Being, Just to Be

You know what’s underrated? Carefree abandon. I hope all of you had at least one moment of carefree abandon today. I am becoming a big fan of moments infused with it. For me, that means making choices when my analyzer is switched off. Enjoying the moment, the activity, the decision; sometimes it’s very freeing to just be or just do and not always consider how it will impact anything else in my life. 

The latest in carefree abandon: Dance-offs with my frequently naked 3 1/2 year old. Normally I would insist on a pull-up since he isn’t exactly house-broke, but lately he has decided being naked is what it’s all about, so we’re rolling with it. Mostly because its unfathomably adorable. Maybe it will give him a little incentive to realize how nice it can feel not to have a pull-up on all the time? Maybe? Yeah I know, probably not. 

We enjoyed a great weekend filled with family goodness, now that we are both much less committed to work at this very second: Visiting the zoo, finally setting up the pool, blowing hundreds of bubbles in the backyard to make “a magic giant bubble.” A family could spend a lot of time blowing a lot of bubbles with the goal of a bubble that is both giant and magical. ūüėä 

The bubble is not in the picture, but I assure you, it was awesome.


E posed next to this gigantic sleeping/dead crocodile. I am confident that this experience will only take up very little of the therapy time he will now likely need as an adult.

 Another reason this weekend rocked was we finally said goodbye to the hellacious heatwave that singed all my flowers, killed my grass, and kept me a prisoner in my own home. My own non-air conditioned home. Well, except one room I held up in during the siege. Some people flit about fresh as flowershop daisies on the ninth consecutive day of 100 degree temperatures. I’m not one of those people. I’m more like the actual daisies in the backyard listing dangerously to the side or collapsing in upon themselves, because they have already wisely given up. The first three or four days of blazing heat they stood strong, believing help was coming. By the sixth day, they accepted their fate and fell over. That’s me. I don’t need to be a hero when it’s 100 degrees. Whatever needs to be done can wait until we are back in the 80 degree range, am I right?

Consequently, this will be the last year we make excuses about the “necessity” of air conditioning. Every single year the hubs and I discuss getting it, then justify our way back out by reasoning that there really are only 3-4 days a summer we really need it and it just isn’t worth the expense. Bollocks. We need it bad, and it is for sure worth the expense. Coming to our home Fall 2015: Air conditioning. Sweet, sweet air conditioning. 

No adoption updates in quite some time now, but life is good and our faith is intact. ūüėá We are considering redoing our online and book portfolios, something I dread since the first one took almost 60 hours to make. But, you do whatcha gotta do, right? 

Stop in and follow the journey from the beginning!


Some Nights You Gotta Dance

Mr. E has always had a very reliable bedtime routine, since about six months old, and for this I am grateful. He embraces the routine and expects it, so putting him to bed is almost never a challenge. I’ve encountered one obstacle throughout the years regarding bedtime, and he goes by the name of Dada, aka, the Hubs. 

The Hubs plays with his little boy like many dads, all rough and tumble and funny faces and slapstick comedy. It’s adorable. He’s the best dad in the world. But a half hour before bedtime, I’ve told him he needs to begin easing into a more soothing pattern of play. Calming voices. Reduced sensory stimulation.  Setting the tone for a cooperative transition. This has earned me the loving nickname “Major Buzzkill” at least once a week since E was born. 

Our current routine goes like this: we help E pick out his jammies and get them on as well as his pull-up. He’s getting close to doing this without us, but just not quite yet. Then the hubs reads 5-6 books that E picks out and they brush his teeth during reading time. After that’s done, E gets one last hurrah where he comes racing at top speed out of his bedroom to “find me” and shouts, “It’s time to cuddle, Mama! You come cuddle now!” (He’s going through a bit of a demanding phase.). Then we turn on his moon and stars projector in his room and his “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” music, set for one hour, and I climb into his train bed with him for cuddle time. Cuddle time is a lot like how it sounds, but we also sing songs and say our prayers. Sometimes if something is on his mind E will tell me about it after a few minutes. It’s a very special time that I cherish because I know it won’t last forever. 

