Bernard is our family Elf. Sure, kids love their elf on the shelf, but it is every bit as much for the sanity and enjoyment of moms as it is for children. At least, that is how I justified getting one for my 22-month-old.
So Bernard arrived. I've been planning Bernard's arrival for months. (Thanks, Pinterest!) The issue is that many of the ideas on the internet are for older children. I would love to replace our stockings with toddler underwear or have Samwise Gamgee and Bernard renact Mordor, but she wouldn't get it.
Here are the first three days of Toddler-appropriate Elf on the Shelf. Stay tuned for more!
Day 1: He appeared. He was on the mantle, but the mantle was boring and it was snowing outside, so he migrated before anyone woke up. For a toddler, appearing in an unreachable place is a great start. It was more than enough for one day.
Day 2: I flew downstairs because Bernard so enjoyed his perch, he hadn't left it. Oops. Good thing there were scissors, paper, and crayons nearby.
Coloring is an all-time favorite right now, so V. immediately joined in. She even offered some other colors to Bernard, who silently declined.
The table appearance posited an issue. Bernard is in prime toddler snatching range. Everyone knows you can't touch an elf or they lose their magic. So I advised Bernard to move somewhere safe when nobody was looking.
He did just that.
Day 3: The warmest day we have had and will have in a while. Never mind that, Bernard wanted cocoa. He brought everyone a cup of cocoa (in special mugs!) topped with a marshmallow! He even put some coffee in Mommy's cocoa. How kind! V. had never had cocoa before. Not only did she chug it, she didn't spill a bit. Now I know that she is perfectly capable of drinking from a cup without a lid. The fact that water hits the floor is a choice, not lack of motor skill.
There's a rule - you wear the elf hat while drinking elf-made cocoa. Bernard's rule. Not mine.
Bernard chose to hang out on a shelf without the mini wine glass. However, he chose a cabinate with wine glasses. I didn't even realize it until we were in Target and I asked my daughter what we needed. She told me Bernard needed wine. Maybe tomorrow he'll be doing something in a different room. Apparently my subconscious thinks that Santa needs a drink.
Another thing happened in Target. V. picked out a Hanukkah plate. It was $1.50, so I was happy to let her have a special Hanukkah plate. Then she picked up a second, different plate. I asked her to chose, and she handed me the second plate and said "chose plate for Bernard." Then she put back her first choice and said "Not B. (her name for herself)" Well. That was selfless. She wanted Bernard to have a plate!
Yes, we got both of them. Bernard the Elf is the proud owner of a Hanukkah plate, gifted by a loving little girl.
Stay tuned for more toddler elf ideas!