Thursday, November 18, 2010

Elf on the Shelf saved my life.

This is one of those phrases that you never can actually see yourself saying. But this morning as Henry, (our elf's name) sat on his perch in the kitchen, I felt that perhaps, this was just the parenting ticket we needed.  My girlfriend Talia came for a visit, by visit I mean for two nights, but you would have thought she was packing for a 12 day trip around the world.  Bags and Bags of food, shoes, clothes and who knows what else. She is a smart girl, she also brought a six pack of imported beer for Don, and once he saw that his "beer vision" didn't allow him to notice the six bags on our porch and the the fact that we stay up until midnight watching Oprah and pausing it to discuss, sessions.  But more importantly she came bearing a gift for the little boys too, The Elf on the Shelf.  For those unfortunate parents that are not aware of this genius product, it is a stuffed little elf that watches over your kids and gives daily behavior reports to Santa each night when he magically flies there.  If anyone touches him, the magic is gone and Christmas will be present-less and filled with despair.  I wasn't sure if they were going to buy into this one, but I hoped. They all fell for it, hook line and sinker. Parker was a little disappointed that Henry didn't jump out of his box on his own, but he obediently went to bed under Henry's watchful plastic eye.  Finegan was a little skeptical, but he is not going to test it, for the possibility that it may be real.  Jack doesn't get it, and wanted to take it upstairs with him.  Under the direct threat and Parker punching his hand with his fist, he told Jack that if he touched the elf, he was toast.
The Elf Tao is that he moves to different locations each night to get a new perspective on naughtiness. Finegan was the first to find him this morning.  It is only day one, and we will see how this plays out, but at least the threat of Henry is mine, all mine, for as long as it works. 
Although Don is buried in work, I still made it mandatory for him participate in the Family Elf ceremony. When the story was read, Don said with as much enthusiasm as a monk, "wow. its a magic elf" took a sip of his beer and walked back to his laptop.  Do you ever wonder if kids pick up on your blatant sarcasm? Don is a trained actor, and I was very disappointed in his performance, but the boys didn't seem to pick up on it. 
I wonder if we just didn't feel like spending money this year if we could just put Henry on the ground and play a Survivor  game of "who touched the elf we better be good". I won't try that this year.
I have no idea what ploy were will use when Henry travels back to the North Pole after Christmas. Maybe a Jesus doll, to report back to God on their behavior, but rather then a sad Christmas as punishment, they would have hell to pay! On second thought....

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