About three nights ago, I discovered a new dimension has been added to our bedtime routine. After the books have been read, the hubs and E have a dance party. I realized this because I was waiting to be summoned for cuddle time when suddenly I heard the melodic strains of “Shake Your Booty” by KC and the Sunshine Band. It was reverberating through the door where my son was supposed to be reading soothing books with his Dada and preparing for night-night. 

So I go in there and sure enough, there’s my husband and my kid dancing all over the room. Realizing I was outnumbered, I settled in to watch the cuteness. E has a few special dances, one he calls his “one foot dance” and another is his “two feet dance.” I would describe his style as a combination of “The Charleston” meets Flashdance

As the last song was wrapping up, (“Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”) by Michael Jackson, E just kept on dancing even though the music ended. He just kept going! Finally we asked him what he was dancing to, and he looked up at his Dada and said, “It feels like the perfect song, and it makes me think of you.” 

It’s true! My kid just busted that line out of nowhere!  Honestly, it was out of the clear blue sky. We monitor everything he hears, sees, or reads, and I don’t know where this one came from. My little boy is definitely a wordsmith!  I’m a little fearful of the pick-up lines he might devise when he’s older and the object of his affection isn’t his dada!

Okay yeah, I’m a little jealous the hubs got that line and I didn’t. But it’s cool. He got the first “I lub you!” too, and it was no biggie. I started hearing it as well, shortly after the first one. 

So the dance party seems to have officially become part of the bedtime routine, because I’m definitely not going to eliminate the part where my son does the “one foot dance” and spews poetry off the top of his head. It makes settling down for cuddle time quite a challenge, but I’d call it a fair trade off. 

Here is a short video of my littlest sweetheart showing off his skills. This is when we were playing in the backyard last night. I think he has more creative moves when he’s in his room since it is a smaller area, but I takes what I can gets when he decides he’s willing to cooperate with the camera! (Please don’t judge me on my dry, ugly grass. The sprinklers couldn’t keep up with the heatwave. Mostly because I didn’t want to also go in the blazing heat to turn them on. Meh.) 

Mo’ Stickers = Mo’ Betta! DIY Valentines With My Lil’ Guy

It was with unbridled glee that I received the class list of names from my son‚Äôs preschool teacher and learned they were having a Valentine‚Äôs Day party this week. Seriously, Valentine‚Äôs Day was the best when I was a kid! We got to make giant envelopes with the good construction paper, not the flimsy cheap stuff, and color and decorate all day in the name of education. We got to use glitter, and we were allowed to bring our own stickers if we brought enough to share. The next day we waited anxiously until after recess and then ‚Äúdelivered‚ÄĚ our valentines to each classmate‚Äôs envelope, which was taped precariously to the end of each desk for easy access. Some of the kids‚Äô parents attached candy to the valentines, and it didn‚Äôt get much better than that. So yeah, I was excited when I heard my kid was going to have his first Valentine‚Äôs Day party.

Granted, this is preschool so most of the kids, certainly mine, probably aren’t sure what valentines are just yet. Whatever, I saw an opportunity for a great craft project and I seized it. Plus, I’m always up for a trip to Michael’s. Follow the simple steps below if you too want a heartwarming, yet educational, homemade-valentine-making experience with your small child! You won’t be disappointed!

Objective: Assist child in creating homemade valentines. Valentines should be neither crafted with such skill that it is obvious they were created sans child, nor should they be purchased from a store in a pack of 40 where the only requirement is tearing carefully along the perforated lines.

You're not fooling anyone, Mom.  Your kid didn't even touch the bottle of glue you used on that card.

You’re not fooling anyone, Mom. Your kid didn’t even touch the bottle of glue you used on that card.

