On Traveling

I like going new places, in theory.  Traveling is exciting – you get to meet new people, see new places, eat different food.  In theory, traveling is awesome.




Except that real life isn’t Disney, and even though I really DO like going new places, somehow, something always backfires.

For instance, this spring I went on vacation to Costa Rica with my aunt and uncle.  It was amazing, although most of the trip is a story for another time (there are so many monkeys there.  So many.)  But this story isn’t about the monkeys.

Since I decided to come last minute, I had to fly separately into San Jose and meet them at the baggage claim.  No big deal.  I am an adult and perfectly capable of flying internationally alone.

Airports make me really insecure though.  I immediately start sweating as soon as I get my boarding pass.  “Did I remember my passport?” “What if I lose my boarding pass?” “What if I accidentally brought scissors?”  “What if I accidentally brought peanut butter?” “What if I have to pee while I’m waiting to go through security?” And on, and on and on.


The addition of having to go through customs also serves to further unnerve me.  “What if I have a communicable disease and I don’t know it and they put me in quarantine?” “What if I accidentally have drugs in my checked bag?  I’ve never touched drugs in my life but what if they’re magically somehow there and then I go to jail forever?”  Obviously, the more I worry, the more my ability to think reasonably diminishes.  I’m pretty sure it’s some sort of inverse exponential relationship. (Or negative exponential.  I don’t really know, I forget math now.)


This is trigonometry but who cares

Anyway, happily, on this trip, despite all my anxious catastrophizing I made it safely through all my security checks, caught my connecting flight without hassle and plunked myself down between my two row neighbors for the flight to San Jose.  Fortunately neither of them wanted to talk, and we filled out our customs forms in silence.

Which brought on a whole other round of worry scenarios.  “All of these questions are in Spanish” “What if I write the wrong answer?” “What if I accidentally brought fruit with me?” “Oh no I forgot the name of the place where we’re staying” “WHY DID EVERYONE TRUST ME TO GET MYSELF TO A DIFFERENT COUNTRY ALONE???”

But then the captain turned on the loudspeaker.  And I realized that there was one thing I’d completely neglected to freak out about.  Two things, actually.  The first thing was “Good afternoon everyone, it looks like we’re about to hit some turbulence as we start the landing process, please fasten your seatbelts.”


Lol. I love turbulence.


The second thing was that, as we began bouncing around and seesawing from side to side and generally jolting, I began to feel quite ill.  Very, very ill.  There are few things worse than realizing that you are going to puke for the first time in 12 years on airplane while touching shoulders with two complete strangers.  Especially when you don’t even know where they keep the barf bags.  (They’re in the seat pocket, but you might have to dig a bit).

After spending a few horror-stricken seconds thinking I might have to barf into the seat back itself and just pretend nothing happened, I found the bag and hurled into it.  I’d only eaten Twizzlers in the past few hours so what came up was, um, red.

Nothing in the safety packet tells you what to do with a bag of barf on an airplane.  So after we landed I left it sealed on my seat.  Sorry, flight attendants.

As we walked to customs, one of my row neighbors turned to me and said “Hey…um, would you like a mint?”



And that’s how I got to Costa Rica.


Kids Can’t Handle My Leg Stubble

Whoever decided that women should shave their legs is the legitimate worst.


I mean, seriously.  God gave us leg hair, why can’t we keep it?  It takes a solid extra five minutes in the shower to deal with that crap.  That’s five minutes I could be sleeping or eating or something way better.  And if you’re me (translation: clumsy), every time you touch a razor you risk absentmindedly gashing yourself.


^^whoever made this meme is my spirit animal

Which is why my legs generally have about three days of stubble on them at any given time.  And let’s be honest, three days is actually not that bad.  Like, I know plenty of people that go weeks, okay?


But you know who doesn’t appreciate my dedication to sort of keeping my leg hair under control?


CHILDREN.   Kids give zero craps about the hell that is shaving.  If your legs are prickly, they will for darn sure tell everyone within a ten mile radius.


