I haven't figured this out yet . . .
So I happened upon this photo opportunity this morning when my kids were trying to hide from me in their hanging tent. They’re looking out for me through a little window in the tent. I managed to creep up behind them with enough stealth to capture this photo before bursting through and scaring the living daylights out of them.
If you’ve never scared children, you should try it because it’s hilarious and they think it’s awesome. Except when it’s creepy. Like this story that my brother told me once of a professor he had who’d hide in the bushes outside his house on Halloween with a scary mask and a chainsaw. Then when kids would ring the doorbell he’d jump out and rev the chainsaw, undoubtedly sending several children home traumatized and with wet pants. That’s not cool, and you’re just asking for a lawsuit by doing something like that.
But toddlers definitely get a kick out of someone jumping out from behind a doorway or bursting through the curtains.
It’s fun to scare your children, but it can be hard on the eardrums to deal with the loud, high-pitched screams that inevitably follow. My wife has long complained my hearing sucks, but if I go deaf before I’m thirty, I’m blaming the kids.
Speaking of screaming kids, if you’re one of those people who can’t stand screaming children, the screams aren’t exactly music to their parents’ ears. Don’t get me wrong, when my children laugh at unbearably loud levels it brings warm fuzzy feelings to my heart, but I would still prefer to spare my eardrums. I’ve built up this semi-immunity to my kids’ loud screams, but other people’s kids aren’t as tolerable to my ears as my own.
I’m always impressed with parents who can tune it out like there’s no one else even there. Has anyone ever had a conversation with one of these people? They’re impossible to hear because they’re so well trained to tune out screams that they don’t raise their voice while talking to you, even when a child is screaming three feet away from them. That may be annoying, but it’s also impressive. It’s like a parent superpower that I somehow managed not to get when I became a dad.
So if you have kids, work with kids, babysit kids, or hang out with people who are near kids, please tell me how to save my ears. Because no one will tell you this, but it may be the most useful skill to have as a parent. Especially if you enjoy scaring your kids as much as I do.