I know we are all busy, but you are BETTER than mass produced sheets of perforated rectangles!  You are!

I know we are all busy, but you are BETTER than mass produced sheets of perforated rectangles! You are!

Step one: Take child to Michael‚Äôs craft store. Attempt to quickly navigate to sale aisle before child spots the full price fancy supplies. Grab value pack of 6‚Äô‚Äô foam hearts–this will be the one executive decision you make regarding the valentines, because you have to start somewhere. Once in sale aisle ask child what he thinks his friends would like on their valentines. Remain neutral as child decides whether they would prefer the stickers of the turtle with a heart shaped shell or a fox holding a heart out in front of it. Wait 30 seconds, then throw both packages in the cart before child melts down, silently resolving to return one later.

Step two: Ask child if they want glittery foam letters (in an excited voice) or solid color foam letters (in a monotone voice). Accept child’s choice of the solid colors, even though the glittery ones are obviously better. Why can’t he see that?

Step three: Head towards the sticker aisle, praying along the way that you don’t have to pass the car and fire truck section before reaching the heart section. Breathe deep sigh of relief that all vehicle themed stickers are way at the other end of the aisle, and that you have successfully focused the child’s attention on the vast array of hearts in front of him. Ask child if he thinks his teacher would prefer sparkly hearts, glittery hearts, or puffy hearts on her valentine, providing samples for child to choose from. Wipe tears of joy from your eyes when child chooses the glittery hearts. Attempt to exit aisle without child getting a visual on the race car stickers.

Step four: Take your place in line to purchase the carefully chosen supplies. Ask child why he is sobbing. Ask him to use his words. If he cannot use his words due to incoherent sobs, ask him to point. Look in the direction of his trembling pointed finger. Sigh deeply as you lose your place in line to head back to the sticker aisle to acquire shiny race cars stickers.

Step five: Make sure child has napped. Do not proceed to step six until step five has been satisfied. Repeat: the steps shall be performed in the following order: one, two, three, four, five, six. Skipping step five is ill-advised and is to be attempted only by those who feel they owe penance for some wrong they committed in their youth.

Step six: After feeding and watering child post-nap, ask them to dump out the foam letter stickers and help you turn them all right side up. After this is completed, integrate a little educational goodness into the craft by having the child find the letters you ask for to spell each name. Make sure to praise child for both his impressive knowledge of the alphabet as well as his supreme focus to the task. As child hands you letters, spell out each kid’s name on a cookie sheet or other container without removing the sticker backing. Save that for later as a separate step, so that the child can be successful at one task at a time.

Step seven: Open the package of 6’’ foam hearts. Explain to child that he can take the backs off the foam letters that we already organized and hand them to parent one at a time to place on heart. All other stickers will be placed by child so they experience the feeling of ownership of the valentines. Keep your explanation to a minimum or child will become antsy and flip the entire cookie sheet full of names over and into disarray.

Step eight: Pawn child off on your spouse while you sort through all the letters, again, and apply them to the foam hearts by yourself. Justify your actions by reminding yourself that the child did pick them out the first time, so the educational objective was achieved.  It was.

Step nine: Open the turtle stickers and place in a bowl. Open the glittery hearts and place in another bowl. Open the sticker that simply say ‚ÄúHappy Valentine‚Äôs Day!‚ÄĚ so parent does not have to write it twenty times, and place in a bowl. Invite spouse and child back into the crafting zone. Remind spouse he is to restrain child if he looks like he is planning to flip over or dump anything out.

Step ten: Tell child he can pick ANY color turtle from the turtle bowl and put it anywhere on the foam heart. He has creative control! Empower your child with the freedom of choice! Watch proudly as child removes sticker backing from red turtle and places it on the cat. Wait, why is the sticker on the cat? We had exactly enough turtle stickers for each valentine, darn it! Chase terrified cat until it is cornered and remove sticker from from fur. Use your body to block crafting area from grabby toddler as you remove each strand of cat fur from the turtle sticker. Watch in horror as child dumps out each bowl of stickers and gleefully tosses them in the air like confetti.

