You know, the Elf on the Shelf is a cute idea, but it's really pretty useless. Granted, it's fun to watch the boys go looking for the elf in the morning. Even Stitch gets in on it. Every time the Elf catches his eye during the day he gleefully screeches "Ebbie!" which is toddler for "Elfie!" I haven't yet tired of that little piece of cuteness, but even that has its limits.
I think the main problem with Elfie is that he can only do one thing: He watches the boys and then he reports back to Santa. A multi-tasker he is not. Now, put a mom in charge of the elf brigade, and you'd see some changes. (cue the cool music as we transition to my vision)
1. No more hiding. Mommies, especially Mommies of little boys who tend to wander off, don't like little people who hide. I really couldn't care less that you're a magical elf and you're playing a game -- no more hiding!
2. No more good boy/bad boy (or girl, I guess) thing. That stopped working ages ago. Kids these days are smart -- they know darned well that Santa's going to bring them presents regardless of how they act. Have you ever heard of a child who didn't get toys from Santa for behavioural reasons? Santa either needs to improve his follow-through (Read a parenting book, Santa!) or stop with the threats.
3. No more flying to the North Pole every night. Come on Santa...that's what e-mail is for! That time could be much better spent doing something productive.
And speaking of productivity, Elfie's job description would expand. In my world, all elves would receive remedial training in the following areas:
- floor washing
- child bathing
- dish doing
- present wrapping
- cookie baking
- fudge making
- tree decorating
- card writing
- party planning
- back rubbing (I know...a back-rubbing elf...sigh...bliss...)
- furniture dusting
I figure if an elf is going to hang around my house for a month, he'd better be useful. Otherwise, back to the North Pole with you, Elfie. I don't need another thing to dust.