Well, I did it.
I got an Elf on the Shelf.
The only reason I got the thing was because it was super cheap on Amazon and because I knew my daughter would love it.
I took it out of the box yesterday. I immediately did not appreciate the way it was staring at me. Or not staring. Where was it even looking? And why were the hands sewn together? The first thing I thought was, "Because it's evil."
I wasn't sure if I was supposed to cut the arms apart? There were no instructions. It felt odd to have arms pressed together so I got some scissors and cut them free. I think the elf was appreciative. Only I'm not sure because I don't know what it's looking at.
Natalie knew the elf was coming. I wasn't even sure if I was supposed to tell her that. But I did so she was excited when I picked her up from school.
"Is my elf at home? What's it doing? Is it excited to play with me? WHAT OUTFIT IS IT WEARING?" Natalie couldn't contain herself. She hopped from one foot to the other and then took off running.
"Natalie! Mommy....Mommy can't breathe!" I gasped as I chased after her.
Natalie burst through the door and I expected her to shout, "I LOVE HER!" but instead she fell silent as she gazed at her new friend. I wanted to say, "I know, the eyes are weird," but I swallowed it back.
"Go say hello," I pressed.
"I thought she'd be alive! I still like her but I thought she'd be moving like the mom and dad on Little People, Big World," Natalie admitted.
Oh. She thought we'd have a little person dressed like an elf staying in our home. I suppose I should have explained it better.
"She's cute and tiny," Natalie continued and scooped her up.
Tommy's expression is basically what my face looks like whenever I'm around the elf.
Tommy, by the way, still believes in Santa. He's starting to ask questions though. So when I told him about the elf he kept saying, "That's not possible. And where are its feet?" Then he picked it up and pressed it against his face, hoping he would discover the secrets.
"I don't think this small thing can be real," Tommy said into the body.
"She is! Mommy, what's her name?" Natalie wanted to know.
Um. Crap. I had to come up with something, otherwise the kids would suspect.
"Meredith," I answered only because I had just finished watching an episode of Grey's Anatomy. And also, I wasn't about to name it something cutesy like Sparkles or Glitter or No Feet. I already had to deal with the thing until Christmas, at least it had to be called something respectable.
"Meredith," Natalie repeated. "HI MEREDITH!" she bellowed into its face. Had a little person come to stay with us as Natalie had hoped, she'd have turned around and left at that point, I'm sure.
I grabbed the book that came with the elf. "Let's read all about her, okay?"
"This can't be possible," Tommy insisted. "And where are her feet?"
"In her red suit," I explained.
"It doesn't even FEEL like feet," Tommy said, squeezing.
"She's tiny. You can't feel them. Now," I said, opening the book. I began to read. Natalie popped her thumb into her mouth as she balanced Meredith on her lap.
And then we came to this part:
"Shit!" I shouted after I read it. "We aren't supposed to touch her!"
Natalie's mouth dropped open. "You said an unfriendly word. If you were at school, you'd be on orange and get negative points on Class Dojo. Plus, I love Meredith!" She hugged her close. "She's going to sleep with me."
"She can't. She goes to the North Pole every night to tell Santa how you're behaving," I said, prying Meredith away from Natalie.
"That can't be," Tommy muttered.
"She'll be someplace new everyday. Or close to every day. Sometimes she'll get tired from traveling," I continued. I said that in case I ever forget to move her. This might happen several times. It's not like I sit around going, "Where can I move the elf today?" like a lot of people on Pinterest seem to do.
Anyway, Natalie seemed to understand that she couldn't touch Meredith anymore although I think we're going to be lax about that. Meredith is super powerful so you CAN touch her now and again. She's not a work of art for God's sake, she's a creepy elf.
I remembered to move her, too. Actually, I forgot at first but as I got into bed Tom went, "Did you move that elf thing? I still don't get what the point is."
I rushed downstairs and placed Meredith in a stocking.
It's not my favorite thing in the world. But when I saw Natalie's excited face as she woke up wondering where Meredith would be, I thought, "Okay, MAYBE this is worth it.."
But I'll never be one of the creative parents.
Meredith is going to simply roam around the house. She doesn't leave letters or leave crafts behind.
She's Meredith the Relaxed and sometimes you can touch Elf.