Step eleven: Remind husband that if he can tear his eyes away from Jeopardy and join in the crafting fun, you could use the help. Husband begins taking backing off stickers in rapid fire succession and handing them to child who places them on a few valentines, before moving on to his hair, the carpet, and the other cat. Husband is unaware this is happening because although his hands are removing sticker backs, his eyes are glued to Alex Trebec. Suppress the urge to strangle husband in front of child.

Step twelve: Grab the sticker from child’s hair, the one from the carpet, and the one off the cat who is now in the litter box. Order husband and child from the room while you attempt to reverse the mayhem that has descended upon your educational-fun-bonding-time craft project.

Step thirteen: Pick cat fur off of sticker, carpet fuzz off of sticker, and child’s hair off of sticker. You need every one because you only bought enough for the exact amount of valentines. Revisit step three and buy extra next time, you lousy cheapskate.

Step fourteen: Gauge child‚Äôs ability to continue with the project. Assess that child is not emotionally prepared to continue since tears are gushing out of his eyes and snot is running down his face. Husband confirms child is devastated that I took the sticker off the cat because it made kitty look ‚Äúso pretty.‚ÄĚ Find acceptable non-turtle sticker to give to child in trade so he can make kitty pretty again. After giving child consoling hugs and kisses, request that he not go after the cat that is currently using the litter box.

Step fifteen: Return to valentine work, solo. Inform husband if he does not keep child happily occupied in the other room then he will be the one finishing up these &%@! valentines.

Step sixteen: Take inventory of what remains. Of the 18 valentines, nine need all three stickers. Five need two stickers. Four need one sticker. It is of the utmost importance as you forge your small child’s valentines that you not only place the sticker upside down, but that it must also overlap another sticker despite the fact there is plenty of room for both of them without crowding the other one out. For extra authenticity, place sticker half on and half off the foam heart, so that they exposed part of the sticker collects as much dirt, fur, and hair as possible before making its way to the intended recipient.

jacob valentine

I regret nothing.

Step seventeen: Put each of the foam heart valentines into an envelope. Seal it so that child cannot do further harm to the card, and hand him a crayon to color on each of the envelopes.¬† Pat yourself on the back for your fortitude during this ordeal, and set a reminder in your cell for February 10th, 2016: Buy ready made valentines at Target for E’s Valentine’s Day party next week.

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The Elf on the Shelf: A Cautionary Tale

This is him.  Look at those remorseless, beady little eyes.

This is him. Look at those remorseless, beady little eyes.

For those of you not familiar with The Elf on the Shelf, it is a book that seeks to explain to children how Santa knows if they are naughty or nice each day.  They are watched by their very own elf (spy), who flies back to the North Pole each night to give Santa the report of the day.  Each book comes with a creepy little elf that the child is supposed to name and trust; meanwhile, the elf has spent the day spying on the child and watching their every move from whatever creepy perch he was placed in during the night, by the well-meaning parent, for the purpose of collecting information he can use to tattle on them to his boss, Santa Claus.

I blame Facebook.

For many years I dreamed of being a mother. Infertility allowed me way too much time to think about all the things I would do to expose my kid to the magic of childhood if I ever got the chance, and many¬†of those ideas centered around Christmas. ¬†You know, Santa Claus, visits to Winter Wonderlands, tree lighting ceremonies, our home decked out Griswold style! ¬†Childhood seems so short these days, and I wanted then what I want now; to make Christmas magical for my son, which, consequently, make Christmas magical for the hubs and I. ¬†Like most parents, we delight in seeing the joy he feels from new experiences. ¬†Decorating the tree this year, little man took charge and hung every decoration. ¬†He chose each spot carefully. ¬†Ornament placement mattered, as did color grouping. ¬†It took about an hour and a half for him to complete the job, with Dada assisting as needed, and Mama on the camera documenting every moment with tears of joy in my eyes. ¬†It was one of those perfect moments that happens oh so rarely in day to day life, but when it does it makes up for all the, ahem, less than perfect moments. ¬†Also, our tree is only decorated on one side, and only decorated 18′ high, but it is totally worth it.

