Well, the Demers family finally has a son (albeit, adopted) and he goes by "Jingle Bell Jack." (creatively named by Ava and Maddy). He's the Elf on a Shelf (we're a little late on this phenomenon, but finally it was something blog-worthy). For those of you with post-Santa aged children....let me build some background for you....the elf on a shelf is a little elf character and picture book. The story has it that the elf flies back to the North Pole each night and let's Santa know if you're behaving (kids only, no worries). Then he perches in a new spot and the kiddies have to find him in the morning. He comes all inclusive with an adoption certificate signed by Santa Claus himself. To the normal child, this brings additional excitement and enjoyment to the already joyful holiday season and to the normal parent, this brings one more thing to remember during the most hectic time of the year (moving him each night....because, he's actually not magic at all, it's just pretend). Now to OUR child....who likes to contemplate the smallest details of life and worry herself into a tizzy, the Elf brings yet a new form of anxiety. After reading the picture book, I placed the Elf on the mantel (which was a rookie mistake: it's MUCH too soon to start these foolish "move the elf in the night" antics). I then answered (as best I could, not knowing how this Elf magic really works) a plethora of Ava's questions regarding the logistics of how the elf got in and out of the house, how he got to the North Pole and back etc. Shortly thereafter, while the rest of us had moved on to something else, I hear Ava in the living room whispering to the elf, asking (PLEADING) with him not appear in her room overnight. She clearly marked some boundaries in the hallway that he was not to go past and she looked at him with such hope in her eyes - looking for some sign that he understood what she was saying. She went over these plans again with "JB Jack" about 10 times before she went to bed. Now for the normal parents, this would cause great concern and perhaps a reconsideration of this new addition to the family. But for US, it was pure hysteria. We both chuckled in the other room, laughing harder and harder everytime we heard her in there talking to him. She asked us for a banana right before bedtime, so of course I had JB Jack hold the banana in his hands and I brought it into her room and gave him a tour....and she once again told him he could look around now, but he couldn't come back later. Although we had evil thoughts of poking JB's head through the crack of the door we decided that the cost of therapy would far outweigh the short-lived amusement. Sure enough, Ava sprang out of bed this morning and looked for JB, who was sitting in a new spot in the living room (1st NIGHT with the Elf - and I went to bed and forgot to move him, but shockingly enough Rolly remembered). She was overjoyed with his obedience and has already begun to trust him. Maddy, on the other hand - unphased by the presence of this creepy little character woke up and said, "WHERE'S the PRESENTS?" Clearly, she missed some of the details in the story. So JB Jack is supposed to remain with us until Dec. 24th when he flies back with Santa until next year. Supposed to....but I'll have to think of something, that is just TOO many nights and not enough perching spots within the perimeter Ava has roped off.