By: Nicole Marino Mathews
Confession.. I bribe my kids to act well behaved in public. Confession… I have pretended to not know the bratty toddler screaming next to me in public; even if he does call me mom. Confession… I did not believe a 13-inch man would change my life.
Let me tell you about said “man”, aka Ed. Ed was brought to me by “Elf on the shelf”. “Elf on the Shelf” Cliffnote version: Elf on the Shelf tells the story of an Elf sent by Santa to keep an eye on the Little Scoops for the bearded fella during the holidays.
The story leaves the naming of the Elf up to the Little Scoops, it was super funny listening to my kids argue in toddler tongue as to what to name him. The names ran the gamut from Mommy (already taken) to pizza; finally they agreed on Ed. Ed the Elf.
The Elf is to “fly” back to the North Pole nightly and tell Santa who’d been naughty or nice. After the trek back to the North Pole nightly the Elf settles in a new spot in our house. Watching the Little Scoops every morning run wild looking for “Ed” is magical.
No more “Santa is watching” being sung in my house, it’s all about my main elf, Ed. “Don’t hit your brother, Ed’s watching” or “Finish your veggies, Ed’s watching”… Little Scoops fear Ed as much as I fear the scale after Thanksgiving.
Truth be told as much as I want you to think that I only use Ed as another form of parenting bribery; it’s not. It’s a great family tradition I hope to do for many years to come, watching their eyes light up when they scout out Ed’s location is worth all the toddler wars during the day.
If you see a woman wandering through Princeton mid-July with a Little Scoop or two and an Elf attached to her purse don’t judge… if it ain’t broke why fix it, right?
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Nicole Marino Mathews is a domestic goddess residing in Robbinsville raising two young boys while trying not lose her cool. She relies on her friends, family, Ed the Elf and occasional martini(s) to keep cool and carry on.