Giving credit where credit is due: The women who came up with this product and decided to market it are geniuses. They have sold millions of these things.  I tip my hat to their business savvy, although I question what the hell they were thinking creatively when they conceived this idea.

This stupid elf is all over Facebook every year right after Thanksgiving and right on through to Christmas. As I waited patiently, year after year, to become a mother, I lived vicariously through those that documented their sneaky placement each night of their own personal family elf.  In the morning, more pictures were posted to reveal the delight on the faces of their children as they found their Elf and saw all the mischief he had created.  The Elf had been playing in the flour canister? That silly Elf!  He turned the magnetic letters on the refrigerator upside down?  Oh, the shenanigans!

Basically, the elf is a snitch.  No one likes a snitch.

Basically, the elf is a snitch. No one likes a snitch.

Yes, it’s true. ¬†I coveted this retched¬†elf and vowed to make him mine as soon as I had a kid to enjoy it. ¬†Fast forward a few years, and in December of 2013, my son was two years old. I eagerly broke out the complete Elf on the Shelf kit which included a lovely hard copy book, a registration card so you could name and register your elf with Santa in the North Pole, and one creepy little red felt elf body with a weird, spooky porcelain head that turned 360 degrees a la The Exorcist for reasons blessedly unknown to me. ¬†For the privilege of owning this elf package I paid 29.99, and I paid it gladly. ¬†You can’t put a price on Christmas spirit! ¬†Think of the joy it would bring my son! ¬†Just imagine¬†the laughter and the giggles first thing in the morning when he raced out of his room to search for his elf and see what mayhem¬†that silly fellow had been up to during the night!

No.  This was not the way things went down.  My son, age two, made it clear that this book and this elf bored him.  He already had this really excellent and condescending look mastered at 24 months and he shared it with me whenever I mentioned the elf.  Not wanting to force something upon him  that would surely provide him with many delightful childhood memories later on, I accepted the elf was a no-go for Christmas 2013 and gently put him away to try again the following year.  I picture the elf, biding his time at the very bottom of the plastic Christmas tote.  A full 365 days passed where he had plenty of time to dwell upon the grievous insult he had been subjected to…put back in the box.  Shoved in the attic during Christmas time.  A slight no self-respecting elf could tolerate.

Christmastime 2014: Since decorating the tree was such a big hit, I decided¬†to introduce what I now consider to be¬†demon-spawn masquerading as one of Santa’s helpers.¬†¬†Shortly after the tearfully joyful Christmas tree decorating experience on Sunday last, my husband and I sat down with Little Man to read the book and introduce E to his elf, his buddy for the next month. ¬†Surely at three years of age, he was ready to embrace¬†the Christmasy goodness that is the Elf on the Shelf! ¬†I began to read aloud, and by page two my husband gave me a sharp¬†elbow nudge and whispered in my ear, “Didn’t we decide this whole thing was creepy as hell last year? ¬†I think this is a bad idea.”

We have a theory that Santa is running an elf child-labor sweatshop and that the elves are not allowed to speak for their own safety.

We have a theory that Santa is running an elf child-labor sweatshop and that the elves are not allowed to speak for their own safety.

“Nonsense!” I declared. ¬†The mothers and children of Facebook relish each morning with their elf! ¬†Why should our family be any different? ¬†The story would go on! ¬†My husband rolled his eyes but participated warily. ¬†My son was much more interested in picking out the different types of food and toys from the pictures in the book than trying to spot the elf. ¬†He seemed to understand something about the elf I refused to see-he wasn’t fun, he was frightening and eerie. His head turned all the way around on his body. ¬†His cheap floppy little legs didn’t support his weight, and his hands were stitched on to his junk for some reason. ¬†To look at him, one¬†didn’t see wonder and Christmas cheer. E certainly did not.

