Monday, March 2, 2015

Fifteen Ways To Keep Your Kids On Their Toes

When kids are little, moms rarely have time to just have fun with them. We’re so busy wiping, dressing, teaching, feeding, and protecting that we assume their enjoyment as our own.  There's not much downtime for fun, and let’s face it: any downtime at the early stage of parenting morphs into naptime, and although naptime is a good thing, giving it the distinction as a good time is a stretch.

When kids are older, it’s a whole new world.  Downtime is frequent and you can fill it with all sorts of pleasurable activities, like pranks.  The best part?  Your kids have likely developed a sense of humor and can take a joke or two, and the likelihood of traumatizing them with harmless high jinks is low.   

In our house, I like to mix things up to keep things interesting for them and me, and think up all kinds of ways to mess with my kids that go far beyond the typical mom shenanigans like wearing a Halloween mask and moaning while hiding under their bed in the middle of the night, or getting them up at 5 am on a random Saturday yelling VACATION! then NOT YOU, SUCKERS! as you drive off with your spouse.

Here are some fun games you can play with your kids to keep them on their toes, and more importantly, to make up for when they were toddlers and would pound on the bathroom door while you sat on the toilet and cried.




1. Using a heavy hand with a black eyeliner pencil, give yourself extreme eyebrows every day for a week.  Act normal and pretend not to notice when they ask you what’s up with the makeup.  A different expression every day is a good rule of thumb.

2. Pick them up from school dressed in their clothing.  Bonus points if you can fit into Amy’s cheerleading uniform or Andy’s wrestling singlet.  Double bonus points if you don’t fit into them but wear them anyway.


3. Greet them at the door after school on a hot day dressed in winter parka, boots, snowpants, scarf, gloves, and hat and ask if they would help you shovel the driveway.

4. Draw a mustache on your face and some fake scars.  When they ask you what you are doing, tell them that you are practicing to be a movie makeup artist.  Ask them what they think of your skills.

5. When your kids ask you to tell them how you and your spouse met, tell them a fairy tale like the Cinderella or Rapunzel story, or virtually any Disney Princess. “Well, dear, Mommy and Daddy met while Mommy posed as a male soldier in the Chinese army.  My best friend was a tiny dragon!”

6. Announce “I can’t wait to eat!  I’m starving!” several times as you prepare dinner.  Rub your belly and lick your lips.  When the food is ready, set the table.  Set your own place using serving dishes: platter, serving spoon and fork, huge bowl, and pitcher for your water glass.

7. Drink from the milk jug that you’ve labeled “Mommy Juice.”

8. Tell them you’re going out to pick up pizza, then get the pizza you’ve hidden in the car and re-enter the house a minute later.  Ask them if anything exciting happened while you were gone.

9. After school, tell them you baked cookies today and ask them if they want some.  See how far they let you get as you heat up a can of baked beans, leftover spinach, or a slice of sandwich bread spread with margarine.

10. When they fight or argue, break it up by making them each pay you five dollars.

11. Name games:

a) Play “Rumpelstiltskin.”  Ignore them until they’ve guessed the name you want to be called.  Options:  Adam Sandler, Mister Salty, Eleanor Roosevelt. 

b) Mess up their names while talking to them.  Cameron can be Cameraman, Camabanana, Camacabana, Campricorn and Camantha all in the same conversation.  Sydney can be Sydneybean, SydneyAustralia, Sydnickelback, Sydliloquy, etc.  Be creative! 

c) When their friends come over, ask them to call you Queen Elizabeth.  In return, call them Dawg.

12. (From my daughter): When they sleep through their alarms, wake them up by drawing on their faces – mustache, sideburns, unibrow.  When they ask what you are doing, tell them that you thought you’d help them get ready for the day since they slept in.

13. Talk like Henrietta Pussycat in their presence.  Even more fun if you’re with a bunch of family or friends and everyone else is in on the joke.

14. Work movie lines into random situations.  When they stumble downstairs in the morning before school, ask them if they’d like to build a snowman.  When you drop them off anywhere, kiss them goodbye, along with "May the Force be with you."  When serving cod for dinner, sadly look at your plate and lament, “Fish are friends.  Not food.” On chore day, tap into your inner Mary Poppins and advise them that in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. 

15. (from my son): Adopt an imaginary friend for a day.  Insist on a space beside you at all times.  Set a place for him or her at dinner, and laugh randomly at jokes that only you can hear.  Tell the kids that your friend really approves of his or her hair and outfit today.  At night, ask “Do you mind if Gerald sleeps with you?”


*******

16 comments:

  1. OHmygosh these are HILARIOUS!! I am going to charge my kids five bucks now, for every argument they have. Thankyouforthat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Chris! Charging your kids for the little things is a good way to get back the money that you give to them in the first place.

      Delete
  2. Your funitude is just one of the many reasons I love you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee hee hee. Imagine the giggling if we lived closer. :)

      Delete
  3. Dying. Hilarious! So much to do today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharpen your eyeliner pencil, and get to work - that unibrow won't draw itself on your face! :)

      Delete
  4. Oh this had me crying tears of laughter!
    Personally I like to change the candy or cookies for turnips or carrots, claiming the Tooth Fairy doesn't want them to lose their teeth just yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That Tooth Fairy sure is a stickler. She's one of the more surly childhood overseers.

      Delete
  5. #13 , I couldn't stop giggling.

    I suddenly want to live at your house for a few hours...I'll bring extra eyebrow pencils. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always need another partner in crime. The teens have major resistance and reinforcements are welcome. ;)

      Delete
  6. #8 - aha ha ha ha!! I am SO doing that. And probably some of the other ones too.

    Adopt me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the pizza one would be great just to watch them try to figure out how you did it.

      Also the one with the most prep.

      Delete
  7. You are da bomb. Seriously. I need to get on #10, that will be easy money and momma needs some spending money! And 11 c)? My absolute favourite!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have demanded five dollars for teasing, too. I've found as long as you stand your ground and insist, they are compelled to pay up.

      Delete
  8. Oh my God, I am dying! #2 made me snort laugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It makes me snort laugh, too. I had more fun writing this post than any other.

      Delete