My kids love April Fools –possibly because it’s a way to get back at Dad for his years of tomfoolery. You see it’s been their dad’s practice to make outrageous claims to our kids for as long as any of us can remember. In fact it’s standard family practice for the kids to look to me for confirmation (or not) whenever Dad tells them anything.
Since toddlerhood my kids have been told that fried chicken is actually “gicken”, a genetically modified chicken that has six legs and runs as fast as a gopher. They’ve been told that that we used to have to cut holes in their diapers when the boys were babies because they were born with tails –which subsequently “dried up and fell off”; when Will or Thom ask where mom is the standard answer is that I’ve “run away with the ice-cream man.”
Our children’s true parentage has ranged from aliens to monkeys and Charley Cat is actually a superior being sent to study humans. Apparently we’ve agreed to allow him to board with us free of charge in exchange for immunity when the cat aliens take over the planet.
Thankfully my children have learned from a very young age that you can’t believe everything you hear. And they’ve gotten really good at questioning what they’re told –even the believable stuff.
According to Wikipedia April Fools has been around for a very long time with possible origins going as far back as 536 BC, Persia (now Iran). It makes me wonder whether these ancients recognized a benefit to foolery on the development of critical thinking skills. Has April Fools actually helped us to become smarter, more discerning human beings? Or is it just one more way to produce what many refer to as “the best medicine”; laughter.
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