As I read, my husband was not-so-secretly agape with disbelief with the undeniably creepy nature of what I was reading. ¬†I was agape with the undeniably creepy nature of what I was reading. ¬†For some reason, I soldiered on; after all, thousands of moms and dads on Facebook couldn’t be wrong! ¬†And that is my defense in this whole muddled case of questionable parenting: Facebook made me do it.

That night, as I tucked E into bed, we shared our nightly ritual: I lay down in bed with him to cuddle, sing a couple songs, and say our prayers. ¬†It’s a sweet routine that I cherish because nothing¬†lasts forever. ¬†I noticed he seemed rather subdued and did not seem to be experiencing the same silly fun he generally has during “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” ¬†Sensing something was wrong, I wrapped my arms around him and waited. ¬†Finally, he began to speak. ¬†“Mama, he no come in here. ¬†He no come in here, though. ¬†Okay?”

Oh, s*#t. ¬†I knew exactly what he was talking about. ¬†He had been paying attention to the book after all. ¬†My selfish mama heart sank. ¬†I had force-fed tainted Christmas cheer to my boy, the light of my life, and now he was afraid the stupid elf was going to enter his room while he slept and‚Ķ.well, who knows where his imagination would take him¬†regarding that¬†thing? ¬†I should have known better. ¬†I slept on my brother’s top bunk for years after being forced to watch The Incredible Hulk as a small child. ¬†I was positive The Hulk lived in my closet, and that if I slept alone in my room he was going to burst out and pulverize me just like he did to the people on television.

Oh goodie!  A toy I'm not allowed to touch!  That is my very favorite characteristic in a toy.

Oh goodie! A toy I’m not allowed to touch! That is my very favorite characteristic in a toy.

“No, buddy,” I assured him. ¬†“Not at all. ¬†In fact, he has to stay in the living room. ¬†It’s one of the rules. ¬†He won’t be bothering you.” ¬†As I tried to convince my little boy there was nothing to fear, my mind began to race. ¬†What kind of witchcraft had this elf worked in the short time he was out of his box? ¬†Was he made in a factory that was built on an old Indian burial ground?

“You sleep on couch, Mama. ¬†You sleep on couch tonight, right there. ¬†He no come in here.” The worst part was, the normally silly, sparkling eyes of my little boy were filled with tears that hadn’t spilled out yet. ¬†He was trying to be brave, but his precious little bottom lip was quivering and I recognized the look: fear melded with¬†panic. ¬†If you are a parent who has ever, via good intentions, caused your child to experience this, you probably know what that horrible knot-twisting in the bottom of your stomach feels like. ¬†It’s a bitter cocktail of guilt and failure.

Naturally, I lied to my son and told him I would sleep on the couch (we have a perfectly good baby monitor right next to our comfy bed, thank you very much) and reminded him all he had to do was ask for me, and I would hear him, and I would come.

I wish I could say that is where the madness ended, but sadly I cannot. ¬†The persuasive powers of the Elf were too great, and I’m beginning to think¬†he bewitched me. ¬†Here’s why:¬†inexplicably, the hubs and I decided to place this jackass¬†elf on the lamp, so that when E woke up in the morning, he would spot him and realize the it¬†was merely a toy, a game! ¬† Nothing to be scared of, not really. It’s too bad that E’s parents are¬†slow learners. ¬†E didn’t say anything about the elf all day, but he spent a lot of time looking over his shoulder. ¬†I sort of figured he was just being shy, and would warm up to him eventually. I mean, this was THE ELF ON THE SHELF!¬†¬†Kids loved waking up to find him in the morning to see what kind of trouble he had gotten himself into after returning from his visit to the North Pole.¬† I knew this to be an indisputable fact, because every elf picture I ever saw on Facebook proved it to be true. ¬†I felt reasonably confident that the parents of Facebook would present an unbiased and impartial pictorial glimpse into their child’s elf experience. ¬†E just needed a little bit of time to warm up and decide how he really felt about his elf.

