Yes, I Do The Elf Thing

Those of you who know me might be surprised to learn that I leaped out of bed at 6:45am this morning in a panic. And no, I had not been awoken from a nightmare, nor had I finally figured out why my triangle choke doesn't work and couldn't wait to try it out. (Despite living in a house with two obsessed jiu-jitsu practitioners, this does not happen often.) No, the reason for my hurry was that I had forgotten to hide the damn elf! Again.

On Wednesday, when I last forgot about the little red gal (my daughter says our elf is female), my husband distracted Maya while I quickly stashed her inside a photo album on my dresser. This morning, thankfully, she was still in her room so I had time to stick the elf inside one of the kitchen cabinets with only her creepy little head pointing out.

We are not a religious family. There is no mention of Jesus around the holidays, nor do we tell magical stories about oil that burns for a week. We never did the whole Santa thing, so at a very young age Maya already knew that her Christmas presents came from her mommy, daddy and a wondrous place called Toys R' Us. (Don't worry we did inform her that under no circumstances is she allowed to tell her friends this.) 

But one day last December, something compelled me to go to the store and buy a little red elf which I would then be required to hide somewhere creative every night. In other words, I purchased a daily project.

But actually, I like the little thing.

Ok, I don't like the elf itself. Her bright eyes and half smile remind me a bit of Chucky from Child's Play. But I do like the whole elf hiding thing. And not because it is a good way to get Maya to behave herself around the holidays. In fact, we kind of glossed over that part of the story. I am pretty sure all I told Maya was that the elf returns to the North Pole every night and then comes back and wreaks havok inside our home. And I am not even sure if I got that part right.

Maya is a child who asks questions about everything. I am pretty sure she knows I hide the elf just like she knows that it is me who hides her Easter eggs every year. But she doesn't ask because she doesn't care. She likes waking up and wandering around the house in search of her elf. She giggles when there is a little bit of red poking out of her Lego box, or when the elf is caught with cookie crumbs on her hands. She doesn't want to know if it is real or not, she just likes the fun of it all. 

Even if Maya came right out and said "Mommy I know it is you and daddy who hide my elf" I would still do it. It is my version of the dinosaur game, those awesome parents who set their kids' dinosaur toys up in elaborate settings for them to discover every morning. (Don't know what I am talking about? Google "dinosaur toy parents". These folks rock!)

I will admit that a lot of parenting is a pain in the butt. But the Elf on the Shelf is easy. It makes my daughter smile. It takes five minutes. (Less, if I have forgotten to do it overnight and need to quickly stash her somewhere.) I have read the complaints. I have seen the anti-elf blog posts. But for me, its a no brainer. If only I could remember to do it. 

On another note, my daughter finally has her first loose tooth. So who is this tooth fairy anyway? Where does she live? What does she look like? How much money does she leave per tooth? I need to have all the answers ready. 

Like I said, Maya asks a lot of questions. 


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