The first year that our Elf on the Shelf “R.W.” visited from the South Pole, my husband and I took on the task very cautiously. We were unsure of what the task entailed – we knew that we needed to move our Elf each night, however we lacked creativity.
R.W. just moved. He didn’t get into any shenanigans, just hopped from lamp-to-picture frame-to-Christmas Tree. We were novices, we weren’t sure how much our little guy could handle, or rather how much Mom and Dad could handle.
Our second year with R.W., well, that little bugger got into shenanigans galore! Swinging from ceiling fans, toilet papering the bathroom, he even tried to make cookies!
My husband and I really tried to keep up (well actually, we were trying to outdo all of R.W. friends and their crazy owners, seeing the pictures of naughty elves on Facebook really brought out our competitive side), and it was exhausting!
The plotting, the planning – implementing each adventure was overwhelming. Having to outdo not only the last night’s Elf adventure but also all of the overachieving other parents on Facebook literally took over our lives. Plus, we were now responsible for cleaning up our Elf’s mess after we made it, meaning more work! How ridiculous is that?
I found little joy in thinking up new adventures for R.W. but with every new Facebook post that popped up, every new Pinterest Elf on the Shelf notification that scrolled on my iPhone, my competitive fire got more fuel.
It got to the point that I made a zip line across my house for our Elf. Oh yes, indeed, that creepy little Elf zipped line across my entire house. Really.
The other part I hated was telling so many lies to my boys. Even though we had some crafty set-ups for R.W. we sometimes forgot and had to come up with some ridiculous lie as to why he didn’t move
“Well, you must have been naughty? I mean, didn’t’ I tell you more than five times to take a bath (totally exaggerating, taking advantage of their young minds) and to take your clothes to the laundry basket?”
Ugh. The guilt. If only I remembered to move that darn Elf, I mean, did I really need to add more mommy lies to the already long list I had to repent?
So now, as we approach year three with R.W., I am not really sure what to do. How can we live up to last year? Can we fall back on having a non-adventurous Elf? Do I really want to create work for myself? (This answer is resounding no.) Do I need to let even more mommy guilt soak into my soul as I see these creepy little elves on various websites taking mini-marshmallows baths?
I guess someone’s gotta make the magic happen. It’s either that or another lie as to why R.W. ended up with cement shoes in the bathtub.