To say that has been a year would be an understatement. I wonder how many other blogs and articles are starting with the same sentiment. In any event, it’s hard to summarize the year of 2020 into one blog post. … Continue reading
So we got an Elf on the Shelf this weekend….but let me explain!
I’ve wanted to avoid this thing like the plague from the beginning. Such an odd tradition that I’ve always rolled my eyes at…then 2020 happened.
My oldest is eight and will be nine in March. He actually asked us about Santa last year and we told him the truth. He seemed okay with it, so no big deal right? We also made sure to tell him not to spoil it for other kids.
This pandemic has been rough for him. One day he’s in school and the next day it’s gone. March seems like a lifetime ago at this point. No teachers, no friends; it all just vanished one day. We definitely had our struggles in the beginning, especially with remote learning. His school did their best given the circumstances, but finishing out spring was turbulent to say the least.
Summer was a huge let down because plans were cancelled (birthday trip to Disneyland off the table) and not much to do but sit around while mom and dad work.
Remote school in fall has had its hiccups but overall, he’s been a champ. Getting his work done, reading, following instructions, staying motivated, organized, and staying positive. I think his school balances synchronous and asynchronous learning well and I can see the differences from Spring. They’ve made a lot of positive changes.
We’ve made time and space for socially distance playdates and lots of FaceTime with friends. Grandparents have been a life saver. My mom and dad are both retired and it has been such a blessing to have their support. Two people to give him dedicated attention while we work!
Lately he’s been asking if it is okay to still believe in Santa, even though he knows the truth. And then this past week, he asked for the Elf on the Shelf! No one was more shocked than I was.
While we all know the truth, how could I deny him this last bit of childhood wonder? We read the book, picked a name, and now he rushes to see where Clyde will be each morning. Such a small gift during a really hard year: something to look forward to in the morning.
Added bonus? He plays by the rules. Since Clyde will be reporting to Santa about who’s naughty and who’s nice, we’re benefiting from the perceived oversight. I’m going to take advantage by using Clyde’s reporting as incentive to help purge old toys and donate them to other kids that don’t have as many toys. Also, mom and dad could use some oversight for our language, according to Gabriel. Cheaper than a swear jar, I suppose.
I feel like parenting as a journey will take you to places you promised you’d never go: “my kid will never eat junk, will never watch screens, will never talk back, will never throw a tantrum in public, will never [insert your own nonsense here]” It’s all an illusion. You don’t know what it will be until you’re in the trenches, even then, some days you win (all veggies and cooperation) and some days you lose (hot dogs and 5+ hours of screens).
This year has taught me two things (at least two things that are relevant to this post, but I assure you much more): that it is okay to love what you love and indulge in “guilty” pleasures (are they really even guilty if the harm no one?!) and a lot of rules go out the window when you’re trying to survive a pandemic. You do your best. You make smart choices for you and your family (and think of others when you’re trying to be safe). Sometimes staying up late, eating junk food, doing nothing, and most of all, releasing the notion of the “ideal” is necessary for not just your sanity but your survival.
So, everyone, meet Clyde, the newest member of the family! Next adventure? Keeping up with moving this dang thing every night for 30 days!
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