Don't Cross Danika: The Great Cereal April Fool's Prank of 2023


I'm not really into pranks or practical jokes. This means I often celebrate April Fool's Day with as much energy and preparation as I do for National Insect Appreciation Day.

But Danika had much more anticipation for April Fools and had been eagerly counting down the days. A day that encourages mischievousness is perfect for the girl who through the years has seasoned our couch, covered her entire body in lipstick, and once felt it necessary to see the inside of her mattress. Also, Danika just loves any 'special days' and in the past has requested we bake a cake for the groundhog for February 2nd because her philosophy is if a day is good enough to be commemorated on a calendar, then it is good enough to be celebrated by us.

Early in March, we were walking to school and Danika leaped into the air to declare that she had come up with the perfect prank for mommy. She wanted to freeze Emily's cereal so that the spoon was stuck in the bowl because the best way to celebrate the day was to convince someone they were in the opening scene of a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

There was a slight challenge to her master plan. Since it wasn't a Bugs Bunny cartoon but rather real life, it would take a few hours to freeze the cereal. The biggest issues were that Emily is infamously observant and a night owl.

We needed to get the cereal into the freezer for several hours without her noticing but with the extra challenge of knowing April 1st fell on a Saturday, so she could be roaming about until past midnight hankering for a late into the evening snack.

Through the years, there have been too many times when Emily wonders why the milk has been slightly moved to pull it back to reveal the hidden ingredients to a planned and no longer surprise breakfast in bed.

I still remember planning Emily's surprise 40th birthday party and for several months navigating through her questions about what is happening for her birthday and magically blocking her threats of arranging her own party with her friends for the weekend.

The surprise 40th Birthday party remained an actual hidden secret until the morning of her birthday when someone accidentally sent out a group text that included Emily that was asking about a ride to the party. I almost persuaded her that I had no idea what the person was talking about until there was another mistaken text later in the day and then someone arrived at the party at the exact time as her.

Oh well. My victory is that at least she was unaware of the plans for an entire four months before the big day. But I was well aware if the prank was going to actually be pulled off then we'd need to be prank ninjas of pure stealth.

It mostly was a success other than the rather significant issue that Danika has never before this day poured her mom a bowl of cereal or ever been this excited for her mom to wake up and have breakfast. Though, Danika despite her mischievous reputation is also one of the sweetest and kindest ladies in all the land, so she just slathered on the charm and took the role of the daughter just ready to spread some love. 

Emily knew something was up because she can read a calendar and the kids usually tend to be more thrilled with the idea of her sleeping in. But she wasn't expecting a solid bowl of cereal with a spoon stuck inside. Of course, being a great and fun parent, she knew exactly the response Danika was seeking and Emily went full Broadway drama with her shock.

Danika was thrilled she pulled off the big prank and has already claimed to be scheming for something even grander next year. Even though I am not a prankster, I do feel my daughter needs some acknowledgment for pulling off a fun one. She came up with the idea herself, and only needed my aid in making the bowl of cereal in the evening and hiding it away from Mom (which I feel earns me a cookie for succeeding).

Unlike most pranksters, Danika was a little bummed that neither of her parents pranked her. Danika is the type of kid that loves it when you tickle her. So, I should have clued in that even though she had much joy pulling off a prank, she was also expecting to feel the wrath of one.

Luckily, her brother came to the rescue, and while it was no frozen cereal, he stuffed her pillow full of his toys, so she got a bit of a hard surprise when she jumped into bed. I've never seen anyone so thrilled to be injured by their bed. Danika was overjoyed that her brother cared enough to prank her on April Fools.

This likely means that I need to go against my own pranking allergy and think of something to pull on Danika next year, as clearly practical jokes are one of her crucial love languages. Though I'm not sure if I could even pull off a prank as masterful as a frozen bowl of cereal.

All hail the queen of the pranks!