When my first Womb Raider was born just over 4 years ago, this Elf on the Shelf phenomenon was really taking off here in Australia. You know what they are: these little stuffed toy Scout Elves that come with a book explaining how they are spies for Santa, sent to keep a watch over your little crotch droplings during the day before reporting back to Santa in the evening.
They sit in all manner of creative positions in your house and then when they return the following day they are in a different spot just to freak your kids the fuck out. You must NOT touch the Elf or else the magic is gone! And parents worldwide have purchased MILLIONS of these little bastards at almost $70 bucks a pop.
Anyway, I was in desperate need of one of these little Elves but couldn’t stomach the cost for a baby who’s only skills on her first Christmas were trying to suck her own feet and shitting everywhere. The following year I was SO close to buying one, but something stopped me. I watched as my friends posted magical and creative poses on Facebook and Instagram and felt like a total loser for not having one myself.
Then the next year I caved. She was three and I had another little bub who was 1 and chowing down on the Christmas baubles. I needed a distraction for him so he could lay off trying to perforate his bowel. But instead of paying $69 bucks for my Elf with its cute little book and adoption certificate, I went proper cheapskate style and got one with no book for $8 on eBay. It came from China and arrived a few weeks later. It looked just like the real thing! I was stoked.
Well, the first day went really well. My daughter screamed and refused to go anywhere near the thing while I was trying to explain how magical and exciting this Elf was and how it was so amazing that a real Elf had come to stay in our home. My eyes were huge as I stressed how very fucking lucky we were.
Nup. She wasn’t buying it, she told me it looked at her funny.
The Husband was pissed but agreed to play along, which surprised me because he and I fight about Christmas every year. You see, we are both hard core Atheists, if you believe in such a thing. He refuses to let me get a Santa photo with the kids because he doesn’t believe in sitting them on some random dude’s lap dressed up as someone that doesn’t exist for the pretend birthday of a fake deity. He’s a real barrel of laughs. Each year I fight him and lose over the Santa photo.
And I hate him for it.
So, this Elf was my way of claiming back some of that magical Christmas shit that I loved as a kid. I lasted about three days before I started forgetting to put “Fuzzy” as we called him in his different position each day. Why? Because aint nobody got time for that! How the fuck is one supposed to remember a creepy-looking Elf after a day of kid wrangling with work thrown in?
I’d also become acutely aware that my attempts with Fuzzy were, for want of a better word, shit. Sure, I’d done the snow angel with flour and tried to dangle him from the chandelier so he looked like he was abseiling, but it was no match for the Pinterest-ready achievements of my friends. I sunk deeper into my mire of inadequacy. I hadn’t felt this sort of gut wrenching guilt since my awful birthday cake making and non Bento Box lunches.
The Husband was even embarrassed at my pathetic attempts to bring Fuzzy to life and begun helping me each morning before the kids got up by moving him. Needless to say I was fucking delighted when Fuzzy pissed off back to the North Pole for another year. But kids are smart, they don’t forget these things and have been asking me where Fuzzy is, “Is he coming back?”
I want to say HELL TO THE FUCKING NO kids, Fuzzy got killed by a polar bear and he’s dead. But if they are not getting a Santa photo and their Christmas tree looks like it belongs on Pinterest Fails and I sure as hell won’t be humiliating myself with my attempts at Christmas baking, what can I do? I have to get Fuzzy out of my bra drawer next to my emergency sugar stash and man the fuck up. But not before these parting words.
FUCK YOU ELF ON THE SHELF.
Fuck you for making me feel like a shit mum at an already sensitive time of year. I’m a shaven-headed, slightly psychotic, non-baking, uncrafty mess of a mum. If I was around in the 40’s they would have strapped me to a gurney and locked me up. So I don’t need you to stare at me with your beady fucking eyes and telepathically tell me I’m unworthy. I already know it.
Yes, I might be a teeny bit envious of these mums that can reposition their Elf into amazing scenes whilst whipping up a Hello Kitty bento box with one arm tied behind their back. I’ll admit to that. They may be the same mums that spend money on a child stylist and create incredible fondant centrepieces for the Christmas table, but they deserve some fucking praise. But I’ll also raise my glass to the mums that want to rip off your head and shove it up your ass.
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