Harry, the Laziest Elf on the Shelf Ever

I never planned on getting on the Elf of the Shelf bandwagon. It seemed too cutesy for me and honestly, that wide-eyed elf face creeps me the eff out. But one day a few weeks ago the kids were fighting over what to watch on TV. David was watching Spongebob and Benny kept turning off the TV. David would get up and scream at Ben for turning it off. Then Ben turned the TV off again and laughed. Then David did his high-pitched whiny thing he does when he is really frustrated and and screamed “Benny stop it!” before turning the TV on again. Periodically, I would yell from the kitchen, where I was trying to prepare the 300th meal of the day, to stop touching the TV. I think i even said something like the button would wear out from being pushed so much and that I wouldn’t buy a new TV if they broke it. They didn’t care and after this loop of annoyance was repeated over and over, I lost it.

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Tell me this isn’t the stuff nightmares are made of.
Photo courtesy of http://www.elfontheshelf.com

 

“That’s it!” I yelled, stomping my way to the living room. “I am sick of you guys not listening to me. I called Santa and he is sending an elf to watch you and tell him if you are being bad!” Because nothing says Christmas like threatening your children with a permanent spot on the naughty list.

“Santa is sending us an elf?”David said, his eyes lit with glee. “Can I see the elf? When is he coming?” I hadn’t anticipated his excitement since I didn’t exactly frame this elf thing in a positive light, but David was excited. Benny just looked at me and then hucked a train across the room.

So the elf came and we read the book and picked a name (Harry) and set him on the shelf. And it worked like magic. Every time the kids started to fight over a toy, I would see David look up at the shelf, and then hand his brother whatever piece of plastic they were about to come to blows over. Throughout the next few days, David chattered happily about all the good things Harry was going to tell Santa. Everything was going according to plan, except for one thing–I didn’t realize how much involvement this stinking elf would require of me. I’m supposed to move this stone faced little freak all over my house each night. But I can’t just stick him on the couch and be done with it, it’s supposed to be getting into mischief. Now I barely have enough room in my brain to remember to feed the dog twice (okay once, but it’s a super big bowl) a day, how am I supposed to come up with 24 fun and original scenes of elfin adventures?

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Seriously people, can we lower the bar a little?
Photo courtesy of crazyloucreations.blogspot.com

 

On day three, David woke up and ran into the living room. His face fell as he looked at the shelf and at Harry sitting exactly as he was the day before. “Hey, Harry didn’t move!”David yelled. “I thought he was magic.” Leave it to me to introduce a heartwarming and cherished Christmas tradition just to crush it three days in. In my defense, I fall asleep putting my kids to bed most nights. It’s not like I should be expected to stay awake past 8:30pm just to move a stupid elf around the house.

Thinking quickly, and having enough introspection to know that Harry would be sitting on that shelf for many more mornings to come, I said, “David! Can you believe it? Santa sent us a lazy elf! Harry is so lazy he doesn’t even move.” David looked at me and the rumpled his eyebrows.

“Mom, our elf is so lazy! Santa is going to be so mad at you Harry!” David said, pointing at the wrongly accused elf. I couldn’t help smiling to myself and thinking how lucky David is to have such a smart mom. Now David is happy when Harry is found in a different spot in the house (I did manage to hid him in the pile of laundry on the couch and in a bag of pretzels) or if he is still on the shelf. So the moral of the story is to know yourself, your limitations and abilities, and have a clever excuse at the ready to explain away any of your shortcomings.

Are you an Elf on the Shelf over-achiever or slacker?

Merry Christmas!

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Jamie’s Jargon: The Resurrection

Well here I am at the close of another year, hair greasy from the lack of a shower, house smelling faintly of onion and burnt tire after the dog was assaulted by a skunk last night, and a pile of dirty dishes waiting in the sink. So, obviously nothing has really changed for me in the last year, which should make the lack of blog posts easier to come to terms with. I know, you have all been wondering what I have been up to the last twelve months. While staring into your slightly mushy bowl of cornflakes you may have found yourself thinking “I wonder how big  the pile of laundry on Jamie’s couch is?” or “I wonder if Benny and David are sleeping in there own beds yet?” or “I wonder how many times Jamie had to clean up vomit from the crevasses of the car seat?” The answers to your questions are huge, no, and too many to count. Side note: I have discovered that the best way to rid your car of the smell of curdled milk after your two-year-old rage barfs all over the backseat is diluted white vinegar. You’re welcome. And now we are all caught up!

Seriously though, everything I just wrote is completely true and a pretty good summary of the year. Life as a housewife is redundant and, if you are lucky, the household crises  don’t rise above the level of expelled bodily fluids or waking up at 5:30am because your son has decided the become partially nocturnal and wants to rise before the sun. We made it through another year happy, healthy, and (mostly) sane. And for that I am endlessly grateful.

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Look, we all held still long enough to get a picture without a blurred head (David and Ben) or a half-closed eye and open mouth (Me). It’s a Christmas miracle!

I am going to write a more extensive post in the next few days about what I am working towards in the New Year. Not resolutions so much as prioritizing those things that are important to me but that get pushed aside for the daily grind of parenthood. One thing I can share now–I am writing with intention and part of that will include regular updates to this blog. So I am hoping you are looking forward to hearing a lot more from me. See, it’s like I just gave you all a virtual Christmas present!

Oh Christmas Tree

This is the first year I have ever had my very own Christmas tree. When I was single and living in a one bedroom upstairs apartment it made no sense to get a tree. I mean, who was going to lug the thing up the stairs, and how would I have gotten it home in the first place, tie it to a sled and have Biscuit mush it home? And honestly, who was going to look at it besides me and the dog? Instead of having a tree at my place, I just went to my parents house and enjoyed theirs. That’s the luxury of having a mom who continues to indulge all of your childhood wishes. She still decorates a tree and puts out our stockings even though me and my brothers are grown and gone. That’s what a good mom does though, she lets you feel like a kid when you’re home. But I digress…

Last year Casey decided that instead of getting a normal Christmas tree, we would get one of those small potted trees they sell in the garden section of Target. He said that instead of buying a dead tree year after year, he would grow a tree for me. Each year the tree would represent how far we have come as a family. Sounds lovely right? Well, the tree was dead before January. I don’t know what that represents.

This year Casey went out on his own and brought me back a truly beautiful tree. It is just what I had imagined. My in-laws brought over decorations, taking into account David’s proclivity towards breaking things that he touches. There was an assortment of little wood men, women and animals that were sure to stand up to David’s, let’s just call it enthusiasm. My tree fully decorated was beautiful.

In the beginning

That lasted for about a day and a half. Then I started finding random body parts of wooden people around the house. A leg here, a ski pole there, and suddenly it was if a bomb went off at the North Pole. I had dismembered Christmas figures strewn about the house. At first I tried to repair the damage and put them back on the tree, but at some point I realized it was pointless. I did gather the wreckage with the hopes that some super-glue will salvage them for next year.

The carnage.

And so our tree is being left unadorned from David’s arm length down. It may look silly, but I have a feeling that one day I will look back on this and laugh. Ah, ha ha, remember that time David ripped the legs off the mouse ornament? Oh, and he really taught that sledding pig a lesson! Well, maybe some day.

How our tree looks now.