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The Quest for The Elf on the Shelf

I first heard of the Elf on the Shelf a couple of years ago from one of my daughters. Little did I know that I would curse the day some well intentioned mother came up with this now clearly misguided tradition.

Innocently, I fully intended to pick up one back then but the $30 price tag seemed a little unreasonable. But Christmas fast approached and that darn Elf was back in the “begging Mommy” rotation. Maybe they caught me at the right time because I resolved to get the Elf on the Shelf. But with only a couple of weeks until Christmas, I needed to get one in a hurry.

Enter Rachel, my new personal assistant. I assigned her the task of locating the illustrious, soon to be known as elusive, Elf on the Shelf. Oh but I also needed a Black or Latino one that best resembled my children. But we’re talking about Rachel here, so with just a few calls she has one being held for me at the Barnes and Nobles at Carolina Place Mall in Pineville, NC. And a Black one at that. Or so we thought…

Apparently that Elf moves around more places than just in your home. When I arrive at Barnes and Nobles, the Elf of the Shelf being held for me was fair skinned and blue eyed. Now while we come in all shades and colors,this Elf on the Shelf wasn’t going to do if we wanted it to look like the little ones at our house. Someone else had grabbed the last one I wanted despite Rachel’s thorough checking to make sure it would be a good fit for our family. Next time she’ll learn to threaten the lives of the customer service reps answering the phone to make sure they get it right.

I called Rachel from the car to tell her about the mix up. But more importantly to express to her how I needed an Elf on the Shelf, and the right one, by the next day. The babies were waiting for it of course. Rachel didn’t skip a beat as she located one on the other side of town. And in true Rachel form, she told me she would pick it up that same night and bring it into the office in the morning.

When Rachel came into the office with the Elf on the Shelf in tow, she told me how she had spoken to her best friend while on route to the Elf pick up. After explaining to her friend that at 8pm in the cold, she was going to Borders Bookstore at Northlake Mall to get her boss an Elf on the Shelf for her kids; Her friend aptly commented that her job was like the movie The Devil Wears Prada. And at that moment I was truly proud of myself for that!

Now fast forward to Christmas 2011. The Elf on the Shelf now named Elfie has returned for its second year of spying on the kids for Santa to report who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. Which again seems like a fabulous tradition to have for our family. Except…First, that darn thing is freaky. It has this mischievous grin and side stare which can only bring back bad memories of that Chucky doll in the movie Child’s Play. And we know it didn’t end too well for the family that bought that doll.

Now that well intentioned mother who came up with this also certainly didn’t take into consideration that I can barely remember to pick up my kids much less every night remember to move that darn Elf to a new location. Because you see Elfie returns to the North Pole every night and reappears the next morning in a new place that the little ones must uncover. You can only imagine how many stories I had to come up with to explain why Elfie was still sitting on the mantel the next morning. Come to think of it, it’s 2:12am as I write this and that darn Elf has to be moved again. Hold on one second while I move it, or else I’ll forget and have to explain to my worried children that Elfie is ok, but had an upper respiratory infection and the doctor didn’t recommend flying that night (sigh).

Ok I’m back now and Elfie has made its move to the breakfast table’s Lazy Susan. This Elf on the Shelf thing has brought many mommies to tears and children too. It certainly has caused me enough stress as if I need any more. So take this as a warning, unless you want to become responsible every year, from November to January, for the travel plans of yet another individual in your house, leave the Elf on the Shelf in the store! And for those mommies that are already in the throws of life with an Elf on the Shelf, I’ve started an online support group…

 

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I just have children, I’m not on house arrest…

So when you have six kids your friends will assume that you’re never allowed out of the house by yourself.  I get it, parents of just two children will magically lose their ability to have a social life.  I mean between work and kids your very essence is sucked dry.  Who can think of going out for a drink with your girlfriends when there is a new funny math to learn at their school, and you have to do the latest hair braid in their hair and someone decided feeding your kids processed frozen dinners was a crime. Well that might be a deterent to most mothers, but not to me…

So this is to put all of MY girlfriends and guy friends on notice.  Nechelle has license will drive to party.  I also have passport and will travel.  Don’t count me out just because it looks like no human being could find enough time in a 24 hour period to care for 6 kids, a husband and their mother.  The secret is I keep them alive and that’s enough…So call me, I want to go out TOO!

