The Tale of Two Elves

On December 1st our sneaky Elf makes his debut. I promised my children that they would see our Elf the next day. But the joke seems to be on us, the parents. That Elf is MIA. He’s not in any of the Christmas boxes. Or Easter or Halloween or even Independence Day. So we thought up a lie and we thought it up quick.

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I’m positive we get bonus points for using the word ‘naked.’ It makes my young children giggle every time. Meanwhile my loving husband ran to Barnes and Noble to acquire a new Elf.

But of course we forgot to place the Elf before the kids woke up for school. We’re not winning any prize parents of the year award here. Princess ran into me in the hallway with a suspicious lump under my shirt. She said, “I’m looking for the Elf.” I said, “Quick go put on your shoes and I’ll help you find him.” I stashed the Elf in the first semi hidden spot I could find. Two seconds later the Dude comes out of the bedroom to look for our Elf.

20131203_081007 (Bruce the cat checking out our new Elf)
Dude laughed hard and said, “That sneaky Elf is under the tree!”

20131203_222431 Tonight the Elf will defy gravity. He’ll hang upside down and drink Maple Syrup. Because that’s what Elf’s like.

I’m so grateful my kids still believe in Santa and in our Elf. I’m sad that next year they’ll probably be too old to believe. But for now I’m enjoying seeing their faces light up when the Elf magically moves to a different spot in our house every night.

Applying the Art of War in everyday parenting

1. Always have a battle plan. I.E. Pick your battles.What’s more important to you? Bed time? Picking up that land mine of Lego’s? Or having your child clean and well dressed? You can only pick two in any given hectic day.

2. Have several different strategies in mind for getting a shower or going to the bathroom.

3.  Don’t be afraid to call for additional troops in times of dire peril. Example: You haven’t had real sleep in the last three days and your house looks like the pit of despair.

4. Never Surrender. At least not without consulting the following formula. Lack of sleep + plus desire to go back to sleep = equals lack of willpower about not letting your child/children sleep in your bed. (Again)

5. Know your foe. Enemies lurk around every corner. Make sure your always prepared to defend, protect and advocate for your child.

6. Negotations grow more complicated as your children age. It starts out simply enough with rewards of dessert or candy. But before you know it, it turns into concert tickets for a boy band. GAH!

7. Remember your position of authority. You are the General. Your child is the solider. Someone has to enforce a code of conduct. If you don’t, your children will write and follow their own. (A general is not a crusty old grump that goes around disparaging everyone around him or her. They are simply the person who provides direction, makes hard choices, and fights for the good of all rather than the good of the one. Sounds exactly like a parent to me!)

*This post was inspired by a conversation with my good friend Whitney T and the unconquerable Kernal Ken.*

Smited in my smugness

We had a great weekend! Friday night I made a grand feast at my house. Kevin, Syliva, Victoria and Ken came over for dinner. In return Victoria and Ken gave me a pumpkin and  a flower.

Saturday the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was having a military appreciation day. We got a huge discount! The highlight of the zoo was the Sky Ride and the carosel. The Sky Ride is a ski lift to the top of the mountain. Yeah I wasn’t kidding about the mountain part. Honestly it’s the most picturesque zoo I’ve ever been to.

Our day @ the zoo

Sunday I graciously let my children watch the Sword in the Stone while I took a snooze. When I came downstairs my sweet little kids were coloring at the table. Ohhhh…they are so precious.

Monday morning I walked the kids to school. I was feeling quite smug and superior. I had an excellent weekend with my very well behaved children. I had even managed to nap with no major disasters. Life was good. I was so blessed to have such amazingly perfect children.

I walked home. I started to clean. I found this…..

And this

And this underneath the table…

Happily I wasn’t born yesterday. I only keep Washable Markers where my children can reach them. All of the marker came off easily. Also lucky for my little stinkers I have all day to cool my jets before they come home from school.

I needed this little reminder that I am not a perfect parent. My kids do misbehave now and again. It’s a good thing that I was humbled. My smug walk and my big head looked ridiculous anyway.

Fantastic weekend otherwise. =)