They were thinking of the Elf on the Shelf.
Little geniuses! If only I had some forethought on this. Instead I have remorse over my missed opportunity. On December 26, I recall wishing we could use Elf on the Shelf all year long. For the 25 days prior, discipline was so easy. It really came down to five little words: Do you know who's watching?
My boys are usually well behaved. But let's face it, combine a sleep-deprived ROCmomma with energetic kids, keep them in the house all day because it's ten degrees (Fahrenheit) outside, and even the most angelic child can grate on your last nerve every once in a while. Yet somehow that creepy little red-suited guy with the goofy grin can silently enforce good behavior in a nanosecond. He really is magical. Even if he does steal your pretzels.
- In January, we could be visited by the Snowman on the Shelf.
- In February, we could have Cupid on the Shelf, or Presidents on the Shelf (available in Washington, Lincoln, etc.) for non-Valentiners.
- Leprechaun on the Shelf could check up on us in March. Or the secular Lion on the Shelf ("March comes in like a lion; goes out like a lamb").
- Easter Bunny on the Shelf in April, or the second half of March as the case may be. Alternately, we could have Umbrella on the Shelf ("April showers bring May flowers") - a plush umbrella with a cute face.
- In May, we could have Flower on the Shelf. Remember those dancing flower pots? Those could make a comeback.
- Celebrate Flag Day in June with Flag on the Shelf (with cute facial features, of course).
- Uncle Sam on the Shelf wants YOU to be good in July.
- In August, welcome the Lobster on the Shelf. (Yeah, this one is a stretch. August...vacation...beach...ocean...lobster. That's how I got there.)
- September's watchdog could be Johnny Appleseed on the Shelf (his birthday is September 26th).
- October could bring us Jack-o-Lantern on the Shelf, or the patriotic Columbus on the Shelf.
- We could have a Turkey on the Shelf in November.
- Of course, December brings our trusty ol' Elf on the Shelf. Or maybe extend January's Snowman on the Shelf? Hmmm. Need to work on this one.
The Character on the Shelf is Fun.
Kids love waking up in the morning and finding where their watchful friend has chosen to perch for the day.
The Character on the Shelf is Educational.
These icons could be learning tools used to help teach children about U.S. history, the four seasons, and the calendar in general.
The Character on the Shelf is Motivational.
Simply pick an incentive for the end of that month - a family outing, a special meal, or a coveted prize. Then let your kids know they can earn that reward at the end of the month if they are on their best behavior. Remind them that the Character on the Shelf will be watching at all times. (Evil laugh optional).
Now, if anyone works in the merchandising industry, let me know. We can partner on this: picture books, plush characters, DVDs, and more. The possibilities are endless; we'll just change "On The Shelf" to avoid copyright infringement. Also, please Post a Comment if you have any better ideas for a month. We'll reward the best ideas with a percentage of the profits.
As always, thanks for reading. And in this case, for laughing along.