Brooke's Stories

Days 1-4: The Elf on the Shelf Diaries

Day 1:

I caved.

Last year, I told my husband that the Elf on the Shelf idea was stupid. I saw all of these parents stressing about how they forgot to move the elf, and honestly didn’t know the full story behind EOTS. Why add another thing to stress about?

But, this year, I looked into it and because I have a child who is struggling with bad behavior, I thought this might be a helpful solution.

So, today, I let the kids know that the elf was on his way- sent directly from Santa. They were captivated as I told them about the Elf and what he does. My 6 year old is super pumped and keeps talking about the elf and has now engraved in her mind that he will be here Tuesday.

So far, so good.


Day 2:

The elf has arrived. Not from Santa, but from Amazon. That is neither here nor there. The kids know no better.

My oldest 2 kids have school today so I’ve propped him up in the laundry room next to the book that comes with him. Here’s to hoping they can locate him in less than 6 hours, which is approximately how long it takes them to find a single shoe. We’ve yet to find *both* shoes within a 24 hour timeframe this year.


The kids get home from school and Peyton is on high alert- fully aware that it is Tuesday and he should be appearing. I may or may not have slightly hinted about his location, so that the hunt could be over in time for her high school graduation. It worked. Hooray!

Peyton finds the elf and is super excited. Miles looks concerned. Like an, “Oh shit. Santa’s not playing” face with his tongue hanging out (which means he is thinking hard). He is questioning why he was ever excited about this Houdini elf who will inevitably rat him out for all of the shit that he pulls and now knows that he will not be getting any presents for Christmas. If he had the vocabulary of a 17 year old, he would probably say something like, “WTF?!”


We sit down together and read the book, which is actually super cute. The kids are fascinated.

Even though this book is cute and talks about how it’s a “family tradition,” I know that at some point, whoever started this had a bad ass kid like me and was looking for a solution.

No judgement here. In fact, thank you ‘first person’. We would probably get along great. Also, kudos on the business of bad ass kids. This .99 doll and book cost me $30. It probably cost you $1 to make. Again, no judgement. At least if this idea didn’t fix your bad ass kid, you are now rich. That has to make things a lot easier when you’re pretending to be confused when your 4 year olds teacher wants to know why he tells everyone he’s wearing “shit kickers”.


No one would ever use that sort of language in my house! Here is $100 to never talk about this again.

Money doesn’t buy happiness but it can get you out of shit stuff, I mean.

Again, language.


Day 3:

Because I am the best mom ever, I did not forget to move the elf last night which makes me feel like I’m more on top of things than I actually am. Who’s the hot mess now? Not me. It took all of 3 seconds. I have yet to play along with the elaborate tricks and messes that the “elf” makes while they’re asleep. I’ll save that for mid-December when he’s losing his behavioral effect.


The elf moved to another spot in the kitchen. As soon as Peyton woke up, she started looking for the elf, which we named, “Elfie.”

Turns out, the rest of the world also named theirs Elfie. Good to know.

She found him in about 10 minutes and was excited that her letter to Santa (that she gave him last night) was gone (it went to the North Pole, duh. Also, my trash can is now named, “the North Pole.”)

Miles woke up about 10 minutes later and also started searching for Elfie. Again, slightly concerned about the realness of this A-Hole elf who tattles on him every night. He found him and was happy about that but still looks concerned.

I reminded the kids 739595982728 times that Elfie was watching while they were fighting over blankets and smacking each other in the head while I was trying to microwave vegetables that they will ultimately throw on the floor- If I’m lucky, the trash.

So far, the reminders are working. They have apologized 2947493920 times to me (in front of Elfie). I told them to stop apologizing. They have mastered fake apologies like my husband (kidding!). I yelled at them for leaving the cabinet doors open- Whoops- Wrong family member. #triggered


Day 4:

Before finishing my cup of coffee this morning, the sound of my 6 year old coming down the stairs sends me bolting to the kitchen to move the stupid elf as quickly and discreetly as possible. He may have only moved 4 feet to the left, but movement is movement right? The kids bought it. The magical elf is still magic. The not-hot-mess-Mom is actually a hot mess mom. A lot changed between yesterday and today. Super mom has left the building.


Again, I remind the kids 383749492937 times that Elfie is watching. I have some questions:

1) Can Elfie see through walls? If not, I’m going to need to strap him around my 3 year olds ankle to ensure proper reporting to Santa.

2) I thought his hands came apart. They are stitched together like those size 10 jeans I can’t fit my left foot into. How am I supposed to create all of these elaborate, bad elf scenes when the circumference of his arm hole is the size of a pencil? I guess that wasn’t really a question?

3) Why do we start this so early? I’ve now committed to 25+ days of this nonsense and, assuming this first week will be the most effective on curbing their bad behaviors, it’s not looking like it’s worth that $30 investment. I could’ve bought approximately 1 pint of Halo Top for that.

4) Why are we supposed to have the elf do bad things at night? My 3 year old doesn’t need any more ideas or encouragement or challenges. I don’t need him one-upping the elf. He already can’t be trusted. Last week he climbed the pantry shelves and ate 6 pieces of my sugar free candy. Joke was on him because he had diarrhea for 2 days after that. He had no regrets. #worthit

I’m going to move the elf now. I plan on being a lukewarm mom tomorrow. Will update on actual hot-mess status.

Elf on a shelf diaries. Funny motherhood stories of our first year of elf on the shelf arrival. Easy ideas for adults elf of the shelf. Elf on the shelf ideas for toddlers. #elfontheshelf

1 thought on “Days 1-4: The Elf on the Shelf Diaries

  1. Our elf, Elvira, sees everything no matter where she is. I typed up tiny Christmas themed cards with notes from her… “that room is awfully messy, I would hate to have to tell Santa that there isn’t any room for a new toy” BOOM! Room is cleaned by the end of the day. Ours doesn’t do shenanigans, instead offers games like find the hidden candy canes or a typed up Christmas word puzzle when they’ve been good. Oh, and if she doesn’t move here is my response, “you must’ve stayed up too late, she can’t return to the North Pole until your asleep. She probably fell asleep waiting on you” guess who goes to bed with ease that night.

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