“Why was your window open?” Sitting up, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. Yes, a time-out is on the horizon for sure. The heating bill is going to be through the roof.
“Because he was tapping,” Ava insists. “I had to let him in! It’s cold outside!”
Fuck. Now I’m going to have to install those stupid child-proof window lock things.
“You’re not supposed to be opening your window, Ava. Or telling lies.”
“It’s not a lie! I couldn’t leave Jingles outside!” My daughter’s wide brown eyes are filling with tears now. Great, meltdown mode. “He was tapping and he was cold and he said he’d give me a present and now he’s GONE!”
I press my hands to my face. I’m running on four hours of sleep and short on patience.
“We don’t have an elf, Ava. And Mommy needs her rest. Please go back to bed.”
Her lip is quivering now.
“What if,” she says tearfully, “something HAPPENED to Jingles? Something bad?”
Wonderful. I’m going to have to go buy a fucking elf now. I draw the line at the Hershey Kiss shits, though.
“Maybe he’s just… taking a vacation.” I have to slow this train wreck before it gets out of control. I get out of bed and stretch. Time to lie to my kid, just like the rest of those losers on Facebook. “Where did Jingles say he would meet you?”
“At the Christmas tree,” she sniffles.
“All right. Come on, let’s go check.” If I can stall for time maybe I can go get one this afternoon and put a stop to the tantrum. I know Ava, she’s not going to let this go. Kid’s got an insane imagination and is as stubborn as I am.