 

 

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Santa Claus gets second-place billing in our house…

Christmas time is my favorite time of the year.  I love the holiday cheer, the decorations, the anticipation of what will appear under the tree.  It’s a magical time.  But maybe since I knew by age 5 that Santa Claus wasn’t real, he just doesn’t get to headline in our house.  We work too hard to give that guy all of the credit.  We leave cookies and milk out the night before (I eat the cookies, don’t like milk) and our Elf on the Shelf which is another bane of my existence (see why here) hangs around for weeks before.  But on Christmas morning, the kids know anything in their stockings is from Santa Claus and anything under the tree (a live one of course) is from Mommy, Daddy and Gma.  And if a high price highly saught after item happens to be small enough to fit into a stocking, be assured it gets put under the tree.  I’m just sayin…

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A second wife…

Admittantly we are down one adult.  Just one more adult to add to our regime would make things so much easier.  So rather than paying for a nanny, I’ve suggested we get another wife. No it’s not a religious decision it’s just a practical one.  I mean think about it, who would want another husband?!? Need I go into detail here.  But another wife? Now that’s worth something.  She can help cook (because I only like to eat, not cook), she can help with the cleaning (while my Mom and Tony do most of this and well, I’m still stuck ironing and putting away my own laundry and cleaning my bathroom sink), she can run around the kids to buy glue for their school project, to a doctor’s appointment to the 3rd birthday of the weekend.

And I know what you’re thinking.  What everyone is thinking in marriages with more than one wife.  What happens in the bedroom?  Well……Girl, please, we are not going to be altnerating nights.  I’m not going to be sharing.  But I sure could use a pinch hitter.  I’ll send her up to bat when I don’t feel like playing.  When I’m too tired, too sick or when Karen Marie Moning releases her latest installation in the Fever series and I need to go on a three day reading binge.  Yes, that’s when wife #2 can step in.  Now that’s what I call team work!

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Keeping them off the pole…

When you have four girls your main job in this society is keep them off the pole.  Oh no, I’m not talking about the flagpole, the totem pole or even the tadpole. I’m talking about the stripper pole.

Yes, somewhere along the way after T-Pain was in Love with A Stripper…

The stripper status has been elevated.

 

 

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He didn’t marry me for my domestic prowess…

Vince Vaughn in The Break Up and I are soul mates.  I don’t have a strong desire to do the dishes and never will.

Tony didn’t marry me for my domestic prowess that’s for sure.  We’ve debated for the past twenty years as to whether paying someone to clean your house is lazy or good allocation of resources. Easy guess as to where I side.

 

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Hiding in the closet…

As a hyrid of the stay-at-home-mom and the working mom, since I work from home like many mommies do.  I also have the challenges of making that work.  Trying to maintain an appearance of profesionalism I’ve foound myself taking extraordinary measures.

See when you can even pee by yourself, making a phone call is a feat up there with climbing Mount Everest. I can assure you that every human need a little person can have will all reach urgent status the second they see you’re on the phone.

The evil looks that turn into pleading eyes never work. And so you’ll often find me in a closet.  Yes, hiding in the closet is the only option you have to making an uninterrupted phone call.  The hope is that the last place they’ll look for you is in a closed door closet.  Since wearing coats is optional even in sub zero degree weather, it’s also unlikley that they may happen upon you by accident or even think to put that on their track down list.

Now in addition to hiding in the closet, you’ll also take the hard covering the mouthpiece and loudly whispering in fear that they might pass by the closet and hear you.  Oh get an office you say, have you ever tried making a call when there are little hands and feet ramming into the door and the shrill of little voices screaming “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy”  Oh and the teenagers at least won’t kick the door but their knocking is worse.  So if you need me I’ll be hiding in the closet…