Let’s begin with a spoiler warning here:
Nobody under the age of thirteen on this post.
You guys twelve and under, here – go track Santa on NORAD.
Everybody else, onwards.
He belongs to the family of a friend of mine – another single mom with young kids, in particular an amazing 8 year old girl we’ll call Lizzie.
Every December Elfie and his countless cousins across the country show up in various places in their respective households to the delight of the kiddies and the alternating fun-and-frustration of their parents.
A different location every day.
Kids love to find the elf.
Parents sometimes love to hide the elf.
Last night, after a very long day at work followed by a very long afternoon running errands and playing chauffeur for the kids, Lizzie’s mom remembered Elfie. She’d purchased a small bag of gummy candy — a special and very occasional treat for the kids — and thought Elfie could guard the candy for the kids to find in the morning.
But as Lizzie’s mom was carrying the open bag of gummy candy, a small bowl, and Elfie to the intended location, she tripped. And gummy candy went everywhere.
And here’s where Lizzie’s mom realized she had a decision to make – a big one:
- Immediately pick up all the gummy candy so that the kids and dogs wouldn’t get into it, then position Elfie with the candy still in the bag;OR
- Something else.
Clearly, the responsible thing to do for any parent would be #1. But #1 requires bending over. And it’s late. And she’s not feeling all that great to begin with.
#2 it is.
She left the candy on the floor, and positioned Elfie so he was hiding his face on the ornament.
When Lizzie got up this morning, Lizzie’s mom hurried into the room where the great candy caper went down and yelled, “ELFIE! WHAT have you DONE!?”
Lizzie comes running in and sees the candy on the floor, gasps, and says “Mom I am SO sorry. I don’t know what got into him. I’ll clean it up!”
Lizzie’s mom had to run into the kitchen so she wouldn’t see her laughing. As Lizzie scurried around with a hand broom and dustpan, she was heard to exclaim in a very tight, clenched-jaw voice, the following diatribe, which I now transcribe faithfully from Lizzie’s mom’s account:
ELFIE. This WILL. NOT. DO. I cannot BELIEVE you. You are getting ME into TROUBLE, mister! We are NOT done with this. When I get home, we are gonna have a CONVERSATION about your behavior, Elfie!
Then Lizzie happened to touch one of the gummy candies on the floor — which apparently the dog had checked out at some point in the middle of the night but then decided against — and yelled, “OH, ICK! ELF SPIT!”
I leave you with this cautionary tale of elves gone wild, in hopes you and yours can either avoid the same this season, or maybe instead take a page from Lizzie’s mom’s awesome, awesome book.
Parenting: Ur doin’ it rite.