Friday, December 12, 2014


I still have to remind myself that we are here to stay. For the first few weeks that NZ was back, it felt even more like a visit because he had time off to spend with us before getting back into the daily grind. Now that he's back to work, life is feeling more and more like normal and I've been doing my best to treat the kids to some holiday festivities that we weren't privy to overseas.

At almost three years old, I decided that Sal might just be old enough for the Elf on the Shelf that my grandmother got him. We read the book, named the elf "Mahbra" (I think he was going for Barbara, but even as I grilled him on the name before writing it, he stuck with "Mahbra")..

Mahbra it is.

Anyways, we discussed why Mahbra was here, and that Mahbra reports to Santa every night. Santa will remember who has been behaving, and who hasn't based on what Mahbra and his friends tell Santa. Those who behave usually get really cool Christmas presents, while those who don't behave sometimes don't get anything. 

Well, it took a grand total of twenty minutes before I used "Mahbra is watching. Mahbra will tell Santa that you just kicked Carla. You don't want Santa to hear you've been misbehaving, do you?" And what followed was a very vocal and dramatic meltdown......I let him have his moment and then tried some redirection. 

"Hey Bud, let's go back downstairs and have a snack."

But Sal wasn't budging. He started sobbing again. When asked why, he said he didn't want Mahbra to see him. He would not go in the same room I had Mahbra hanging out in. He didn't like Mahbra and he didn't like Santa and he didn't want any presents. He just wanted Mahbra to go away.

Mom fail.

Scarred my child for life. 

Had to redeem myself the next morning, so Mahbra showed up with a pair of Santa socks for Sal.

Thank goodness Sal was receptive and told me Mahbra could stay and he did, in fact, like Santa. 

Dodged that bullet.


  1. Hahahah. Hahah. Haha. ha. You crack me up. I love that Sal was afraid of that thing! Way to traumatize him (and also reel things back in with socks). If I bothered to give my son socks, he'd demand a re-do. ;)

  2. We have had a similar experience. Last year when Wren was 2 the elf was a novelty. Now that she's 3, we hoped that the Elf would be an encouragement to throw fewer tantrums. When Elf-Elf Shelf-Shelf (last year she called him Welk, which was much easier!) made it his way into her room last week to "make sure she goes to bed without a fight" she was terrified. She wouldn't go into her room alone. She was shaking! "How did he get in here? He can't walk. He can't run..." So he ended up buried in Jay's sock drawer, not to be seen again this season. Maybe if we had thought of him providing a gift that might have helped. But Wren just said again last night that he's "nowhere to be found". Poor little Elf really did a number! We don't have the book, so maybe the story would have helped too. Here's hoping that next year is better all around!