Vandalism with the Elf on a Shelf

Beautifully placed garland on a Christmas tree

I share a lot on here, but one thing I refuse to do is to share pictures of our Elf on the Shelf. We’re not a Pinterest family (well Steph tries to be, but her projects usually look like the after on a failed Pinterest page… but the effort is there).

Our elf doesn’t recreate movie elaborate Christmas movie scenes depicting himself dressed up as the main character. He doesn’t tend to use props and for the most part he sits in the same place he was when everyone went to bed (usually until someone panics first thing in the morning because we realized we forgot).

Tonight, however, I watched my wife, the mother of our children, help Elfie (yes our Elf’s name is Elfie) toilet paper the Christmas tree… if you could call it that. Now I don’t know what kind of childhood this woman lived… wether it was under a rock or simply spent in a bubble, but the fact that she didn’t know how to toilet paper something is telling.

I walked down stairs to multiple rolls of toilet paper carefully patterned and intricately placed like lacy garland on the ensues of the tree branches. I watched as Elfie sat, embarrassed perched high atop the Douglas Fir. Embarrassingly realizing that he would have to take credit for this “prank”.

What toilet papering should look like:

What Stephanie’s idea of toilet papering looks like:

Luckily there was someone in the house with a bit more knowledge and experiences when it comes to toilet papering. I won’t say who he is for confidentiality reasons… but I know Elfie appreciated the more random and vandalized look of his prank now that an expert lent his expertise.

Jackson really enjoys finding him each morning and this year is Ollie’s first time being interested…even with that though, it’s a good thing we don’t do the social media thing with our elf… he would have been embarrassed by this who situation. Sorry Elfie. Sorry.

Tantrum Time

Terrible Twos and/or Torturous Threes? How about the Fearsome Fours? Honestly, I don’t know what to call them… and more importantly I don’t know what i can’t stand more… either the people who don’t have kids and have advice for parents on what to do better, or the parents who tell us how amazing their children’s behavior always is.

We were pretty lucky in the beginning with Jackson. We never really had to deal with temper tantrums. Granted now we’re paying the price, as he has become a little toddler terrorist, taking what he wants and leaving destruction in his path. For the most part though, (he was pretty active), but he never really had temper tantrums.

Oliver, however, is a professional tantrum thrower. For being the happiest always smiling little guy… he sure knows how to throw down. I’ve witnessed this child lay on the floor and cry until you’d think he’d be dehydrated and then while still screaming, get up silently and laugh in my face thirty seconds later.

Those moments are what us parents dread the most, either in the mall or restaurant… or even just at home. When your child is flopping around on the floor like a fish just pulled up on the deck of a boat, screaming and crying like he just found out the next season of his favorite Nexflix series wouldn’t be released for another two years. And how do we try to stop it? We try reasoning with a this tiny human who won’t fully develop reasoning skills for another few years. I always here, “Use your words,” which is like asking me to hold a conversation during Game of Thrones (not happening).

Listen… a toddler tantrum, or any age tantrum for that matter, is a ride out the storm kind of situation. I try to stay calm (and more importantly try not to have an anxiety attack if we’re out in public) and just make sure everyone is safe. We save the talking for later.

Oliver can cry with the best of them. I’ve seen those crying fits come and go. Nothing, especially with a one year old, can prepare you for the intensity of an outburst especially when that outburst happens for the most asinine reason… have you ever suggested that your child not eat dog food? Or tell them to avoid touching a hot stove because, I don’t know… it’s hot? Yea, that’s all it takes. And, Oliver is no different.

Here’s a perfect example… we are decorating the tree and have a fire roaring. The perfect atmosphere to get into the Christmas spirit. The problem here… the placement of said fire. It’s not where my one year old wanted it to be. So what else is there to do but lay on the floor and kick and scream. Obviously, you want the fire on the other side of the room.

Yes my child, one and a half years old, was pissed off because he wanted the fire to be moved to the other side of the room.

… and on that note, bring on the tantrums.

My Kids > OCD (Only on December 26th)

Every toy has been unwrapped, opened, put together, had batteries installed and played with. Now to shove them in a corner so the boys can play with the toys Jackson got for his first birthday three years ago. Matching outfits are packed away never to be seen again until the above picture comes out at some holiday get together 20 years from now.

