April Fool’s Day


Those closest to me know that after Christmas and Easter, my next favorite “holiday” is April Fool’s Day.  I really need to sit down and figure out why scaring the crap out of surprising my husband and kids brings me tremendous joy. I mean, TREMENDOUS.

But this year, with new baby Zoe, I was absolutely sure I would not be able to pull off my annual shenanigans. I didn’t have time to draw up elaborate schemes, as I rarely can squeeze in time for a bathroom break these days.

But Zoe, she gave me a huge gift on April 1st, 2017. She decide to wake up at 5:30 in the morning.

I was sitting there, in the warm, cozy, baby fragrant darkness, when a thought struck me like a thunderbolt. If I can get Zoe back to sleep, I could STAY UP AND SET UP A COUPLE PRANKS. 

AND SHE WENT BACK TO SLEEP! I tiptoed so quietly out of our room so as not to disturb the baby or Jason, who was sawing proverbial logs in bed. Once I crossed threshold, excitement just bubbled through my veins. April Fool’s Day was on!

Like a lion stalking it’s prey, I scrolled through Pinterest, pouncing on any easy ideas I could get done in an hour and writing them down.

The list got long. I had to rein myself in a bit.

I’d like to share the results of my slapdash April Fool’s Day.

PRANK ONE: Poopy Fingerprints on Toilet Paper


Set up:

Melt some chocolate chips, put the melted chocolate on your fingertips, and flit from bathroom to bathroom like a gleeful prank fairy, “dirtying” the toilet paper.


My five year old woke up and went to the bathroom as usual. I asked her if she had seen anything on the toilet paper. She said, “Yes, there was poop on it, so I didn’t wipe.” I was really conflicted about that reaction. I guess I score one point for making her think it is poop?

The thirteen year old, though, was fooled. I heard him shout from upstairs “OH GROSS. THERE IS POOP ON THE TOILET PAPER!” Boo-yah!

PRANK TWO: Googly Eyes on Stuff

Set up:

Buy some googly eyes on clearance at Target after Halloween to specifically use for April Fool’s Day. Then forget about them until 5:45 when you scroll through Pinterest and see this:



Dig through your craft stash, find the googly eyes and put them on the five year old’s tablet and the two year old’s sippy cup, as well as other things they will use at some point during the day.


The little ones were delighted by the googly eyes on their everyday items. Overall, it was delightful to see them laugh. I am not mean enough to scare little kids…or am I?


Set up: Buy a fake slug at World Market to use for April Fool’s Day and almost forget about it as well. Unwrap said slugs and put a slug in each of your adolescent children’s’ soccer shoes because they have soccer today! Also save a slug to put on your two year old’s slide so you can startle her (lovingly, of course) when she climbs up her slide. (I am mean.)


Two year old:  Sees the slug on her slide, backs up about ten feet, points at it, and cries BUG! BUG! Of course I take it off the slide and bring it to her so she can see it’s not real. Refuses to touch it.

Five year old: Sees the whole slug/slide gag and wants to see the slug. She calmly shows two year old that it is just a toy and they play with it while I get ready for the day.

Eleven year old: Puts foot in slug infested shoe…feels an obstruction…reaches in…pulls out the slug…and flicks it over her shoulder and rolls her eyes, while saying, “Really mom?” to me, as I was perched on the end of the sofa waiting for the big reaction. Boo.

Thirteen  year old: See eleven year old’s reaction. Boo.

I thought I’d get a much bigger reaction from everyone. Apparently the old slug was only good for actually pranking people that are afraid of bugs and stuff, which my kids (minus the two year old) are not.

PRANK FOUR: Monster in the Mirror


Set up:

Make sure your husband and daughter have a soccer game to go to at the crack of dawn. Print out a picture of Gollum and tape it to the passenger side mirror.


I really loved this one. As I was outside in the minutes before day broke taping a black and white, freshly printed Gollum to a side mirror like the weirdo that I am,  I could not stop giggling. In my mind’s eye, I saw my daughter and husband getting in the car and either my daughter would see Gollum and get a little jump before rolling down the window and removing it, or my husband would be backing out of the driveway, see Gollum, jump in fear, and somehow accidentally honk the horn with his arms as they flailed around fearfully. Which is such an odd and specific daydream, because if you know my husband or even meet him for even 30 seconds, you will know that he is solidly unflappable. Therefore I dream of the day I will of catch him off his guard.

There was also abit of fear though, that neither husband or daughter would see and be frightened by Gollum right off the bat, and when husband needed to use that mirror to merge or change lanes, April Fools Day would go from funny to tragic. So I called them about five minutes after they left.

Jason answered and put me on speaker phone as I excitedly gushed, “DID YOU SEE ANYTHING…SCAAAARY?