I know this because I worked at a daycare for kids 0-5 years old and made the mistake of wearing shorts to work and letting kids sit in my lap.  “Hey, why are your legs so scratchy?” is a really fun question to answer during storytime in front of all your coworkers.


I know you can’t tell kids to shut up but…I mean COME ON

I once was monitoring kids at recess and looked down to find one of my pre-K kids absentmindedly petting my legs.  “What? It’s pokey!”

Even the littlest kids, the ones that can’t say actual words didn’t give me a break.  I was holding one of my littles on my lap, he legit knew like three words at the time so I thought I’d be safe, BUT NO.

I kid you not, he touched my leg, frowned, touched it again and said “uh oh”.  He then continued to rub my stubble and loudly proclaim “UH OH” to everyone else in the classroom.


My coworkers died laughing, and thus it was proven that children of any age can and will mercilessly attack when you’re at your most vulnerable.


I shaved much more frequently after that.  Which, I’m happy to say, had the desired effect.  It has now been some time since my legs have been unceremoniously thrust into the spotlight.


And luckily, winter is coming.  Which will release all of female-dom from the chains of shaving for a few short, frigid months.


Or maybe we’ll just embrace our stubble.  You can yell about it all you want, kids.

New Family Traditions: The Easter Egg Hunt

Lots of things change when everyone in your family grows up, but nobody has any kids yet.  Especially holidays.  Like, for instance, Easter Egg hunts are way less exciting when you’re in college than they are when you’re six.



(The Easter Bunny, however, is always terrifying)

My family ran into this problem some years ago, but we didn’t want to totally scrap the hunt, since my little cousin still looked forward to finding eggs and all that.  He may have actually been six at the time, come to think of it.

Anyway, we decided to revamp our model to make it more fun for all of us college students while still retaining the spirit of an Easter Egg Hunt.


Mostly, we decided to add nerf guns.  Nerf guns = instant magic.


For all your 90’s/early 2000’s kids, we based our Easter Egg Battle after the egg battle level in the Nintendo 64 version of Diddy Kong Racing.  We actually played the music to the level while we battled.  It was amazing.  The link is below.


It took us several years to hone the rules and regulations in order to make our Easter Egg Battle into a truly challenging and exciting competition, but four years later the event has become a much anticipated tradition.  Family friends even come over every now and then to take part in the festivities because it’s just so much fun, darn it.


The rules are included below for any of you that might be interested in attempting an egg battle of your own.



  1. Baskets must be spread out & placed by the players.  They are immobile – “home base” for the player.  Eggs must be transported to the basket, not vice versa.
  2. A non-searching player must hide all of the eggs in the designated battle area.
  3. The non-searching player must also give the other players the start signal.
  4. Once play begins, players may search for eggs and attempt to transport them back to their Easter baskets.
  5. Once a player has picked up an egg he/she may be targeted by other players (of course, players may wish to shoot other players at all times – however, they are only affected by a hit if they are carrying eggs.)
  6. If a player carrying an egg is hit by a dart, he/she must deposit the egg on the ground immediately & “tag up” at his or her basket, at which time other players may steal the egg he/she was carrying.  Once he/she has tagged up (or “respawned”, as my video-game-playing brother likes to call it) he/she may resume play.
  7. Players are responsible for maintaining their own ammunition collections.
  8. The player with the most eggs at the end of the battle wins.
  9. The battle ends when all of the eggs have been located & deposited in the players’ Easter baskets.
  10. If young children are also participating, several possible adjustments may be made:
    1. They may be made exempt from egg theft or darts (or both) & essentially function as “egg snipers” – swooping in to steal eggs that other players have been forced to discard (my cousin used to be especially good at this).
    2. They may be given outside help in discovering & transporting eggs by non-searching players (usually parents).


I promise, it’s so much fun you’ll want to keep doing it forever.  Everything is better with nerf guns.  Even Easter.


