The Elf on the Shelf. You either love it or you hate it.
I’m not sure where I fit on that spectrum yet.
My kids pestered me for one of these things for YEARS and I said no, no way, forget it, I don’t care what everyone else has, and aw hayle no. I knew my limits. I had heard all the stories at the bus stop about these things and all the messes they make.
Like I need MORE messes. Bitch, please. I have three kids, two pets, and the hairiest husband in North America. We’re all set, thanks.
I had read about the moms who sprinkle glitter all over their homes in a trail-like formation so the kids can track down the Elf by following the glittery trail around their otherwise immaculate open floor plan. Shoot, I don’t vacuum enough as it is. Last thing I need to do is intentionally add to the funk on my floors.
In my home, I was certain the Elf would get lost in a dog-hair-tumbleweed and we’d never see him again. Or with our luck, the dog would find him first, eat him, and poop out his mangled head for the kids to find in the yard one day, scarring them for life. No thanks.
And then there were all the overwhelming rules and tips I kept hearing. “You can’t touch them.” “They eat cookies and hot cocoa.” “You can catch one in a lollipop trap!” “They love to make snow angels in powdered sugar!”
You’re effin’ kidding me, right? Lord only knows what I’d wake up to if I intentionally spread powdered sugar on my kitchen floor overnight. Nothing says Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus like a swarm of disease-ridden vermin.
My friends tried to get me to drink the Elf Kool-Aid by espousing the incredible disciplinary value. One of my stepsisters even said she wished she could keep the Elf out all year! “Clean your rooms or the Elf will tell Santa and you’ll get coal in your stocking!”
Oh come on now. Really? My kids clean their rooms in exchange for the best prize of all: the opportunity to continue living here. This is what is wrong with kids today. They need to be bribed to do everything! I don’t need no stinkin’ Elf for this. I just tell them what my crazed single working mother shouted to me and my brother numerous times: “I swear to GOD…I will call Santa and tell him not to come. Is that what you want? Is it?! ANSWER ME!”
Hey, it worked. Santa always came.
But then last year Grandma “discovered” The Elf on the Shelf and mailed my kids one right after Thanksgiving. She was so darn excited about it that I just didn’t have the heart to say no anymore.
And when I saw how grateful the kids were for Grandma saving the day and providing for them what their mean old hag of a mother refused to do for years, I totally caved.
The kids named him Dobbie. (Original, I know. They wanted to name our Black Lab “Blackie” too.) And it was pretty cute to see them bound out of bed every morning last December to search for him.
I have to admit, seeing the excitement on their faces made me totally want to come up with more and better ways of cracking them up everyday. When I remembered to do it, that is. There were definitely more than a few mornings when the kids heard that “Dobbie must be really tired today. Poor guy!”
By far, their favorite memory of Dobbie last year was the morning they found him hanging from the ceiling fan, spinning around and around. Minimal effort. No mess. Laughing kids. That’s my kind of Elf action.
Dobbie’s been back at the North Pole all year, but he reappeared yesterday, ready for action.
Apparently, Santa runs a pretty tight ship. When Dobbie got here last night, he obviously needed to blow off some steam. Kinda reminded me of my Uncle Jeb when he first got outta the joint.
Turns out, Dobbie likes to party.
This is how I found Dobbie this morning. I was afraid of the kids telling their friends and teachers about Dobbie’s drinking problem, so I told Dobbie to do like I do and hide the evidence.
He didn’t like that idea at all. Apparently Dobbie had crossed the line from Happy Drunk to Belligerent Drunk.
I told him to get his shit together before the kids woke up and when I turned back around to see if he was cooperating, I saw this:
I’m a little scared of Dobbie now. But the kids thought it was hysterical. Even little Bucket Head was making jokes and speaking in a demonic voice saying “Who wants Dobbie to butter their toast? HA HA HA!”
Thanks Dobbie. Thank you for giving me a reason to slow down a little and have a moment of fun with my kids every day. I admit it, I used to hate you, but now I think you’re pretty cool. Just put that big knife away, m’kay?