Dateline April Fool’s Day: I hate this day. I’ve hated this day since I was a small child. For some reason, of which I have no idea, I have always been unusually uncomfortable with surprises, pranks and the like. When I was small, I would lay awake at night worried about having one pulled over on me this first day of April.
Even now, as a grown adult I hate pranks. There is a radio station (in every town in America I’m sure) that does “Phone Taps” every morning where they call some poor unsuspecting fool and pretend to be someone who will inevitably make the poor recipient react like a fool on live radio. I get physically ill listening to these types of calls. I don’t know why I am s averse, but I’ve come to accept it about myself and know my limits without judging (most of the time).
This morning, two of my three woke up to tell me about the elaborate schemes they had planned for today to April Fool their friends. I said no to both. Not because they were potentially hurtful (they weren’t) but because I’ve been a teacher in a school on this day and I didn’t want my kids to add to the inevitable distractions.
While the older two decided how they were going to fool their friends in a mom-approved way, The Baby began his sometime ritual of freakish behavior. I didn’t catch on for quite a while, figuring he was just reacting to dad’s business trip and my late night meetings as unacceptable interruptions to his routine. Then I casually mentioned to The Girl how I’ve always hated pranks and The Baby burst out with “you too?” in obvious relief.
Then, thick-headed me, finally figured out (you know, with him telling me) that all the morning oddness was a direct result of the anxiety over possible pranks at school. Poor dude. I feel his pain.
We chatted. I told him what I was going to do today to quell my anxiety. He promised me he’d try the same. Somehow, just knowing he had company in the group of folks not in on the joke seemed to make him feel better. Apparently, aversion to pranks is genetic. Let’s hope dealing well with anxiety is too. At least for the teachers’ sake.