The Battle of the Lamp


The summer before my junior year of college my parents had a giant garage sale and a bunch of people brought over stuff for us to sell.  One of the things that didn’t end up selling was a lamp that was shaped like a calla lily.  It looked kind of like this except uglier and more plastic and only one lily:


**I’m waiting for my old roommate to send me a picture of the real one.  We’ll use this fake picture until then.

Anyway, we didn’t know what to do with it because it didn’t work particularly well and was kind of ugly.  And then I got an idea.


My college roommate is kind of particular about decor, so when we first moved in I let her make everything in our dorm room match and coordinate and look nice.  I’m not particular at all.  I could live my whole life without matching silverware and never be bothered.

We had had matching lamps (from Target) for the first two years of school.


I knew it would kill her if I suddenly had a new, completely ugly lamp that didn’t match any of our other furniture.  BUT, she would be too nice to say anything about it. (Sometimes I actually do have awful taste and she has always kindly refrained from pointing it out.)


When we moved in, I nonchalantly put the lily lamp on my desk where my old lamp should have been.  I then spent the next two weeks gushing about how much I loved my new lamp.


I even got several of our friends in on the joke, and had them stop by to gush about how adorable my new lamp was.

I could see my roommate starting to twitch.  But she didn’t say anything because she didn’t want to hurt my feelings.  (I actually found out later that the whole process legitimately stressed her out.  Oops.)

I finally told her it was a joke, but then I just started leaving the lamp on her side of the room.  Usually with a post it note that said “love me!”  It would inevitably end up back on my bed with a note saying something like “I want to smash this”.  Sometimes the lamp would go to visit our hallmates to bring messages (“lamp-o-grams”), but it always came back to stay with us.

Finally, I decided to let it go for a while, so she would think it was gone forever.


Then I wrapped it up and gave it to her as a Christmas present.  She gave it back.


Then I disguised it (like with a mustache and sunglasses and everything) and gave it to her for her birthday. She gave it back.


We kept giving it back and forth for a few years.  Then, when I moved away from where we grew up she sneakily left it in my apartment before going home.

(…”and some things that should not have been forgotten were lost.  History became legend.  Legend became myth.  And for two and a half thousand years, the ring [lamp] passed out of all knowledge…”)


Okay.  So maybe it wasn’t two and a half thousand years.  But it was definitely a year. I kept it in my closet for a year and said nothing at all about it.


And then, the perfect opportunity presented itself.  My roommate got married.


I disguised the lamp as a really well-wrapped wedding gift.  I also bought her & her husband each a hammer, and left a note inside explaining that my gift was my permission to finally destroy the lamp.  You know, they could smash it together.  Super romantic, if you ask me.


Turns out she actually was too attached to the joke to smash it though.  To my knowledge the lamp is still in their basement.  I’m sure it will come back to haunt me someday.


***UPDATE: August 2016 – I got her sister to steal the lamp out of her basement. Then I took it with us on vacation and hid it in her bed with a note that said “Miss me?”  VICTORY IS MINE.

Banana Bread & Apple Juice

Getting food poisoning is like actually visiting hell, so I’m told.  I’ve never had food poisoning before, like real food poisoning where you spend the whole day silently praying to die.  However, this story does begin with food poisoning.

My parents, and food poisoning, actually.


My parents and my older brother and I were in China at the time.  Specifically, we were in the city of Guangzhou staying at a hotel that only had outdoor pools, which was a colossal disappointment for an 11-year-old in March.  We had adopted my baby sister a few days earlier, so life was pretty chaotic.

We decided to order Pizza Hut, since no one had enough energy to leave the hotel room, what with a new baby and all.  (She was 16 months old, but still).  I don’t really remember what my brother and I were doing for most of the trip, but I was 11 and he was 13 so my parents probably definitely had their hands full dealing with us and my sister.  Hence, pizza.  It’s easy, it delivers, and it’s a slam dunk if you have super picky children like us to feed.

