Sunday August 6th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the treasure hunt.

Pretty fun family day. Definitely got off to a good start...


When we were tying to get Max out of diapers we struggled for a long time with getting him on the potty. At first he wasn't interested, then he was scared, then... I don't know. He just didn't want to?

Anyway, we tried a lot of different things. At one point I created a 'potty path', which was basically a hand drawn path that we put on the bathroom wall with squares to represent each time he used the potty. Every time he did he got to put a sticker on the next square of the path, and every fifth square there was a reward of some sort.

I designed it at a time when my expectation was that he'd be putting a sticker up once a day, maybe twice a day as he got more comfortable.

It sat on the wall for a very long time with only one sticker on it. I was getting ready to throw it out. Then, rather suddenly, he took to it.

And he was off to the races.

I think he finished the path in just over a week. Two weeks tops. That meant a lot of rewards had to be arranged in a much shorter period of time than I was expecting. Which meant some rewards had to wait a long time. Like, months.

This morning I finally got to the last reward I hadn't taken care of yet: a treasure hunt around the farm.

It started with a map and a note. The map lead him to treasure number one (a bubble wand), a second map, and a second note. This lead to treasure number two (buckets, shovels, and other beach toys), a third map, and a third note. This lead to a final treasure (a map of our solar system to put up in his room) and a final note.

I apologized afterward for it taking so long to get to it, while also telling him how happy I was that he enjoyed it so much.

At bedtime tonight he told me 'Maybe tomorrow we can do another treasure hunt with different toys.'

Which left me feeling grateful that he liked it so much... and thinking that maybe he enjoyed it a little too much...


Greg said...

That's a very sweet story (and one you should definitely save for telling to people when he's older too!). I wonder if it all took off when he figured out that there were rewards to be had? After all, from the end of today's story it sounds like he's definitely motivated by reward :) (Aren't we all, though?)
It sounds like you had fun too, creating the maps and setting out the prizes (and presumably helping Max with the maps when he got stuck). Overall a great result, I think!

The treasure hunt
Callisthenia had bought a new dress and a new clipboard for the Treasure Hunt and had spent considerably more on the clipboard. It was a thin plank of Indonesian ebony with a tungsten clip at the top and guaranteed for three lifetimes of use in extreme and exotic locales, and she was very proud of it. But now, as her dress proved to be rather too thin for the autumn wind, she shivered and looked at the top piece of paper again. Forty-one teams had entered, and she had modestly promoted that at her church group, but three of the teams were disturbingly good at this. No, not good, she thought, focused. It was like they had an additional goal that only they knew about.
In first place, with only three treasures left to find, were a group of six schoolchildren. They all looked to be under twelve (physically, she thought; mentally she worried that they were all somehow older -- and wiser -- than her) and she wouldn't have let them enter except that their teacher had insisted. Miss Snippet, if she remembered the name right, which is probably why they were called Snippet's Poppets. They had returned the first four treasures so fast that she'd stopped everything for ten minutes while she checked for cheating, but it just seemed that the children were efficient. Terrifyingly efficient.
In second place, with also only three treasures to find, was an individual competitor going by the name of Isabella Bonfontaine. The poor woman had had a stroke at some point and it had immobilised half of her face, so Callisthenia had been intending to go a little easier on her. But then she'd returned with fourteen varieties of tea-cosy for treasure number seven and demanded to know which one Callisthenia had intended. The conversation had gotten a little... heated and Callisthenia certainly hadn't intended to call the poor woman a cow, but somehow the word had slipped out. Treasure number eight, the Steiff teddy-bear, had been given to her with its throat cut and scratch marks on its wrists that looked like defense wounds and so she'd docked points. Shaking, and worrying that she would be next, but she'd docked points.
In third place were a couple of odd gentlemen calling themselves Bill and Ben who she never saw until they were stood next to her. She'd jumped out of her skin so many times now she could swear it didn't fit properly any more and was getting more wrinkled. They were arguably the best at this, given that everything they'd come back with was solid gold, but... the treasures weren't supposed to be. And while she was clearly going to be incredibly wealthy if they kept this up, it wasn't what the rules said, so...she docked points. Reluctantly, but she docked them.
She checked the list on the clipboard. What were they all bringing back now? Oh yes, the joke item, a chicken's scream. She looked around: the children and the woman were all approaching looking grimly determined, and she felt a chill run down her spine.
"You look cold," said a masculine voice in her ear, and she screamed involuntarily. "Hah, the chicken screamed better than that," it continued. "Getting it in gold though... that took some doing."

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, I had fun too. Still not willing to do it every day :P

Ah, what a fantastic collection of characters to be competing in a treasure hunt! I was tying to guess who the third might be before I got to it but only Charles was coming to mind. Oh, Mac just came to mind as well.

Either way, you clearly have a fantastic roster of characters to pull from and this tale benefited greatly from that :)