I love messing with other people’s kids. Not in an evil, sinister (or illegal) way... just enough to get under the skin of their parents. It’s actually pretty easy, here are some ideas for starters:
- Provide semi-incorrect information that parents have to correct later—“Why, Joey, I thought you knew about the gnomes. They come into your bedroom every night looking for ONE sock. That’s why it seems like you can only ever find one sock at a time. The gnomes have your other one. I'm not really sure what they do with it, though.”
- “Accidentally” let harmless secrets out about their parents… nothing seriously damaging, but something that will really open their eyes. This really only works with older kids, but it can be fun. (Real life example after list)
- Call them by a name other than their own. Be sure it’s one they wouldn’t necessarily like much. When they ask why you keep calling them that, tell them that it’s their real name (“it’s even on your birth certificate!”). Say it’s a family name that their parents HAD to give them, and they use a nickname to save them the embarrassment at school. My sister has called my youngest daughter “Clyde” since she was a baby. My uncle always called my brother “Alice.”
When I was a kid, my uncles and my cousins tormented me. They didn’t just tease me. They TORMENTED me until I was in tears. Then they’d laugh and walk off. Oddly enough, if I could have just learned to roll with the punches, they probably would have given up. But NOOOO. I was a big baby. As I grew older (and a little wiser), I was one of the first grandchildren, as well as the first in my immediate family, to have children. So, where they all left off with me, they started right back up again with my kids. Luckily, my kids were a little tougher than I was, but they still got some of “the treatment.” So, now PAYBACK is sweet. I’m armed and dangerous with some pretty strong ammunition. (again, take this with a small grain of salt. I’m not entirely evil)
Here’s an example of a real-life situation… but you need just a bit of background info on me… my oldest daughter was born when I was 20 years old. She came exactly 7 months after her father and I were married, and she wasn’t premature. We were young, engaged, and not patient. Long story short, we both thought we’d wait until she was older to discuss the nature of her conception. After her father and I divorced, we disagreed upon when was the best time to talk to her. I felt she should know at age 12, and he felt we should wait until she was at least 15 or so. Well, it backfired on him. Because she found out… from a family friend… accidentally… DURING HIS WEDDING RECEPTION two years ago. As she did the math, her eyes grew large, and she marched up to the wedding table to confront him. Since then, my sister has encouraged my daughter to call me “SLUT” at every opportunity. She did it once. Once. She’s a smart kid. She learns from mistakes. Even if she has to have a mouth full of soap to learn something, she never makes the same mistake.
Fast forward a couple of months… we’re in Las Vegas at some stupid dance competition. The hotel room houses my cousin, my sister, her daughter, my oldest daughter, and me (WAY too many females for one room!). Again, my sister is reminding my daughter of how I am such a slut… blah, blah, blah… then my niece brings up the fact that she found condoms in my parents’ house. She knows this, because she and my sister were staying with my parents for a few months. Now, my parents are young (late 50s) and technically could still be using condoms. But I know that my dad has had a vasectomy. I also know that my single sister had a visitor one night when mom, dad, and niece were out of town. She and Mr. Booty Poodle were the condom users. So, I blurt out to my niece, “Well, why would Grandma and Grandpa need condoms? Grandpa had a vasectomy! They MUST belong to someone else.” She’s not a stupid kid. It took her all of 5 seconds to figure that one out. Ah… sweet revenge. She was so grossed out; she could hardly look at my sister for the rest of the night!
After thinking about all of this… I’m usually not one for huge doses of revenge. The worst payback I’ll give my brother is teaching his son how to play a song on the piano… a song my brother hates. That’s not mean, just slightly mischievous. I guess the only truly heinous retaliation was the story above. But she totally deserved it. Totally.