Unfortunately, it also gives people food poisoning sometimes, which is a super bummer when you’re in a foreign country with a new baby and two clueless kids.

Both of my parents were down for the count for the whole night and all of the next day, which I’m sure was absolute hell for them.  However, I had no idea because I was a blissfully ignorant 11 year old sleeping in the next room.  To this day, I still don’t know how they managed to still take care of my sister while simultaneously wanting to lie down and die, but they did.  Parents are cool like that.


Anyway, what I do remember (because it directly affected my ego-centric self) is waking up in the morning to both of my parents flat on the floor of their hotel room.  My parents informed my brother and I that if we wanted breakfast, we were in charge of finding it.  Keep in mind he was 13, I was 11 and we were in a large city in China at a hotel that did not have complimentary breakfast.  We were also the most finicky kids ever at that point in our lives.  Like, “if it’s not a hamburger I’m not eating it” sort of thing.  (How we managed to eat at all during that trip I’ll never know.)


Luckily, my parents were still being parents and said “maybe try that bakery place we went to yesterday”, which was helpful.  Actually, whenever I tell this story my mom rolls her eyes at me and tries to pretend it wasn’t terrifying.


Mom.  I was 11.  It was terrifying.


With our hearts in our throats, my brother and I made our way down the zillion floors in the hotel to get to the ground floor, took a hard right and walked half a block.  At least, I think it was half a block. It could easily have been 10 yards, who knows.  I was 11, my estimation skills were definitely awful.  At this point, we prayed that the store we were going into was the bakery-ish place that we’d gone to the day before, when all members of the family were still able to remain upright.

It was.


I’m pretty sure I let my brother do the talking because I literally have no idea what happened next.  All I know is we eventually walked out of the store with a loaf of banana bread and two bottles of apple juice (good job big brother, I definitely didn’t help make that happen).

Not being too eager to return to our misery-filled hotel room, we planted ourselves on the curb outside the shop.  My brother split the loaf in half, and breakfast was served.  We were pretty proud of ourselves, having proven we could rough it in the wild.  Who needs parents when you can magically manage to procure banana bread and apple juice all by yourself despite the language barrier?

And, I’m proud to say, it didn’t give us food poisoning.  And my parents did eventually recover of course.  That was also nice.  And we did make it home, though that’s a story for another time.

Bad Date

Like our good friend Indiana Jones, most of us either have or will experience at least one bad date.


Luckily for us, they’re not usually life threatening.  Or heck, maybe John Rhys-Davies was there to keep you from committing to your bad date.  Whatever works for you.

Sorry.  I just REALLY wanted to make the Raiders reference.


Anyway, the good news about bad dates is that once you’ve finally managed to run away you at least have a good story to share.

This is mine.  Just be warned, it’s long.


When I was in college I worked as a pianist for one of the local churches.  I played for the “contemporary” worship service on Sundays and accompanied the choir.  The rest of the worship band members were volunteers, and our drummer was especially spotty in terms of attendance.  Translation: I worked there for at least six months before I even met him.

Anyway, after a few weeks of coexisting, I was playing the prelude (Clair de lune if you want to know) and he sort of looked at me strangely and said “Are you married?”

Sorry, what?

  1. Look for a wedding ring before asking that question
  2. Don’t talk to people when they’re trying to play the piano, especially Clair de lune – that piece of music is sacred
  3. We’ve never spoken before and that’s your opener?

After a few seconds of awkward silence, I cleared up the confusion by saying “What? No, I’m barely twenty-two!”  (Side note: never use your age as an excuse.  I know that now).  Mr. Smooth then responded “Oh! Huh, I definitely thought you were like thirty or something.”


Men, let’s just all agree that if you want to a girl to like you, you shouldn’t tell her she looks like she’s thirty when she’s just told you she’s actually twenty-two.

