I totally caved. The other night I took Holly the Elf and stuffed her into a plastic bag and put her on a top shelf and just decided to drop the whole thing.
This went fine all morning, while J was at gymnastics. Then, in the afternoon, she started looking for Holly. It was tragic. She was looking hither and yon and Cute W was making Significant Eye Contact with me, like, now what? I think he thought that I should have had Holly leave a note, but I didn’t have it in me on Friday to do anything graceful. At one point during the search, both girls asked me point blank if I thought that Holly had packed up and gone to the North Pole, and I was like, umm, how should I know? I’m not the boss of that magic elf.
But that poor child. J stopped looking. She tried to carry on with other activities. She was both heartbroken and stoic. And I caved.
I grabbed Holly and made her “hide” behind the small Christmas tree that J has set up in her room. I crossed her little elf arms to make her look like she was taking a pissy little time out.
Then, how to get J to look again and find it, without giving away the fact that I totally knew where she was? I asked J if she’d looked around the Christmas tree, because, as a Christmas Elf, that’s probably her favorite place. Yes, J moaned. She’d tried there. I was hoping that she’d have a brainstorm about the little tree, but she did not.
A little more time passed, with continued sorrow and no more searching. I went down into the playroom and begged M for help. M played along, briskly coming upstairs, announcing that she was done with the game she’d been playing and was now ready to help J search the house top to bottom. Starting from the top, of course, because she’d been clued into the fact that Holly would be upstairs in J’s room.
A few minutes later the angst was over.
But tonight, J left a heart-wrenching little note apologizing to Holly for doubting her ability to bake brownies given her teensy size and mitten hands. So tonight I not only had to put Holly in a new spot, but I had to compose a little note assuring J that she was forgiven, along with a reminder that they shouldn’t underestimate each other because they’re both small and mighty. And then I went to recycle the paper scraps to cover my trail and I accidentally crumpled the damn note. And then I wrote a second note, but in the process of working on my other prop (Holly was going to eat one of the cake pops that J had made today, but I honestly didn’t need the extra snack, so some of it was finding its way into the trash), I accidentally threw away the second note. So then I set Holly up with her cake pop remnants on a Christmas napkin/picnic blanket, and I was like, where the hell is the note? It is easy to lose it because it’s very teensy. I scavenged in the garbage and managed to find it again. Phew.
So it looks like I’m in for the season. I think that Holly’s going to leave a farewell note at the end of the year, though. Maybe she can ask J where she thinks she might be needed, or hint that she’d be happy to help the girls spread holiday joy? Well, I’ve got time. I’ll come up with something.