(No, his name is not Mark. Our Elf on the Shelf is named Mart Brent. No shortening it to Mart- come on, that sounds ridiculous.)
I should have been prepared since the kids had been counting down the days until December 1st (when the elf arrives), but apparently I was too fixated on something besides not counting down to December 1st to realize that it really wasn't actually November 30th at all. It was Monday and my kids were up and scrambling for an elf that I have no idea where he hibernates the other eleven months of the year.
Matt pulls Mart Brent out of his dresser drawer. I cannot testify if this was his underwear drawer; I do not put away his laundry. In fact, I do not even know what the inside of his chest of drawers looks like. I like to think the top drawer is a place where Mart Brent can relax in a smoking jacket on his chaise lounge and listen to the sounds of cool jazz while he sips a nice Chianti. He's, of course, the most interesting elf in the world.
Deftly sliding the elf into his bathrobe, Matt starts down the stairs while I call the kids up the stairs. This is not unusual because I usually issue a minimum of three demands before school to come upstairs and clean up the underpants/dixie cups/gobs of toothpaste left shellacked on the sink. They cross paths, none the wiser that Mart Brent was about to get his faced stuffed deep into the Christmas tree. Moments later, the kids find the elf. Happiness ensues. Matt and I high-five.
I woke up the next day, which would be this morning, or THE SECOND DAY I WAS SUPPOSED TO MAKE SURE THE ELF HAD MOVED, to Natalie putting a piece of paper on my face. I knew as soon as it happened that we had forgotten about Mart Brent. She gets up an hour earlier than anyone else in the house, so she would have had ample time to investigate his whereabouts, or still-here-abouts as it were.
Mart didn't move. He didn't eat his tiny party of his graham cracker. He didn't read Eve's note. I am starting to wonder if you and Dad are the ones moving him? Circle Yes or No.
I'm not sure what I should circle, because it is definitely clear that Mom and Dad are NOT moving Mart Brent.
I was going to set an alarm on my phone to go off and remind me every night to move the elf, but then figured telling Natalie that yes, Virginia, your mom does move the elf, would be a lot easier because
I am lazy and didn't want to set up reminders on my phone the girl would make sure he got moved every night. She promised to keep the secret and took the opportunity to hide it before Daniel and Eve got up.
I'm pretty sure Daniel knows, but he doesn't care enough to say anything. Eve will go to her deathbed believing in elves and Santa. If you tell her, I will cut you.
She still can't decide which way to write her Bs and Ds. Third children don't get the same amount of academic attention as the first and second. By the time you're at the third, you are so very, very tired and want to join Mart Brent in his penthouse.
|Dear Mart Brent,|
You did a great job watching us. You are the best Elf on the Shelf.
I have been very good. I love you.
So, to those of you who hate the idea of the elf, I challenge you to come to my house and try to get Daniel and Eve out of bed on a school day that isn't in the month of December. Mart Brent is their reason for waking.
To those of you who take the time to have your elf make an absolute mess that you have to clean up before making another elfen mess the next morning, quit showing off. Just kidding, I really enjoy the pics, but your Instagram posts aren't going to make you Mom of the Year.