I figured that was the end of the weirdness, but I was wrong.  A few hours later I got a text from an unknown number.  It was my new friend introducing himself, because apparently he’d gotten my number from somewhere instead of asking me for it face to face.

Men, let’s all agree that if you want a girl to like you, you should just ask her for her number instead of creepily finding it somewhere.

At this point, I really should have just crushed his soul and been done with it.  But we worked together and I didn’t want it to be weird, and I kept telling myself that maybe he was just nervous and not actually terrible at social interaction.

After a few weeks of awkward texting, where I consciously waited hours before responding, or “forgot” to text back (I know, I should have just been straightforward), he finally asked if he could take me to dinner.  Over text.

Again, I should have crushed his soul right then.  But I didn’t like confrontation. I was still (like an idiot) hoping that maybe I’d be surprised.  I also have a serious problem with saying no to free dinner. (Side note: don’t ask people on dates over text.  Look at them in their face and ask.  Or call them.)

Fast forward like a week, it was Wednesday, the big night, and I was super pissed that I had said I’d go.  Like, legitimately angry to be going on a date.  I had a life! Homework! Stuff to do!

I decided I was going to take a nap, in protest of my poor life choices.  Like “I’m not even going to try to look nice because I’m mad” type thing.

I get a call about 15-20 minutes before Mr. Smooth was supposed to pick me up.  It was him.  He was early. Super early.  So early that his call woke me up.  Again, there were like a million signs that this was all going to end poorly.  After he drove around the block long enough for me to get ready, I hop in the car to find that he has no place in mind for us to go.  Nothing, nada. Which means we drove around my neighborhood for like 15 minutes trying to find somewhere to eat.


We finally land on Cosi (yay sandwiches?), which was fine as far as free food goes I guess.  Then he spends the meal doing two things: assuming that we would be going on a second date, and complaining about all the people that we worked with that he didn’t like.


Oh, and telling me how terrible and joyless life after college is.  So three things I guess.  One of my favorite lines: “On our second date we should go see Anchorman 2!”

No.  No we should not.


Fortunately, it was a weeknight, which meant I could pull the “hey, I really need to get some homework done” trick.  Ah, homework.  What a lifesaver.


As I got out of the car, I decided that the kindest thing to do would be to put him out of his misery (finally).  Yes, I KNOW I should have done it way sooner.  I explained as gently as I could that there would not be a second date, and he drove away into the darkness.


But that was not the end.  A few minutes later, I received a text from Mr. Smooth.  It said something close to this: “Had a great time tonight, you’re pretty hot, it’s too bad you don’t want anything ;)”


…Maybe he wasn’t trying to be creepy.  Maybe.


He texted me again three weeks later.  When I ignored him he (mercifully) gave up.


God was definitely looking out for me, because I worked at the church for almost a year afterwards and I never saw him again.


Poor Mr. Smooth.  I hope he found somebody to go with him to see Anchorman 2.

Drug Test From Hell

So, one time for school I had to go volunteer at a hospital for a semester.  Which was awesome because that’s what I wanted to do with my life.

However, since it’s a hospital and people there have lots of diseases and fun stuff going on you have to prove that:

a) you can’t get sick

b) you can’t get other people sick

c) you aren’t a psychopath or on hella drugs

(i.e. not this guy):


**RIP Heath Ledger


All this background-check-safety-measure stuff means that there’s a bunch of paperwork that has to happen before the actual volunteering and making people’s lives better part can begin.

One of the things you have to do is get a drug test done, which, you know, makes total sense.  The only problem was I’d never had to take a drug test before, and, as a drug test rookie I forgot one important piece of information: drug tests are urine tests.  URINE TESTS.

And I, genius that I am, went to go get mine done on a day that I’d drunk maybe one glass of water all day. Maybe.



So I filled out all the paperwork and paid for it and everything and then went into the restroom to get the job done.


It was a terrible realization.  Like, a please-God-no-this-isn’t-happening-I-already-feel-so-strange-about-all-of-this-please-no realization.