Elfie has returned to the North Pole… (thank god)!!! Santa has come and gone and in his wake is enough cardboard and wrapping paper to pollute the Mississippi River (I still can’t spell without that little tune we learned in third grade). Only one wine glass was broken yet somehow 30 more boxes of decorations than we owned last year seem to have made their way into the attic.

I’ve written about this before, but I still contend that the day after Christmas (especially for someone with OCD) is the worst “day after holiday” of the year. Yea, I know what I’m saying… I was up all night and celebrated a Packers Super Bowl win just a few years ago and had to get up early the next day for work, but that was a joyous wake up… my team won the Super Bowl, so who cares about that day after… I get it… but for me the day after XMAS has always been a disaster.

However, this year… I tried to let it go as best as I could. I let stuff stay out, I didn’t pack up ornaments or the garland on the mantle. the leftovers weren’t nearly packed in separate Tupperware (yup… that’s right, I just covered them with tinfoil). I allows my children to play with their toys and didn’t even make them put one away before playing with another. I sat comfortably while a fire burned warmly in the fireplace, and enjoyed watching my two little boys play together with all the new toys Santa left them the day before.

This Christmas was about them… not me… not anyone… just them… and I enjoyed that much more than a day of OCD controlled cleaning and organizing like I usually do on December 26th… (at least for today).

That Damn Elf on a Shelf

I guess it’s time this Elf on a Shelf thing happens. He’s here… And I can’t say anything to change that. Santa has a lot going on. I know that. You know that… we all know that. So of course he has little helpers everywhere and this house is no different.

Elfie is here to check things out. He’s just going to be a silent observer of sorts as Santa described. Bottom line… when Santa asks you for a favor… well, he’s not the type of person you can deny.

12.1.17

When your kid won’t eat breakfast… but your elf will. #Christmas2017 #Elfie

12.2.17

Great way to motivate your kid to start piano lessons. (PS Elfie is no Beethoven). #Christmas2017 #Elfie #PianoLessons #NiceHairJax

12.4.17

This has been the most elaborate Elfie appearance so far and will probably be the most elaborate one of the season…

PS: Is this a Flour Angel or crime scene body outline?

12.6.17

I’ve resorted to this. #Elfie #Christmas2017

12.20.17

And this effectively ended Elfie’s life… you don’t sit near, let alone in, Buster and Max’s food bowl and expect to live to tell the story. Thanks for a fun run Elfie… sorry your hat and leg were gnawed off.

I’m not sure how or why Elfie makes such a difference in some households… maybe it’s because here we don’t spend six hours suspending him and props from the ceiling with elaborate decorations… but our kid could care less about this thing, who he reports to and what the repercussions may be from misbehaving.

Case in point… RULE NUMBER ONE of fight club… don’t talk about fight club… RULE NUMBER ONE of Elf on a Shelf… don’t touch the Elf on a Shelf. To Jax this means… literally not only touch the Elf, but take him and body slam him repeatedly and then launch him into orbit. We’re screwed with this kid… Santa I hope you packed enough coal.

Santa’s Homeboy 

Waking up before your two year old on Christmas morning is like finding Bigfoot. It’s like discovering the Lockness Monster. It happens once in a lifetime. But it happened here on Sunday. A real life miracle.

Coffee was brewing and I was able to conduct a full home inspection to make sure Santa wasn’t still lurking around somewhere. I heard somewhere on the internet that the last one up on Christmas Morning gets to open the first present. Jax must have read that one too, because he slept in like he was on vacation (in all reality I guess he’s always on vacation).

 

The walk down to see what Santa brought wasn’t as exciting as I’d expected. I guess Santa and “Bammy” are one in the same? Once we were able to coax him down to the Christmas tree the wrapping paper and cardboard boxes became airborne and toys flooded the family room floor. The people who thought up Peppa Pig and the good folks over at Disney’s who created Frozen made a fortune off of this household.

 

I think this is the last year we are going to get away with a relatively “small Christmas.” Now that Jackson and Santa are homeboys I have a feeling next year’s Christmas list is going to be quite big.

Merry Christmas to all… and to all a good night from all of us and of course from Jax in his Peppa Pig tent that took three adults to put together (even though it only had four pieces).

 

Thanks again Santa. Until next year…