“Adult fingers are allowed to touch it!” I’m yelling into my phone. On a crowded bus. At 7.30am. “In a crisis, that’s allowed!”
Fellow commuters are turning their heads towards me. The tortured wails of a distraught child are audible to the guy listening to Pod Save America on the back row.
“Grown-ups know rules that you don’t know,” I screech. “Daddy’s hands are magic, too!”
This is the second meltdown in as many days brought on by a tiny felt doll that has only been (visible) in my house for five days. The little guy with the red felt hat and the permanent eye-roll: The Elf On The Shelf.
There are, as it has been wildly claimed, two types of people in the world. The ones who already know what I’m talking about, and the sane.
For the former, a quaint Christmas tradition that seemed like a good idea at the time has now swallowed their lives. It’s an added complication at exactly the same time the ever-spooling to-do list has expanded to include the school carol concert, dance show and swimming carnival. The time when they’re busy with the purchasing of thoughtful but inexpensive gifts for everyone in their family, suburb and F45 class with looming pressure of a deadline: December 25.
The arbitrary date (sorry, Jesus) by which time we must have had a “catch-up” with everyone we’ve ever worked with, decorated our house in a tasteful yet fun festive theme, and remembered to lose 5kg to look okay in that dress at the Christmas party.
In short, we were already in hell, and then the Elves came.