Let me tell you, there are few things weirder than going out into a waiting room and explaining to an office worker that you can’t get yourself to pee.  (“I’m sorry ma’am, I just, you see, I can’t pee on command…”)

I decided to see if I could wait it out (because that’s not super weird), and chugged a bottle of Mountain Dew to try to speed along the process.  I may or may not have been legitimately praying for pee at this point.


Then everyone working in the lab figured out what was happening and (strangely) got emotionally invested in my plight.  I spent the next hour and a half sitting in that waiting room, going to the restroom and trying to pee about every fifteen minutes.

Yes.  This really happened.

Every time I emerged from the bathroom one of the lab workers would call “Any luck yet?”

Finally, the lab was CLOSING, and I still hadn’t peed.

I had to come back THE NEXT DAY all because I couldn’t get myself to pee in a stupid cup.  But this wasn’t enough for the vindictive pee gods. No, of course not.

Five minutes after I pulled out of the lab parking lot, I felt it. I had to pee.

Like, I really had to pee.




The next day I hydrated like nobody’s business the whole morning, and peed in that cup like it was my job.

Good news: I wasn’t on drugs.


On the Usefulness of Hand Turkeys

Everybody has gotten to a place on some test at some point where you’ve look down at the page and realized there is no hope.  Your doom is sealed, defeat is inevitable, there is no way out.


When (not if) this occurs, there are two available options:

  1. Give up.
  2. Give up, but with style.


I mean, if you’re going to fail, might as well make the most of it, right?

In high school (and even undergrad), I never had the guts to go through with option two.  Grad school, however, was a different story.

At the beginning of my first semester, all the new grad students had to take placement exams in music theory and in music history.  I’ve always been pretty strong in both areas, so I might’ve skimped on studying just a tad.

It was just an entrance exam, how hard could it be?

As soon as I looked at the first page, I had my answer: Pretty darn.

As I paged through the test I left more and more questions blank.  It covered the entirety of music history as we know it, and, well, I only remembered parts.  I nailed 20th century avant-garde movements, and most things that related to classical piano repertoire.  But, I was sunk on that first page (ancient Greek music theory).

I mean, come on, who honestly remembers what the heck tetrachords are and how they function in the Greek theoretical system?

Nobody, that’s who.  And definitely not me.

As the minutes ticked by, I stared glumly at my completely blank first page.  This was a terrible embarrassment for perfectionist me.  The end of the world, really.

But then, I had an idea.  I could save this.  I didn’t know the answers, but I could save this.

Instead of answering the questions, I drew a magnificent hand turkey.  My best work.


(Obviously, this isn’t a picture of the one I actually drew, although I hope my professor kept it).  I put tears on his eyes, and drew a speech bubble that said “I know none of the answers.  Have a great day”.

Needless, to say, I failed the test – primarily because of the Greek theory section.  But (miraculously) only by a few points.

I actually was later able to convince my professor to let me skip the review classes in spite of my test score.


He never said so, but I’m pretty sure it was because I drew such a great hand turkey.


I spent a summer as a youth worker directly following my graduation from college.  For one of our activities we ended up needing to get our hands on a real (dead) fish, because reasons.  We needed it to be frozen, preferably, but very recognizably a fish so that it could be easily anthropomorphized.

However, neither I nor my coworkers had any idea how to actually acquire a dead fish.  Can you just buy them at the grocery store? Do you have to catch them yourself? How does this work?  Obviously, none of us were seafood fanatics.

We didn’t even know what kind of fish we wanted.  Someone vaguely suggested “bass…?” and we all sort of nodded knowingly, since apparently this was the only word that anyone knew was an actual fish species.  And that’s probably only because of this horrifying piece of merchandise:


Despite our inadequate knowledge, one of my coworkers and I volunteered to procure our dead fish.  We decided the best place to start would be the seafood section of the closest Kroger.  But when we got to the counter and said hi to the seafood man, we realized that neither of us knew how to ask for what we wanted.  After a few seconds of awkward hedging around the subject, (which greatly confused the seafood man), my coworker gave up and blurted “We’re looking a for a fish with a face.  Do you have any of those?”

