The elf is back!
Buster, our resident “Elf on a Shelf” has returned for another year of jolly fun and mischief…
Buster has been a beloved member of our family every December for the last eight years. He moved into our home in December 2008 when my Mom gave Gracie, Molly and Rusty their Christmas elf. At the time we were the only family we knew with a magical elf. Now you find elves and mischief ideas all over Pinterest. Buster no longer has to work so hard to be creative with all sorts of fun ideas only a click away. (Do they have wifi at the North Pole?)
For years my older three would eagerly jump from bed every morning in December, determined to be the first to spot Buster who would move into a new location every morning after returning from Santa every night to report on the behaviors of the kids that previous day.
Over the years he has become more creative in his holiday antics. My older kids have always found Buster fun and entertaining.
My younger boys, well, they have a more complicated relationship with Buster.
Both love the idea of Buster and fully embrace the magic associated with him. They love his antics (during daylight hours) but when the sun goes down and it is time for bed they find the thought of him coming alive, wandering the house, or flying home to the North Pole to report their behavior to Santa creepy and disturbing.
Every year we inevitably have some sort of therapy causing incident that makes us question whether we should invite Buster back.
Remember this blog from last December:
“One night Buster had some fun with googly eyes and in the process scarred Tyler forever.
Any fear he had overcome was back 100 fold. He woke in the night and walked into a dark kitchen to get a glass of water. When he flicked the light on he saw this:
And he began to scream.
The family woke to his screams of terror.
This year, as we counted down the days to December, Tyler faced the return of Buster with mixed emotions. He was SO excited but also SO nervous. I suggested that perhaps we could tell Buster to stay in the North Pole this year but Tyler wouldn’t go for that. He said he was fine but I suspected that wasn’t really the case by the struggles we were having at bedtime each night.
And then the REAL TRUTH came out at therapy this past week. Both my boys attend therapy sessions each week to help them address the abuse and trauma of their past. Never in a million years did I think our therapy session would be spent addressing current trauma brought on by Buster. (And the momma who brings him to life each night)
Yes, in therapy, we spent 45 minutes discussing Buster, our magical elf.
You know, as parents we often wonder whether our parenting choices or mistakes will result in expensive therapy for our child down the road, but it is not too often you get to actually sit in on the therapy sessions you caused.
At therapy Tyler shared with Tina his history with Buster. He explained what he liked about Buster and what made him nervous. Like myself, she suggested that maybe Buster should spend this December in the North Pole, an idea which Tyler quickly shot down.
She then asked him what he thought they should do. Tyler suggested they make a list of rules for Buster. Tina thought that was a wonderful idea so there in therapy Tyler dictated a list of rules for Buster that I wrote down.
Tina then sent us home with the assignment of reading the rules to Buster when we got home and posting them where he could see them and remember them.
Ok, I’ll admit I felt a bit silly standing in front of a toy elf, reading a list of rules written to myself, but I did it…
and it made Tyler feel better.
He seems much more at peace with Buster now that Buster scrawled a note at the bottom of Tyler’s list of rules apologizing and promising to follow the rules Tyler set forth.
Note to self…
In the future avoid googly eyes,
always avoid the googly eyes!”
Once again this year we suggested perhaps we should take a break from Buster and send him home to Santa, after seeing their anxiety increase with the Elf’s arrival, but the boys protested.
“But we love Buster!” they insisted.
So he continues to visit,
and he continues to delight…and frighten… my boys.
Gotta love the “Magic” of the holidays!
Here’s a look at what Buster’s been up to: