Last Wednesday, as I drove the boys home from Muay Thai, 7-year old Mikhail excitedly related that his friend John had an Elf on the Shelf. According to Mik, the little elf was sent by Santa to keep an eye on John and his little brother. When they get up in the mornings, they always find that the elf was up to mischief while they slept. Climbing the curtain, helping himself to food, tracking snow on the floor and whatever he could get into.
Five year old Kenyan, the one with the street smarts, was dubious. “Mikhail, it’s not real!” He repeated. “Do you believe in magic too?” I was so proud of him then. But Mikhail, the sensitive one, stood his ground and was close to tears as he defended his stance. “If he is not real, why did John’s mom say he was? She was telling mommy that he showed up at their house. And why does he move around their house at night?” Kenyan was equally stoic in his stance. “Daddy, he isn’t real right?” He asked, turning to me for obvious backup. And that’s where I had to choose between right and wrong. Right, in siding with Kenyan and revealing that the elf was indeed just a stuffed toy, used to keep kids on the level at Christmas time, or wrong, in agreeing with Mik that the Elf on the Shelf was sent by Santa.
What did you think I chose? What would you choose? I went with the right thing. “Kenyan, you are right. Mik, the elf isn’t real.” And I left it at that. Then a couple of days later, while telling their mom about this little discussion, she replied, “Oh really? Well I bought one for the boys.” Uh huh…
Saturday morning the boys woke up to an Elf on the Shelf. Well it was more like on the table as it was comfortably perched with a book and a note presumably from the Fat Man himself. As the boys looked at him in wonderment, Kenyan turned to me and asked, “Daddy, is he real?” Darn kid! “What do you think, son? Do you think he is?” “Well he is here so I think he is. I guess I believe they are real now” It actually hurt my heart a little bit to hear that. It’s like I just dumb down the little guy.
In the meantime, the Elf On The Shelf is keeping an eye on things and wandering the house as the boys sleep. The payoff is almost worth the fib, isn’t it?
- the elf (not always) on the shelf… (houseofmayhemandchaos.com)
- Are You Doing Elf On The Shelf? (new102.cbslocal.com)
- Blogs With Elf on the Shelf Ideas (blogher.com)
- Move Over Elf on the Shelf. The Wise Men are in the House. (charmingfarming.com)