My oldest received Tom many years ago but it was my middle child, Alex, that has always been the most curious about him. In the past he has knocked him across the room or made him fall to see what would happen. He tried to “take his magical powers” at times. Alex isn’t bothered by consequences so Santa knowing all of this and possibly not bringing presents was no problem for him. Last year the Elf actually left for a week because of bad behavior and also being thrown across the room. Elf-Abuse. Alex’s exact reaction to the Elf refusing to come back and no presents from Santa was “oh well, I’ll try better next year.” Evan’s response was even better “I am only about 2% responsible for this.” I have to admit, I was glad when Tom went away for a short while because he is just a lot of work for me. Thankfully I requested an Elf that does not mess up houses or do mischievous things. But, not only did I have to find a hiding place for him every day but it had to be a HIGH place so he wouldn’t be attacked. This year, he wasn’t out 2 days before “someone” climbed up a tall bookcase and knocked him to the floor. I don’t remember what happened next except that he was nowhere to be found.
For the last two weeks my husband and I have been tearing up the house looking for the Elf. Where did they hide him? Who took him? Interrogation began. After two weeks of the boys saying “maybe he is back at the North Pole” I started to wonder if I was crazy and had forgotten where I hid him. At some point you just know he is dead, though. I read lots of Facebook status updates of what other cute and fun things other elves were doing and felt sad that we can’t have fun things at our house. I started to believe it was Evan that had taken Tom because it was unlike Alex to not break after two weeks of questioning. I finally put a crack down on them yesterday and said there would be no more wii until I had my Elf. I thought this would do Evan in for sure…and it did. He complained and whined all day about how he didn’t know where he was. Oh well, no Elf – no wii. Apparently, all of his misery brought about a different result than what I expected although I ultimately got the information I needed.
Approximately 2 p.m. yesterday I learned the fate of Tom the Elf. Out of the blue Alex came and confessed to me that he had thrown Tom into the trash. He checked him out, removed his hat and something on his back and stuffed him into the kitchen trash. He must have hidden him underneath things because we never noticed. So, he is long gone in the City Dump now.
Mom: Why, Alex? Why? What did the Elf ever do to you?
Alex: “I don’t know.” (usual answer for him)
Alex: I just don’t like the way he looked. He was always smiling. All the time smiling. No matter how bad you are or what you do he is always smiling.
Mom: Well, do you think he is smiling now in the city dump?
Alex: Yeah, he is smiling for sure.
Mom: What do you think Santa is going to say? We may not get any presents!
Alex: I don’t care. I didn’t like his cheeks. They were too thin.
This conversation went on much longer and I will spare you those infuriating details. These are the moments that I wonder what in the world is wrong with him and what is in his head. I have to admit that the Elf is a little creepy. His face reminds me of a clown and I hate clowns. My Mom decorated my room with clown stuff when I was little and I never would have had the nerve to throw any of it away.
Bad Idea: I had this thought that I could get another Elf and scuff him up like he had been in the Dump for a few weeks. How much therapy would he need if I did that and an Elf was in our house again unexpectedly? I think that would probably scare all of us pretty badly. Stephen King’s Pet Cemetery is starting to come to mind.
I feel terrible for little Kate because she won’t get to have the fun of looking for the Elf every day in December. I am going to run on the assumption that she is going to be a perfect angel and not need an Elf to tell Santa how good she is. Also, perhaps Tom would have creeped her out like he did Alex anyway?
Here are a couple of pictures from my childhood. Too bad you can’t see the face of the clown on the left to really see what I am talking about. I like that his head is in a plastic bag even more than my expression. (Sorry, Mama!)