My daughter said, “You mean Gollum? Yeah, we saw it when we got in the car and we weren’t scared. I just took it off and crumpled it up. ”

“Crumpled it up?!?! You weren’t surprised at all?”


It was a fail. At least I got a chuckle out of my daydreams of what could have been.

PRANK FIVE: The Shattered Phone


Set up:

Secretly take the victim’s phone. Download, install and launch one of surprisingly many apps that make a phone appear cracked, broken or dying. Put phone back where you found it. Prepare to be amused.


So at about 6:30, I heard the baby cry, and I knew that I had to call an end to my prank set up time. I snuck back in bed to nurse her, and hubs didn’t budge. At seven, his alarm went off and he got up. I, on the other hand, played possum because while I was nursing, an idea I saw on Pinterest became more and more attractive.

Jason, was a tech guy prior to his call to be a pastor, and vestiges of that tech guy remain. One of those vestiges is that he keeps his technology (phone, computer, tablet, ear buds, computer case, cords, all other tech things…)IMMACULATE. He handles them responsibly. He doesn’t let the kids play on them, he doesn’t eat chips while typing, he clears his apps after using them, he installs all the latest updates, he folds his cords and earbuds in a beautiful, symmetrical infinity symbol shape. Are you getting a picture of the way he cares for his technology?

I knew deep in my heart that I was taking a big risk by installing this broken screen app while he was in the shower. The reaction I DIDN’T get from the whole Gollum trick was nearly 100% possible if he thought something was wrong with his phone. Shock. Words. Flailing. Certain.

But I also knew that this might get the best reaction of the day and I couldn’t help myself. I heard the shower go on, I downloaded the app, picked the most realistic looking “messed up screen,” and put his phone gently on the floor against the nightstand, making it appear that the screen hit the leg.

I feel totally evil as I write this.

Then I crawled over to my side of the bed, snuggled down with the baby, and made it appear that I was still dozing.

He came out of the bathroom, went through all his getting ready routines, and did not check his phone. The suspense was KILLING ME, but I forced myself to lay there, still and totally innocent.

All dressed and handsome, he strolled over to the nightstand. I rolled over, said something like, “Good morning” in a faux tired voice, and he said, “Where’d my phone go?”

I watched him shuffle things around on his nightstand (where he meticulously puts it in the same spot, all squared up on the corner closest to the bed every night) and then I saw him bend over.

“How’d it get down here?”

Then (I could hardly breathe) his thumb pushed the power button.

His sweet, gentle eyes changed into surprised, confused and angry eyes. His brow furrowed. The corners of his mouth turned down. He may have paled a little.

I am sure that if I could have had some sort of thought machine recording his thoughts, it would have recorded the racing of his thoughts as he was trying to figure out how this happened, and being frustrated because the answer was eluding him, and also, how was he suppose to do all the things he needs to do with his phone???

This stuff never happens to his stuff. These thoughts would be foreign to him.

“What the…” was what he said. Just those two words, in an agitated way.

Then all of a sudden, the eyes switched from terror to amusement as he lifted his eyes from his phone to mine.

“April Fool’s Day” I said.

It was the best prank of the day, by far.

My poor, poor husband.


PRANK SIX: Toenail in the Rice Crispy Treats


Set up: 

Make rice crispy treats. I recommend Pioneer Woman’s recipe. Attach a sign to the rice crispy treats that says something to the effect of, “Hope you are the lucky one that finds the toenail today!” (Helpful Hint: Do not put a toenail in.)


Maybe your kids don’t have a tradition of Umbilical Cord Stump Casserole. But the thing is, my kids do. Ever since Lucy’s cord fell off, we have traditionally had a stump “magically” appear on someone’s dinner plate. I certainly DO NOT bake it in a casserole, but the kids know that the day a dried up cord stump falls off a baby, it will appear on someone’s plate at some point that evening. That person will be “the winner.”

Gross. Fun. Memory making. Also, gross.

All that to say, my kids might actually not be 100% sure there is no toenail in the rice crispy treats. Let’s break the results down by age.

Two year old: Wouldn’t have cared if there was a toenail. Would eat anything beige colored and sugary.

Five year old: Claimed she found a toenail, which was a stretched out piece of marshmallow. Was excited she found the “toenail.” Asked what she won. (Again, see  Umbilical Cord Stump Casserole.)

Eleven year old/Winner of the 2017 Umbilical Cord: Very very leary. I promised her it was just a joke. She took a small piece.

Thirteen year old: Asked if there was really was a toenail. I told him it is just an April Fools Day joke. Consumed half the rice crispies, as he grows an inch a week these days.

Overall, just enough to raise their eyebrows, but no harm done.


That is always the hope and goal of my April Fool’s Day hijinks: Keep them on their toes all day, make them laugh but cause no harm. I hope this rundown of super quick pranks will inspire you to see how well you can pull one over on your own clan!







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