i succumbed to the fad tradition that is "elf on the shelf." i swore i wouldn't. i didn't want the pressure of remembering to move the elf every night. i didn't want the pressure of being creative every night. i didn't want the pressure of "what if i buy this stupid elf and then the kids don't get into it and think it's cheesy and i just wasted $30?"
and up until now, the kids have been oblivious to this fad tradition, so i felt safe in ignoring it.
but then last week a certain husband recorded the "elf on the shelf" tv movie and watched it with harper. and then all harper could talk about is that there's this elf, and if we all watch the movie together, he'll come to our house. but we ALL have to watch it. and can we please all watch it. together. all of us. (and if you know harper at all, you'll know that - like her brother - once an idea is in her head, she talks it to death. she's obsessive. she's one-track-mind girl.)
then she was talking to friends at the bus stop and at school, and the subject came up of elves. and several of her friends declared that yes, they had seen the movie/read the book, and yes, they do indeed have an elf that comes to their house.
good lord. harper was unstoppable in her quest after that.
so last night it just happened to work out that: a) harper had lost another tooth at school that day (fell off the monkey bars onto her face. so for those keeping score: tooth #1 = swallowed while sleeping. tooth #2 = flung across the room by some mysterious force. tooth #3 = knocked out of her head on the playground. okay.) and had an empty green treasure chest to put under her pillow, and was worried the tooth fairy wouldn't leave her a dollar because, again, there was no tooth; b) henry had swimming, so marc took harper home and i was able to go to target without her, thus i was able to pick up this elf book + elf without her knowledge; and c) it was the night before december 1, which seemed like the perfect time to start this fad tradition at our house.
when i returned from target, i snuck the book out of the elf box, took it up to harp's room, and asked, "is this the book you were talking about?" oh, the glee on her face. the squeals. "yes!! yes, mama! if we read this book an elf will come to our house but we all have to read it together and we need daddy and henry so we can read it and when we read it an elf will come to our house and watch us every day and ... "
so i told her that since she and daddy and henry had watched the movie, it was probably okay if just she and i read the book together. and who knows about the elf.
well, christmas magic happened.
this morning, sitting on her other bed was this:
"there's an elf in my roooooooommmmm! and it has my dollar from the tooth fairyyyyyyyyyy!!!!"
what a good elf.
she was named snowflake, and harper immediately sat down next to her to read the story of her existence and mission while at our house ...
what have i done.
in all fairness, with a harper in the house, anything with magic and spirit is appreciated and embraced with every little cell in her body. it's gratifying, and makes my heart happy to watch. this should, actually, make for a very fun december.