Julian Timberlake, an old pal of mine, used to tell stories about how his father would create elaborate treasure hunts in their backyard to keep him busy in the summer. Julian is from the deep south, so I imagine his hunts involved civil war era muskets, stately plantations and gallons of sweet tea.
Last weekend, I decided to create my own treasure hunt for Elijah and Luca. But instead of stately plantations and tea, I used Post-It notes and Skittles. Oh, and civil war muskets.
I would write little rhyming messages like, “Your next clue isn’t in a hole. Look under the fruit bowl.” Or, “Don’t fret. Don’t moan. Look under dad’s iphone.” It’s a great way to get Eli to read, plus while they hunt I can check facebook for three glorious minutes.
The notes would lead them all over the house and eventually to a drawer or pan with a handful of Skittles. Solving these riddles are the greatest achievements in their lives. They go absolutely bonkers at uncovering a few thousand grams of sugar.
My best clue so far? “Take it from me. Look where Luca goes pee.” Oh man. Luca recalls it like a classic George Carlin routine. “Dad, remember in the hunt when you said look where Luca pees?” Yes. Yes I do.
So now every hunt must include at least one potty joke.
There is now a constant drumbeat to do a hunt do a hunt do a hunt. The minute I walk into the house after work, they beg me to do a hunt. I’m awoken in the morning to a hunt request. But it’s better than sitting in front of the TV. Unless you’re watching the 1960‘s show “Sea Hunt.”
Our house isn’t very big. So I’m kind of running out of places to hide post it notes. But Eli and Luca don’t seem to care how many times I have to think of what rhymes with “Look under Mommy’s computer.” Don’t be a looter? It’s not under the scooter? Mommy’s wedding ring is secretly made from Pewter?
And now, off to buy more Post it notes. And a rhyming dictionary.