I should have known better. ¬†He had decided how he felt about things. ¬†I just chose to overlook them because I was hellbent on believing that this elf was the Yellow Brick Road to Christmas Magic. ¬†And more than anything, I wanted Christmas to be magical for E, the way it was for my brother and I as a kid. ¬†Learn from my mistakes, fellow parents! ¬†If your kid is freaked out, even slightly, by The Elf on the Shelf (and honestly, I think that is a completely healthy and normal reaction), honor their feelings and stuff said elf¬†back in the attic. ¬†Don’t give it “one more day.” ¬†I’m pretty sure “one more day” of elf time equals a whole extra month of therapy in adulthood.

Don't worry about me little boy.  I'm just going to cling to this lamp all day and watch your every move.  All of them.

Don’t worry about me little boy. I’m just going to cling to this lamp all day and watch your every move. ALL of them.

For the rest of the day, E never mentioned the elf on the lamp. ¬†He seemed unbothered by it, except for the whole “looking over the shoulder” thing. ¬†But then, the nighttime. ¬†That night, after once again cuddling and tucking in my little guy, he suddenly clung to me and wouldn’t let go. ¬†He burst into tears and begged me to sleep in his bed. ¬†I let him cry, and as I stroked his head I let the weight of what I had done wash over me. I could not believe I allowed this to happen two nights in a row. ¬†Actually, I CAUSED it to happen! ¬†In that moment I would have done anything to erase any knowledge he had of this freakish little doll that was haunting his imagination. ¬†Finally, I quietly asked him, “Hey buddy, is this about the elf? ¬†Does he bother you? ¬†Would you like him to leave?”

E nodded vigorously. ¬†“I no like elf. ¬†No like him. ¬†You sleep here in train bed and dada sleep on couch. ¬†Elf no come in here.”

Oh, the weight of knowing you are the cause of your child’s nightmares! ¬†All¬†because I wanted to make Christmas magical. ¬†Facebook had steered me wrong. ¬†I purposefully¬†marched into the living room¬†to get the hubs, to tell him¬†that bastardly Christmas-ruining elf had to go. ¬†Not only that, we had to make a realistic ceremony of his permanent banishment. ¬†The two of us then went back into E’s¬†room, Dada making a big show of restraining the elf. ¬†We sat on E’s bed together and explained that the¬†elf had shared with us that he couldn’t stay; he had important business he had to attend to in the North Pole. ¬†He was awfully sorry, but he was leaving and we would not be seeing him, or any other elves, at our house again. ¬†He wanted to wish E a Merry Christmas before he left. ¬†And then, as quickly as he had arrived, he was gone. ¬†By gone, I of course mean that he was unceremoniously stuffed into the bottom of a Christmas tote in the garage, his next destination being either Goodwill, or my next yard sale.

That was last night. ¬†This evening as I cuddled my boy, he asked me again to sleep on the couch. ¬†I asked him why it was important to him that I sleep there. ¬†E responded, “So he no come in here.” ¬†I gently reminded him that “he” was gone so there was no reason to think about that anymore. ¬†“Oh,” said E. ¬†“You sleep in big bed then.” ¬†Thanks son. ¬†I will sleep in the big bed. ¬†And I hope to God in heaven that you will forget this whole experience and not require lifelong therapy to purge your psyche of your deeply rooted belief that you are being watched by a cheap little elf¬†with his hands sewn to his crotch.¬†Who signed off on this idea, anyway?

*If this blog saved even one parent from unintentionally terrorizing their child this season, it will have been worth it.  Please feel free to share or pass along.