What do you get when you have a 3-year old boy who is somewhat naive to the whole Christmas/Santa process? Leverage! Or at least that's what I've been promised by other mothers for many years. There's something you should know. Colin is not your typical fall-for-anything type of child. I mean he is his father's child after all and his father did begin his bartering and reasoning at an early age. He tried to outsmart the doctor out of shots, by saying that if he wasn't sick, why did he need a shot? He also discovered the truth about Santa after realizing the wrapping paper was the same on his parents' gifts. Both of these things before ever entering the first grade. But I digress.
A friend of ours asked if we had "Elf on the Shelf" and I said no, but we thought about buying it. She said she had gotten it for Colin. Fast forward a week or so to when I called her, somewhat embarrassed, to ask if we could have the gift sooner rather than later due to some rotten behavior. She happily obliged.
I eagerly opened the box while Daddy was reading to Colin and took the book upstairs. I waited until Wes was finished reading the first book and waltzed in his room with the "Elf on the Shelf" book. I told Colin that when Sawyer and I had gone downstairs, this book had just appeared and was sitting on the kitchen table. He asked where it came from and I said I didn't know but would you like to read it? Being a lover of all things readable, he said yes!
Wes read the story to him and I could see the wheels turning. We asked him if he thought the elf would come to our house and he sheepishly said "no." By the time Wes finished the bedtime routine, Colin was beaming from ear to ear at the prospect of waking up to his own little elf.
The next morning I was surprised the elf wasn't the first thing out of his mouth. Wes had strategically placed it on top of the tv where Colin watches his morning cartoons. It was dark in the room and with the glare of the tv, he couldn't see the elf. A little while later, he came running into the bathroom screaming, "I found the elf! The elf is here!"
This is where his cynicism took over. He told me he didn't think it was a real elf because it didn't talk back when he spoke to him. I told him this elf was a listening elf (something he DESPERATELY needs to work on) and he only talked to Santa when he reported back each night. I could tell he wasn't buying it but I was determined to not let him win!
Wes reminded him that the book had instructed us to give the elf a name. "What are you going to name him, Colin?" Wes asked.
"I don't know," said Colin. "Poof Guy," he said laughingly.
So I introduce to you, "Poof Guy."
Don't ask where it came from. My friend suggested that maybe he was thinking of how the elf comes and goes - "poof" he's here and "poof" he's gone. That's as good as any rationale I could come up with.
I can't say his behavior has improved one iota since Poof Guy came into our lives but there's still hope. Somehow I have to make it real to him that he might not get any presents if Santa deems him unworthy. He doesn't seem to grasp that concept yet.
This morning he corrected me when I said good morning to the elf. He said, "Mommy, he doesn't talk."
I said, "I know but that doesn't mean I can't talk to him. Remember, he is always listening."
Colin, somewhat perplexed, said, "Good morning, Poof Guy!"
Colin later asked me, "Does the elf comb his hair?"
I said, "I don't know. Yes."
Colin said, "Well it doesn't look very good."
Nice. Already making fun of others. And it's not even a real person!
We love you and your elves but could you please send some direction to my mom and dad so that they'll know how to handle a rowdy 3-year old who already questions your authenticity?