The seafood man blinked a few times and responded “You mean, like, a tilapia….?”  Not knowing what a tilapia was, but fairly certain that it would work for what we wanted, both of us nodded.

“You’ll have to go to the other Kroger, their seafood selection is bigger.  We don’t sell those here.”

“Oh.  Okay.  Thanks, have a a good day!”

As we left, we both looked at each other and repeated “Tilapia. We want to buy a whole, frozen, tilapia,” which incidentally, looks like this:


As beautiful a face as you could ever want on a fish.

Certain that with our newfound knowledge we could purchase this fish without looking like complete idiots, we made the trek to the other Kroger in town.

Unfortunately, as we approached the seafood counter both of us blanked.  What kind of fish did we want? Who knows?  Instead, I bit the bullet, took one for the team.  It worked last time, it would work this time.

“Excuse me sir,” I said.  “We’d like to buy a fish with a face, please.”

After blinking for a few seconds, seafood man #2 said “you mean, a whole tilapia…?”


And that’s how we bought Morty, the amazing (frozen) dead fish.  His name is short for Rigor Mortis because, well, you know…

The Jimmy Kimmel Halloween Prank – (Why, Parents – WHY?!?)

Yes, I am writing about the Jimmy Kimmel Halloween Candy Prank, also known as That One Time A Year When Apparently It’s Ok To Lie To Your Kids Because A Talk Show Host Said To.  The second title was too long, that’s why they don’t use it on the show.   Just, you know, if you were wondering.

You see, I don’t like the Halloween Prank.  It was funny-ish the first time it happened, mostly because of that one gem on the end (you sneaky Mom!).  But really, that was it.  The rest was just screaming kids, and who really wants to watch five minutes of temper tantrums?  Nobody, that’s who.  So, as incentive to not have children, I guess the prank works.  It also works as incentive to never trust parents.




But really, here is why it’s a problem:

1)  I’m sorry, but these kids are too young to take that kind of joke.  You get kids that are 12, 13 and up then yeah, they are capable of understanding the humor.  But children younger than that (children of trick-or-treat age) are not developmentally ABLE to understand the complexity of this joke.  They live in a black and white world people, concrete operations period, or didn’t you study your Piaget?  All they know is a) my parents took my things without asking, something I am not supposed to do because it’s bad  (is it any wonder they’re upset?) and then later b) my parents lied to me, another thing I am not supposed to do because it’s bad.

Is it just me or are there some mixed messages happening here?  And no, saying “I was just kidding” does not make it all better.  Do your kids still have consequences when they lie to you and then say “just kidding”?  You bet they do.  The logical conclusion of this experience, if you are a child is a) my parents cannot be trusted and b) my parents do things that they say I am not allowed to do because they are bad.  News flash: neither of these is a good conclusion if you’re looking for a harmonious household.

2) Let’s examine the reactions of these kids.  Yikes.  I mean, alright, a couple of them are pretty sweet and forgiving, but GEEZ the overall stunts are um, terrifying.


However, how are the parents supposed to address these angry outbursts?  Can you discipline a kid for having a tantrum because you lied to them?  But are you just supposed to let the words “I hate you, Mom” slide under the table?  It seems the general consensus is to videotape it and then move on.  But one wonders, what seeds of dysfunction are being sown by this “good-natured practical joke”?  And why create such a parenting paradox in the first place?

3) Why on earth do people watch these?  It’s just children screaming and calling their parents names.  No thanks, I’ll pass.  Also, I’m very concerned about a generation of parents that has no problem having a laugh at the expense of their child.  It’s one thing to involuntarily catch something cute or weird or hilarious on film, and quite another to manipulate your kid so that you can have three seconds of youtube fame.

In conclusion – please never do this to your kids.