It’s Dec 1, so it’s the Trout Family Tradition that the Elf comes back sometime in the afternoon. This’ll be the 6th year, now. You can read about previous elfy-antics in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 if you need to catch up on the running story…
So I spent the afternoon trying to find the blasted thing: Edbie, mutant love-child of Barbie and Edward, and nephew of the psychotic Edwinn. Finally found and dusted off, I taped him to the outside of the back door, clutching his wee note from Santa, right before I had to pick up the minxes from school.
See? Takes up pretty much the whole of the window. Blots out the light. See it for miles. You’d think…
They came skittering and skidding home in a desperate rush to find any elf at all. They looked around the usual hiding places from previous years. Nothing. They circled the house (missing the taped-up elf. It’s only bright red and about 14″ tall…). They looked crestfallen and rejected. Mini and Maxi the Eternal Optimists headed off for a bit of sledging, confident that at least one elf would appear before bedtime; Midi mooched around the house with a sad face on.
Taking pity on her, I pointedly sent her to feed Killer Cat because the cat’s food bowl is kept next to the back door. I waited for an excited squeal from Midi when she spotted the elf. Nothing. She hadn’t noticed. Hmph. I got on with making dinner in the kitchen. Maxi came in. I asked her to go change Killer Cat’s water (I never ask her to do that). She did (she never complies with requests like that normally). She didn’t notice the elf. Mini came home. Ah, Mini, my most observant child! I sent her to check on Killer Cat’s kibble. Nothing. She didn’t see it. She came in and moaned about it getting dark and there being no elves. Then she asked where I’d put her schoolbag. “On top of the washing machine”, I lied. She went to the back door and looked, but still didn’t see the elf.
By this stage I was wondering if it had fallen off or gone invisible!
“Muuuuuum, where’s my water bottle?” called Mini.
“I put it right next to the boiler. Right beside the back door!” I yelled back, getting desperate now. Mini went and looked, failed to see the bloody elf one inch from her face, and came back muttering about how forgetful I was.
Clutching at straws, I got all 3 girls to go round the entire house, closing all the blinds and windows. Nope, still nothing. Obviously no red and white detection filters happening there.
I collared Midi and pretty much frog-marched her towards the back door. I distracted her with a little smoke and mirrors – “Midi, there’s something in your room I want to talk to you about”, then paused as we went past the back door, did a comedy double take, then made as if to continue walking towards her room. Of course she followed my gaze (oh, I’m good) and said, “Hang on, Mummy, what’s that on the window?”
Oh hallelujah! At last! I can cancel the emergency appointments for all 3 girls at Specsavers!
She walked right up to the window and let out a scream.
“Edbie! Oh, he’s here! Maxi, Mini, Maxi, Mini, he’s here!!!!”
They ripped off the tape, tore off his muzzle (as I knew they would), *then* read the letter from Santa.
They’ve spent the evening warning Edbie to behave while Maxi’s away at her first Scout camp. I took her into my confidence while I blew-dry her hair about why I was so desperate to get the kids to the back door this evening. We had a right chortle about how difficult it was to get someone, anyone, to spot the elf!
So: Night 1 and it’s Friday and I’m missing my Precious Firstborn and wine is about to be imbibed. How bad will Edbie’s antics be tonight, I wonder…?