I get a serious kick out of how many Facebook postings I see groaning about The Elf. It seems people either love it or hate it. Our Elf, whom we never named, joined our family 3 years ago, I think? So my oldest was 7 and my youngest was 5. When The Elf first arrived (ours arrives on December 1st thereby reducing the number of nights I have to remember to move him), the boys bounced out of bed every morning before school to look for him. It was great - no more fighting with them to get up and get dressed!
When just moving him around didn't seems to do it anymore, The Elf started to hide, to the point I had to give them clues as to where he was hiding. Sometimes he even brought little gifts (like a small piece of candy, $1 store toy) and then it all morphed into sometimes finding him in trouble, tied-up, and surrounded by army men.
But this year, all of that has changed. A few weeks ago my youngest son told me during a car ride "I know you are Santa." That statement simultaneously broke my heart and made me jump for joy. No more hiding. No more pretending. No more worrying about where to stash the wrapped gifts. It was such a free-feeling but also sad at the same time ... my babies are growing up!
When he said that, I countered with, "Well, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being Daddy and I are Santa, how sure are you?" He said, "I'm about a 9." I'm still not quite sure if he figured this out on his own (the boy is not stupid - kind of surprised he made it through last Christmas still believing) or if someone spilled the beans. But regardless, I thought this meant The Elf could retire!
I was wrong, very very wrong ... right after Thanksgiving he told me that he still expected me to hide The Elf!
So yes, I'm still hiding The Elf, leaving little candy gifts, and occasionally making The Elf be mischievous ... and he's still bouncing out of bed every morning to find him. And when I forgot 3 nights in a row (whoops) he reminded me in an annoyed tone that I forgot AGAIN.
Son #1 was still awake and saw The Elf sitting on the shelf (yes, literally) in the kitchen. He says, "Mom, I'll hide him for you so you don't forget. I don't even look for him anymore but I know B really likes to." Ahhh ... one of those rare moments I know he really loves his younger brother!