So, we are doing the whole Elf on the Shelf thing. I have mixed feelings about that, just as I do with the whole Santa thing. I am guilty of playing the Santa card. I started that months ago. Bad parenting on my part.
If you are not familiar with the Elf on the Shelf, let me explain. It is a smallish elf that Santa sends to you from the North Pole. He comes with a book and after the kids name him, you fill out a certificate, etc, etc. The elf hangs out in your house and then returns to the North Pole to chat with Santa every night. With magic, he is back in your house every morning. In a different location.
The fun part for the kids is looking for him every morning. Okay, so my issue with that is he has to be in a location well off of the ground because no one can touch him. Or he may lose his magic. Maybe I'm just paranoid but I do admit to being concerned that the girls may try to climb something to get to him. I think the whole no touching/magic thing is a bit complex for a three year old.
I really want my kids to be kids and they are seriously excited about Christmas. Not just getting presents but the whole feeling of the holiday spirit. I love seeing them happy and excited about something. I shamefully admit to believing the whole marketing scam that my kids would turn into little angels (at nighttime, of course) because they wouldn't want the elf to tell Santa that they had been bad. I blame that on being a sleep deprived, frustrated mother of triplets.
I know my kids have dependency issues surrounding sleep and an elf isn't going to fix that. They are three years old. I have to tell you that Em was having an extremely difficult night shortly after we returned from vacation. We tried the whole go to bed on your own thing and she was having a breakdown. Instead of telling them that they were being bad (because I don't consider this being bad), I told them that if they didn't go to bed like big girls and stay in their beds all night, Santa may become confused and not realize that big girls live in our house. We wouldn't want Santa to accidentally leave their gifts at the wrong house.
Em was so upset about me not sitting next her bed that she sobbed, "I don't want any presents." I know. It broke my heart.
So for now, Cece just hangs out at our house. He does go back to visit with Santa and his elf friends during the night but he always returns. Even if someone happened to scream at bedtime the night before. The girls talk to him here and there and they love searching for him in the morning. I've decided that the best way to approach Santa and presents and being good or bad is to tell them that Santa doesn't bring presents to bad, mean kids. I've stopped telling them that Santa isn't going to bring X, Y or Z if they keep up whatever they happen to be doing at that moment that is driving me insane.
So here's where I have been good at parenting. My kids never beg for stuff when we go shopping. They may, on occasion, ask if they can have something and when we respond with a no, they just shrug and move on. We've never bribed them with "if you are good, you can pick something out." They do get special treats here and there so we are not completely evil. I really don't want my kids getting into the habit of having to get something every time we go into a store.
We are in a financial position this year to be able to contribute to an "adopt a kid for the holiday" type of program. Rich and I like to do this in memory of Abbey as well. We ended up "adopting" a three year old girl. While shopping in Target last weekend, the girls helped to pick out clothes and toys for her. After hearing, "Does she like this?" seven billion times, I screamed, "YES, SHE LIKES EVERYTHING!" They did ask a few times if they could get the some of the same things for themselves. I said no and we moved on. No screaming. No crying.
As for the name Cece, that was the first name thrown out there by Allie. Emily then suggested something nonsensical like Moosho. Anna came up with Elfie. And then they all started calling out crazy names so I went back to Cece and asked if they could all agree to call him Cece. They all agreed. Although, Allie sometimes insists that his name is Cece Fluffy.
When Grammy arrived on Monday morning, she didn't know that an elf had taken up residence in our house. When she heard that we needed to look for Cece Fluffy, she was a little nervous because it does sound like a name for a cat.
I'll leave you with what Allie said to Cece tonight before we headed upstairs:
"Night, night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite."