2013 Countdown to Christmas - Day 5!
2013 Countdown to Christmas - Day 8!

2013 Countdown to Christmas - Day 6 and 7!

For Day #6 I wanted to write a clue that Emma would get before Karl. He's been solving most of them, so I decided to stack the deck in her favor.

First things first, I needed some origami dollars. Behold, one disheveled anteater:


These little buggers (pun intended) were DIFFICULT! My folding was pretty inconsistent - a couple looked like anteaters (if you squinted) but the others just looked like aardvarks. Heh.

I was more than happy to attach them unceremoniously to an empty soda bottle using a rubber band:


Emma brought the bottle home from school this week and excitedly told me that this is the soda they drink in a web comic she likes but it's only sold up north and one of her friends had gifted her this bottle. (Sans soda, but still a nice gesture!

She set it right here on the bar next to these candles. As though it were decor. But then, she also knows her father, so the next day, in a panic, she said:

EMMA: Wait, where's my Faygo bottle?

ME: Right where you left it.

EMMA: Whew! Don't let Dad recycle it.

ME: Maybe you should move it for safe keeping.

It's still on the bar.

But when I spied it there Thursday night I knew I could write a clue for it, and that would give Emma an edge. I didn't know anything about this soda but my good friend G. Oogle sent me right to the Faygo website for research.


Emma texted me toward the end of school to see if she could go straight to Erin's house. It was a Friday and a really cold one, so it seemed unreasonable to ask her to walk home first just to solve the clue. My plan instead was to have them solve two clues on Saturday.

I woke Karl up this morning to get him to his 4-hour Saturday detention on time. It started as a simple 1 hour detention for missing a class. He does not pick up on social cues, including, in this case, an entire cafeteria of kids filing out to their next class. The janitor found him listening to music, alone, in the cafeteria and asked if he was supposed to be in class.

Yep, that happened.

His case worker later told me it was just a series of unfortunate miscommunications because they were in meetings and the teacher had no idea he was at school that day, so nobody knew to look for him. He missed an entire period and was disciplined with a one hour after-school detention.

Nobody told me.

When he failed to report to the one hour detention (because Mom did not text him to remind him, because Mom did not know anything about it) he was slapped with a two hour after-school detention.

Nobody told me.

When he failed to report to the two hour detention he was slapped with a three hour after-school detention.

Nobody told me.

You're getting the picture, right? Finally I got a voicemail from the Assistant Principal telling me that he would have to serve a 4-hour Saturday detention for failure to appear to any of the three previous detentions.

I called his case worker first, asking why she hadn't told me about the earlier detentions. She was as surprised as I was, because nobody had told her, either.

Then I called the Assistant Principal back.

ME: I will have Karl there for his Saturday detention, but why wasn't I told of the earlier detentions?

AP: We don't normally inform the parents unless they ask us to. We send a slip home with the child.

ME: It is well documented in Karl's IEP that he cannot be the only source of communication between the school and the parents. We must have back-up notification. His case worker wasn't informed either.

AP: (puzzled) Well I asked Karl to show you the papers. 

ME: I'm sure you did.

Really? I mean really? I have to tell her to let his case worker know about disciplinary stuff? This is news to her? Really? *sigh*

At least this gave me time to get the dollars folded and the Saturday clue written, since he wouldn't be home until noon.



The George Washington face shirts were really easy to fold. The ones with the ties were harder.

It was about 11:30 when Emma came to find me.

EMMA: Uh, Mom? I accidentally found the money today.

ME: You did? 

EMMA: Yeah, I'm making pizza rolls for lunch.

ME: OK, well I guess you can just sit out today's clue and let Karl solve it on his own.

EMMA: He'll solve it.

ME: You don't even know what it says!

EMMA: Yeah, but he's really good at solving them.

Aw. Poor girl. I was happier than ever that the first clue was something only she would know.

ME: What did you think of the origami today?

EMMA: What are they? Shirts?

ME: (offended) Yes! Of course they're shirts. Two of them even have ties!

EMMA: (shrugs) I like the animals better.

I take back the "poor girl" stuff. Sheesh!


KARL: Hmmm. 50 flavors. It could be ice cream, but this doesn't seem like a real flavor.

EMMA: I'm sure it probably is a real flavor, but I've never heard of it.

They checked the freezer.

Next they went to the breakfast room table, where Emma had her laptop.


EMMA: OK, how do you spell the name, Karl?

KARL: (looking at clue) F-E-I-G (looks up) No, it's E-N, not O-N, then S-O-N.

EMMA: Hey! I have no internet. Karl, are you sucking all the bandwidth?

KARL: (getting up) I'll go check my settings.

EMMA: (puzzled) But while you were gone we turned off your computer.

ME: Yeah, we had to. Whatever you were doing was causing none of us to have internet.

KARL: I turned the computer back on when I got home, and I have it set to always give me the bandwidth before Emma.

EMMA: Rude.

KARL: I usually have a restricter on at 75% though. (heads upstairs)

Emma and I just looked at each other and shook our heads. Karl is frighteningly good at computer stuff. 

Karl returned and sat back down.

KARL: Try it now. I had it set to 100%.

EMMA: So you were taking ALL the bandwidth?

KARL: All of it.

EMMA: Rude.

Emma peformed her search and then jumped up.

EMMA: Karl, it's Faygo! I have a Faygo bottle!

KARL: Wha...?

But she was already to the bottle.


KARL: What is that?

EMMA: It's the soda they drink in Homestuck.

ME: What is it? Home Suck?


ME: Got it.

I told them to grab their anteaters and pose for a victory shot.

ME: OK, ready? Smile and look right here at the camera. It's the big black thing in front of my face. Just look right here. Right at me. Ready?



Karl was up next for Clue #7. 


KARL: "A sleuthing tip from me to you, Solve each part of every clue! Today the first is black and chrome, Inside it gets quite hot, The second's used in baseball games, So line drives can be caught." Hmm. Black and chrome . . .

He walked to the kitchen and examined the oven, then looked at the clue again.

KARL: "line drives" - I don't know what those are. Hey Emma, I need you to Google something for me.

EMMA: Already on it. (reads from the screenIn baseball, a line drive is a type of batted ball, sharply hit, and on (or slightly above) a level trajectory.

KARL: (wanders back toward the oven while talking) OK, so this allows a line drive to be caught, so it must be some sort of baseball glove. I'm guessing she's referring to an oven mitt.




 Smart kid!

KARL: (on his way to the envelopes) Do I get to keep all four dollars or do I have to split them with Emma?

ME: You have to split them.

KARL: Aww.

Tune in tomorrow for Clue #8. We're putting up Christmas decorations today, so that will make for some new festive hiding spots!