7:42 am, December 10th:
Antonia finds the elf in the tree and asks me to get her down. I can’t reach, so we have to ask Albie to extract her. Antonia is happy again and is going to tell all her friends that Jingles has recovered from her head injury and climbed the Christmas tree.
3:57 pm, December 10th:
When Antonia gets home from school, she makes a little paper skirt for her elf. “Look,” she says, holding up the elf. “Emma said she used to have a skirt, but it got lost, or one of the dogs chewed it, so I made her another one.”
“How cute!” I exclaim. Jingles now has a white paper skirt with red stars taped around her waist.
10:30 pm, December 10th:
I grab the elf from Antonia’s closet (where she keeps returning for some reason) and bring her to the kitchen. I open a cabinet door and stick her arm in it and shut the cabinet.
“How’s that?” I ask Albie.
“You’re not good at this, are you?” he asks. “She is supposed to be clever!”
“Give me a break,” I tell him. “She’s clever. She is trying to get into a cabinet.”
“Why? So she can get a bowl? Come on. You have to make her do something better than that!”
“YOU make her do something better than that!” I throw the elf at Albie. He catches her and whips her at the wall. Her skirt falls off and lands on the floor in the darkened den. We have to turn the light on, find the skirt, and stuff her back into it.
“Get me some candy,” Albie says, after she has her clothes back on.
I find a box of chocolate truffles that have been on the kitchen counter since Thanksgiving. Albie opens the box and stuffs Jingles into it head first. He arranges her arms and legs.
I laugh out loud. “This is your idea of clever?”
He grabs the elf and takes her back out of the box, then grabs a truffle and takes a huge bite out of it. He stuffs the elf’s head into the box and leaves the truffle on the counter.
“There,” he says, laughing. “She likes chocolate. All elves like chocolate!”
I am laughing so hard at the absurdity of the situation that I am doubled over. I look up at the truffle. “You took too big of a bite! Elves can’t take that big of a bite. Nibble it!”
I hand Albie the truffle. He puts it up to his teeth and nibbles at it like a mouse. It’s melting all over his fingers.
“No, that’s not right,” I tell him. “You have a huge bite on one side and little nibbles on the other. It’s not realistic. Start over!”
“You start over,” he says as he puts the remainder of the half-eaten truffle in his mouth. “It’s melting all over her fingers!”
“She doesn’t have fingers,” I tell him lifting up the elf’s arm. “She has a mitten!” We both laugh. Neither of us wants to eat another truffle. We leave Jingles with her head stuffed in the box, legs dangling in the air and turn off the kitchen light.
7:46 am, December 11th:
“Mom!!” Antonia shouts from the kitchen. “Did you see Jingles? That is one crazy elf! She is stuck in the box of truffles!”