to me that it was April 1st. 

Anyway, she got me. This is probably the only real April Fools prank I ever recall being done to me and it was quite effective. After I calmed down, I had to admit I was impressed. 

Happy April Fool's Day! Any good pranks going on out there? 

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