I had assumed that today's clue would be very easy for them.
As much as I have tried to get them in the habit of bringing their water cup back down every morning, they (and I) often forget.
Until we have a cup shortage.
I usually notice when loading the dishwasher. If the cup cabinet is bare(ish) and I don't have an upper rack full of cups, then I know exactly where they all are.
Which is when I call out "Kids! Bring down your cups!"
There have been some instances where I have gone upstairs on a cup hunt and returned with an obscene amount (like, think of a number in the high teens!) My friend Tammy says at their house each person gets one water cup and they have to keep track of it or go thirsty. I tried that. I bought each kid a lidded insulated water cup with straw. But they like the ice, so they were always removing the tops and then I'd have to send them on a mission to find the lids to their cups.
Look, the truth is that to enforce any type of rule or policy you yourself have to be disciplined and consistent.
I would give myself a C+ on cup discipline. I have to go hunt up my coffee mug every morning.
I wrote today's clue a few days ago, having no idea how bad the cup situation would be by Wednesday. I knew they would understand the clue right away, but I wanted them to have to check several to find the right one, so I purposely avoided any cup hunts and gave no reminders this week.
So when I got upstairs this morning I found one on Karl's nightstand and two more on the bathroom counter. Emma had just one in her room.
While Karl was in the shower I dumped the one on his bedside bookcase and threw the dollars in there.
Emma arrived for breakfast in a bad mood.
ME: Why so grumbly? Are you tired.
EMMA: (sulkily) Yes.
ME: Well you can just choose to be cheerful, even if you're tired.
KARL: Hey Emma, did you hear about the worker at the M&M factory who was fired for throwing away all the W's?
Emma laughed, despite her best efforts not to.
KARL: Did you hear about the guy who ordered a pizza?
KARL: They asked him if he wanted it cut into 6 or 12 pieces and he said "Oh cut it into 6 pieces - I could never eat 12!"
Emma laughed again.
So there ya go - comic relief from Karl. He's on at 10 and 2 - tip your waitress.
They read the clue and first checked all their electronics.
Oh yeah! I guess I do tell them to bring those down. We've had to confiscate all portable electronics at bedtime since Karl fell asleep at school and announced to his teacher that he had stayed up all night playing online poker.
That's an e-mail that every parent wants to get.
I explained to the teacher that by "online poker" Karl was referring to a kid's website where poker is just one of many games, none of which are for real money, but there was just so much wrong with that whole incident that trying to minimize the inappropriateness of the website was ridiculous.
So they have to bring down all electronics at night.
Next they checked their laundry. Oh yeah! I guess I do tell them to bring down their laundry.
Huh! I never considered how many things I tell them to "bring down"
Emma checked her school ID and they both checked their library books.
ME: Let me give you a slight hint - I am normally in a specific room in the house when I tell you to bring these down.
KARL: (thinks) Cups!
Emma immediately checked the one in her room and then went into Karl's. She approached the blue cup but Karl called out "That one's full of water"
She checked anyway.
KARL: But . . . (approaching her with concern on his face)
EMMA: Don't worry - they're not wet.