Isn’t the “Elf on the Shelf” so cute? (Although the cynical part of me does think he is also a bit creepy… spying on all that you do so that he can go and tattle to Santa Claus every night.) Even though I got a HUGE kick out of starting this holiday tradition of the disappearing and reappearing elf with my two year old this year (she named him Wow-Wow at first sight… I know, WOW, right?), my motivation for having this little red dude hang around our house has absolutely nothing to do with fun, tradition or Santa Claus. (I have been known to fight over traditions, afterall.) Hosting Wow-Wow at our house is one of my most flat-out selfish acts of the year.
Even though I know he’s got a North Pole ‘boss’ to report to every night, I’ve taken the liberty of acting as Wow-Wow’s immediate supervisor here in North America. Upon his arrival in our home, I gave him 3 very important instructions: 1) Do not leave the kitchen. 2) Always reappear somewhere fairly high in the air (hanging out of a cabinet, on top of our fridge… figure it out), 3) Keep your eyes on the floor. WOW-WOW’S ONLY JOB AT MY HOUSE IS TO MAKE SURE MY TODDLER STOPS THROWING HER FOOD ON THE FLOOR FROM HER BOOSTER SEAT. And he WILL tell Santa if she does. (Ha. Joke’s on her now, isn’t it?)
I just can’t take it anymore. I’ve tried asking her to stop nicely. I’ve tried rationalizing. I’ve tried explaining how hard it is for Mommy to clean the floor every morning, noon and night. I’ve tried taking her meal away before she’s finished. I’ve tried holding on to her arm and forcing her pick up every single fleck of food that she chucks overboard before letting her go and play. I’ve tried yelling and pointing my finger in her face. Nothing’s worked (and I can be pretty scary when I need to be). She laughs. (Not funny.) But now I’ve got kitchen backup.
“You better hope Wow-Wow doesn’t tell Santa what you’re doing,” I threaten as she plucks each and every broccoli from her plate and flings it on the floor. She then actually looks up at the elf like, Oh no… please don’t… I didn’t mean it. And then she stops. WHHHHHAAAAAT? Job well done, Wow-Wow. (If you keep this up, I just might let you leave the kitchen one day.)
WHAT DO YOU USE TO GET YOUR TODDLER TO BEHAVE?