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March 21 - Detective Training

There's a note on my phone where I've been keeping track of the various birthdays my kids' stuffed animals have. They've tried to front sometimes like their birthdays are all the time, but I have to tell them, "Uh, no, I have it right here that your teddy bear's birthday isn't until August." I bring this up because last night they alerted me that two of their stuffed bears had birthdays on March 21st: Zephyr's bear Fluffington Q. Bear Esq. (or "Fluffy") and Lyric's bear Bat-Bear.

Maybe they remembered it was a day after Zephyr's half birthday? Whatever the case was, they were right, and we had to make those birthday bears feel special. So they'd hide and the kids would have to find them for Detective Training.

Fluffy got hidden first. I put him in our umbrella stand, underneath a red bike helmet. He was essentially invisible. This was going to be challenging.

 They'd have to lift up the red helmet to see him.

They'd have to lift up the red helmet to see him.

The kids searched around for a while, and when they asked for a clue, I went to get a scrap of paper and wrote out the following for them:

So Zephyr started looking under his backpack and underneath the couch cushions and Lyric looked behind our curtains, but nothing was there.

I didn't want them to get too frustrated, so I made one more clue for them. I just drew this:

The non-red parts just came from some water Lyric had spilled on the table, but they got that I was drawing a red semicircle. Zephyr seemed stumped, but Lyric ran over to the red helmet and found Fluffy. He was pretty proud of it, too.

Then I had to hide Bat Bear, and the pressure was on because I could tell that Zephyr felt he needed to find this one to balance things out. I stuffed Bat Bear into the blue drawer in their room they keep any kind of balls in. As they looked, I told them it would be a lot easier to find something in their room if they made it a little cleaner, and together we picked up some of the stuffed animals they had cluttering the floor.

 Keeping their room tidy demands eternal vigilance.

Keeping their room tidy demands eternal vigilance.

With the room a little bit more tidy, I ran to the other room and wrote them another cryptic clue:

I was trying to draw a bunch of balls, but Zephyr started getting all wrapped up in how many were blue and how many were red and how many were yellow. So I doubled down on cryptic clues and gave them this:

 Always a tricky word for me, because if I look at it too long it seems like it should rhyme with "doing". Actually, more of a vice versa situation (where "doing" starts looking like it sounds like a spring activating), but still.

Always a tricky word for me, because if I look at it too long it seems like it should rhyme with "doing". Actually, more of a vice versa situation (where "doing" starts looking like it sounds like a spring activating), but still.

Again, trying to push the ball theme. Zephyr thought about it for a moment and then had a eureka moment: look in the drawer with the balls.

 Found him!

Found him!

In the spirit of #RadicalHonesty, I should admit: Zephyr misread "Boing" as "Bowling" and was checking that drawer because that's where we keep his plush bowling set. But y'know, whatever. It got us to the right point, the birthday bears were reunited with their respective bed mates, and we were able to have a fabulous Detective Training session with little to no prep. Everyone walked away happy.