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I was really tempted to do an April Fool's prank post, but considering my topic, pretty much anything could have been seen as mean instead of funny, so I scrapped the idea. But my kids have given me more than enough laughter today, so I don't feel like I'm missing anything. Here are some of the highlights:
I hear Gus in the bathroom and then MM's door opens. "Gus. The house is going to explode!" A perfect mix of panic and disbelief infuses her voice through early morning coughs.
"What?" He's caught off guard.
"April Fool's!" They both laugh. I send DH to go check on the kids because I have a feeling someone forgot to put their shorts back on.
"Mommy wants to know what you want for breakfast: ketchup or syrup. She's making sauerkraut." Gus doesn't take the bait.
"Ketchup." He sounds serious and a little distracted, but I can hear the lopsided grin. DH is the one caught off guard this time, and then he gets it.
"Aah! You knew I was joking! Good one!" He goes to shower and I drag myself from the warm sheets. It's chilly. Gus has disappeared into his sister's room – possibly in search of those underpants that he's missing.
"Morning, MM," I say.
"Good morning, Mommy." She smiles.
"Ok, that's enough. I don't want to talk to you for the rest of the day." I turn to leave.
"What?" she cries.
I know she's very sensitive, so timing is everything. Too soon and the joke is diminished, but if I wait too long, she'll get upset. "April Fool's!" I spin around with a big grin. He mouth forms an 'O' and she cracks up.
Is anyone going to bother getting ready for school today, or will we just sit around playing lame pranks on each other all day? At this point it could go either way!
Gus comes back to his room and I remind him that he needs to put something on.
"Why are your pants green?" he asks. I could go easy on him, but he can take it if I'm not, unlike his sister. He loves a good joke. Whoever said Aspies have no sense of humor was clearly kidding and just forgot their punch line.
Gus finally finds his underpants. "Put your pants on now." He starts to put one leg in, and I get an idea. "Unless you don't want to. You can wear shorts today if you want." He looks at me, half skeptical, half wanting to believe, totally unsure.
"Why?" Good boy, don't get suckered that easily! This is a day to be on your guard, even with Mom!
"Because it's summer." I make it sound so obvious, and he goes for it. Gus rifles through his drawer looking for some shorts, which of course he will not find. "If you don't have any, though, you'll have to go to school in your underwear." He smirks.
"What happened to your shirt? It's gray…April Fool's! You thought your pants were green!" It is a good try.
"What do you mean? My pants are green. My shirt is black and my pants are green. You can't fool me." We both know my pants are blue plaid, but who's going to crack the smile first? We call that one a draw. There will be plenty more jokes this afternoon and Gus will be tickled by every one.
I've been listening to an audio version of Look Me In the Eye by John Elder Robison (check the sidebar). Robison wrote an amazing memoir of his life as a person with Asperger's Syndrome. One thing that strikes me is that he became quite the prankster at a pretty young age. Some of the jokes he played on people – even the authorities in his town according to one story – got quite elaborate.
Gus has a pretty wicked sense of humor most of the time. He's funnier when he's not trying. I think in a couple of years I'm going to have to start watching out for him on a day like today. He might just get me one of these days.
On a more serious note, today is World Autism Day – what are you doing to promote autism awareness? Have a great day and watch out for those pranksters!