Tuesday, September 09, 2008

April Come She Will

My kids, especially the newly-minted six year old, are heavily into the joke and knock-knock phase. In the kiddie chonology of phases I believe the joke and knock-knock phase comes directly after dinosaur obsession.
The only problem (well not the only problem) is that even though I checked several books of jokes and riddles out of the library, C insists on making up his own.
And they're not funny.

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: Because he didn't know where he was going.

Q. What's black and white and read all over?
A. A rotten tomato

knock knock
who's there?
volcano who?
volcanos with poisonous gas are coming!
(now see that one's just downright scary)

What's worse is his (and H's) misguided attachment to April Fool's Day.
Could someone please explain to my children that April Fool's Day jokes are only funny on April Fool's Day? That there's no such thing as June Fools, or August Fools, or September 3rd Fools. That April Fool's Day jokes done on any other day than the first day of April are just obnoxious and unfunny? Shaking up daddy's beer and putting it back inside the fridge would not be funny. It migh not be funny even on April Fool's Day but at least on April Fool's Day it would be forgiven.
And then there's H. Thanks to C, he now has no concept whatsoever of what April Fool's Day is - if he ever had a concept to begin with. He'll throw toys down the stairs or pitch books over his shoulder and yell, "April Fools!" In other words he'll do bad things and then yell April Fools. This of course upsets C who at least wants to preserve the sanctity of April Fool's Day - he just wants to drag it out over 365 days.
I can't remember what bad thing it was that H did on Saturday and yelled "April Fools!" after. Was it when he was trying to take away C's dig a dinosaur birthday party present? Maybe it was when he was rocking one of the twins super fast in his bouncy seat, or throwing the ball at the back screen door. Maybe it was when he was pulling all the socks out of his basket or crying in the Waquoit Feed and Grain because I wouldn't buy a doggie toy for his stuffed doggie.
Oddly, it wasn't when he was performing his worst, "that's not okay" act of the day. That one was a joint venture with C. I brought out the gift for Anthony's party, put in down on the bed in the guest room, and went to answer the phone. I'm a minute into my conversation when I notice they've opened the birthday gift and they've playing with it. What's up wth that? Here's C with presents from his own party he hasn't even opened yet, but this one he can't leave alone for a minute. So I get mad at them and C starts crying uncontrollably and just at that moment Ken returns from his run and no one can tell him why everyone's crying because C's hyperventilating and I'm trying (trying!) to have a normal phone conversation. H was unfazed by the whole thing. He couldn't who understand why it wasn't okay to open Anthony's present and play with it before giving it to Anthony in the first place.
H did it again on Sunday. He wildly swung the toys hanging from the twins jungle gym, narrowly missing N who was underneath it and yelled "April Fools!"
April Fools seems to offer H some kind of get-out-of-jail-free card for any type of bad behavior.
I'm trying hard not to yell, "that's bad!" at him or otherwise crush his spirit as they say in the world of Montessori education, but can I not crush his spirit and still wring his neck at the same time?
I am getting some good ideas for next year though. For Ken I was thinking one of those snakes that jump out of a fake can of nuts. For C, Oreo cookies taken apart with the cream centers replaced, maybe with cream cheese. In the book Arthur's April Fool the centers were replaced with toothpaste which C immediately wanted to mimic. Doesn't Marc Brown know that the ADA recommends no one eat more than a "pea-sized amount" of toothpaste? H would relish a toothpaste Oreo cookie. I am always catching him licking the toothpaste cap.

song: April Come She Will • artist: Simon and Garfunkel

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