“I’m not, Mommy, I can’t tell lies because if I do Santa won’t bring me presents and Jingles might leave!”
I consider taking the doll from her but this will surely cause a tantrum. Besides, can I really believe that my six-year-old daughter shoplifted it without me finding out? But… what’s the alternative? That the elf came through her window, like she said?
From his pose in the tree, Jingles smirks at me.
“Okay, okay.” I usher Ava away from the Christmas tree. “Take Sarah Screams and go back to bed. I need to get some sleep, and so does Jingles.” She skips off to her bedroom, happy as a clam.
When I’m sure she’s in bed, hearing the door click shut behind her, I pick Jingles up by the hat with the very tips of my fingers. Holding it far away from me like something that stinks, I carry the elf to the garage and dump him in the trash can.
Jingles is going on a leave of absence. If Ava wants an Elf On The Shelf, fine, but not this one. I’ll get one from Target. But mostly I’m just hoping she’ll forget the whole thing. At least there’s only two more days until Christmas.
I’m cleaning up the dinner table when Ava stomps into the dining room. Her new favorite toy is tucked under one arm. She’s scowling at me.
“Mommy, where’s Jingles?”