Sorry for the hiatus, Dear Readers. I’ve been busy. And pretty crazy. Like crazy crazy. The kind of crazy that no one should really be exposed to at length. It might be catching.
Anywhatevertheheck. Moving on.
You know this “Elf on the Shelf” thing? Have you heard of it? Do you know the story? Let me ‘splain it to you. That’s what I’m here for. There’s this Elf, see? And you bring it home and you put it in a prominent location in your home, like, say, oh I don’t know, a shelf, and you sit your children down and you tell them that Santa sent this Elf to help him out by keeping an eye on them by day, and then flying up to the North Pole to report back to Santa every night about whether or not they were “naughty” or “nice”. Cute, right? Don’t worry, dear reader, this is not the part where I admonish you for lying to your poor, naive children. Quite the contrary. I believe that lying, when done for the right reasons, and done with style, is a parenting tool that is WIDELY underutilized and often misunderstood. I am a proponent of this. But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about the damn Elf. So let’s get back to that.
I have noticed a couple of my Facebook friends’ status updates about the Elf on the Shelf…and bragging about how stealthy they’ve been, and chuckling about how they were almost caught when moving the Elf, and so forth and so on, and it struck me: I do not have a typical family. I know I’ve had this realization before, but it really never ceases to amaze me how ATYPICAL my family is.
Much like you probably have a very difficult time imagining what my life must be like, I am increasingly finding it more and more difficult to imagine what YOUR lives must be like. I mean, I can’t even imagine what I would do with myself if my kids were so calm and obedient that I could purchase a toy-like object, tell my children a fantastic, magical story about it, and then put it on a shelf and leave the room, where it would remain untouched. I mean, really? How does THAT work? I suppose you people can do things like go ahead and start wrapping your gifts and putting them under your tree, and you can keep a couple of spare rolls of toilet paper in your bathrooms? (Ha! I bet you’ve been taking that one for granted.)
They should invent another product for families like mine. It’d be called:
This Elf comes along with a magical story, which even my children love, but not with the expectations that the children will leave it alone. In other words, it’s not a pretty little package of disappointment–a constant reminder throughout the month of December at how terrible your children behave. Why can’t the Elf watch the children for Santa while being thrown into a moving ceiling fan and smashed against the wall? Or stuffed in a baby-doll sized back pack and shoved in the bottom of the toy box? Or left in the yard overnight? Or in the ice bin in the refrigerator? (Yeah, don’t ask.)
The answer is this: He can. As long as we are ALL lying to our kids, I can just make up my own story and make up my own rules, which I do all the time anyway. For that matter, I can just appoint our tiny puppy, Zero as Santa’s secret spy. Guess how much that little lie will cost me? Zero dollars. Plus, it will freak my other dog out, big time.