We did it. We succumbed. We bought into the whole Elf on the Shelf thing. I was excited.
I fully and freely admit that I am a parent who happily lies to her children. I tell them Santa is real. I tell them to believe in fairy dust and reindeer's that fly and that an Elf can live on our shelf in December and report back to Santa about the comings and goings in our house.
I tell them to believe in magic.
So excitedly, one evening a couple of weeks ago, the night before we went away on a holiday, I put on the Elf on the Shelf DVD while the girls ate dinner. They watched, their brows furrowed. Clearly this was not Dora, Umizoomi's, Banana's, Mickey Mouse, Bubble Guppies, Barbie, Princesses. This was unfamiliar.
"Um Mum? What is this?" (The Eldest)
"Don like it" (The Youngest)
After dinner, I encouraged them into the lounge room where the Elf on the Shelf box was prominently and prettily displayed next to the TV. They didn't even notice. My children who can spot a 5cm high picture of Dora at a hundred paces, paid not attention whatsoever to the box.
"Oh look!" I exclaim. "Our own Elf on the Shelf!".
Silence. Bewildered looks. Brows furrowed.
"Why?" they ask.
This was not quite going to plan. Nevertheless, I pushed on, pulling out the Elf, reading the book. We eventually got to the point of naming her Sparkles (we managed to bypass the poo-head suggestion from The Youngest) and placed her on the shelf.
Cue massive tantrum from The Youngest who wanted to hold (poo-head) Sparkles and another tantrum from The Eldest who was adamant it needed to be on the shelf.
Cue pouring the first glass of wine.
Then proceeded half an hour of rigorous interrogation from The Eldest.
- how does she fly?
- how does have magic?
- why can't I touch her?
- why won't she talk to me?
- Chip was alive in the movie but she looks like a toy to me. Why?
- Why does she go back to Santa?
- How does she know where Santa lives?
- Why is at my house?
- Do other children have elves?
- What are their elves names?
- Can I watch her fly?
- Can she take me to Santa's house?
- and on and on and on.
[Disclaimer: I lie about lots of other things too. The park is closed today. Children aren't allowed at the supermarket today. There is no chocolate in the house. Just to name a few. There are people who say they never lie to their children. I think they are lying to themselves.]