Elf on the Shelf and other crazy things parents do

Every time I secretly move like a spy in the night to move Elf on the Shelf to another creative location, I think to myself, “Why in the hell am I doing this?” It’s because parents do crazy things for their kids, that’s why.

I’ve already pulled out most of my best Elf on the Shelf ideas as well as a few lame ones. The lame ones were things like sticking him in the window like he was taking a look outside. Only, my son didn’t find him so that was a waste.

I also had him peeking out of the kitchen cabinet. That’s it. Just sticking his head out. And held him there by closing the cabinet door on his head. Yep. Did that.

The good ones? Love the toilet paper roll idea where it looks like he had some midnight fun by rolling himself down the stairs inside a paper roll. It’s easy and the kid loved it. Of course, I rolled the toilet paper back up to use again because who wastes toilet paper?

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But the best was when I used duct tape to tape little Elfie to the wall along with my son’s favorite snake stuffed animal. It looked like Elf got into our tape and then got himself stuck. The coolest part is the morning after. I untaped him while my son was sleeping but kept the tape on the wall so it looked like he had escaped. Pretty cool.

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I consider myself to be an overachiever every so often but there are times when I realize that some people are on super steroids when it comes to overachieving. Like anyone who creates an Elf on the Shelf planning calendar. I found this free printable calendar on stockpilingmoms.com.

 

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My brother’s girlfriend sent me the calendar she was planning to use and instead of thinking, “oooo, great idea,” I thought back to the Mom I just knew I’d be…

Organized and neat all the time, I’d put up the most perfect decorations early every holiday and then I’d pack them up in perfectly neat boxes labeled for easy access the following year. I’d send out Christmas cards including a gorgeous family photo where we’d all be smiling like the people in the picture frames before you put your photos in. And I’d also have a rock hard body, have sex with my husband regularly and even do my hair every day.

(Insert blank stare here.)

I never remember to send Christmas cards until I start receiving other people’s Christmas cards and then usually yell out, “dammit, I can’t believe I forgot again! Oh well.” I decorate but it’s a chore so I procrastinate doing it and then when I finally get to it, it looks good from far away but from up close it’s a mess. I usually can’t find my decorations year-to-year and regret not putting them back in a labeled box. Every. Single. Year. And we usually get our Christmas tree at the last minute, driving around and around looking for places that still have trees that don’t suck. Oh, and my body is pillow soft.

So, why do we do these things?

Why do we stay up late to wrap gifts from Santa, eat cookies and drink milk while our kids are asleep knowing that they are going to wake up really early in the morning, probably a few short hours after we got in bed?

Why do we sneak in our kids rooms to take their tooth from under their pillow and replace it with money and then try to figure out what we do with the tooth? “Let’s keep i!” Gross.

Why do we wake up at the crack of dawn to shop on Black Friday with hundreds of other crazy people to get a deal on that expensive gift that will probably be forgotten along with all of the other forgotten toys, when we should be at home sleeping off Thanksgiving dinner and drinking eggnog with a shot of whiskey for breakfast?

Why do we purchase a freaky looking Elf and then spend an entire month moving him around our house while acting like we are surprised every time he moves? “Wow! Look, he’s pooping in the bathroom. OMG, he poops chocolate chips! That’s crazy!” I should get an Oscar for this.

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Why? It’s because we love our kids and will do anything to keep them happy. Parenting is the most difficult job but the most rewarding. I’ve loved before but the love for a child is so deep that it hurts, in a good way.

Seeing their eyes light up after knowing that Santa visited them this year, seeing their bright smile when they find the money that the Tooth Fairy left in place of their tooth, and seeing how excited they are when they find all of their eggs during the Easter egg hunt that the Easter Bunny left. It’s the best thing in the world. It really is.

As adults, we know how great it is to have wonder and imagination. To believe things without question and doubt.

I know that we are the ones that purchase all of the gifts, replace the tooth with money, hide the eggs, move the Elf. But I still, in some way, believe in Santa Claus and all of the other mysteries.

What’s the fun in not believing?

Tonight, Elf on the Shelf is sitting on the wooden panel above our front door. My son will wake up looking for him and will see him as we leave for school and work. I just hope he doesn’t fall to the floor before morning since the double stick tape didn’t work so he’s just balancing up there on his own.

And I’ll keep moving that freaky looking Elf every night until Christmas and smile every time my son grabs my hand to show me what the Elf has done today. If you’re doing the same, check this out. There are some good ideas here.

May the Elf be with you.

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