In the comical Christmas classic movie, Elf, Buddy meets Miles Finch, a children’s author, at his father’s office and calls him an elf. After a few minutes of being offended Miles gets very upset, so Buddy calls him an angry elf. My husband and I help out in the nursery at our church. One December morning, I looked over to see what all the commotion was in the connecting room, and there stood an angry elf. It was this precious, little boy clawing at the baby gate dressed in an adorable elf outfit, bright red with anger and frustration.
My oldest went through a phase of waking us up in the middle of the night without any real reason, and I know my sleep deprived self became a very angry elf! She didn’t have a nightmare and there was no apparent illness, it was just that she was awake and wanted some love and attention. After a few nights of being woken up, I realized it was time to teach her a lesson and show her why I needed my sleep. The next morning I put her to work, never allowing her to be excused to go play. I made her stay in the kitchen with me to fix breakfast. Afterwards, she cleared the table, cleaned out the dishwasher, and with some help, reloaded it. Then, we vacuumed up the crumbs on the floor under the kitchen table, and headed upstairs to start on the laundry. While folding clothes I explained to her that if she wanted her favorite Bologna and cheese sandwich for lunch and not a pimento cheese sandwich, which she despises, that we must run to the grocery store. My child thinks everything can be ordered and arrive promptly at our doorstep, so I added to my explanation that the UPS man would not be making a Bologna delivery. By 9:30 AM, my five-year-old daughter finally saw a glimpse of my world, and was begging for mercy. “Mom, I have learned my lesson, and I promise to never wake you up again.” Walking in my footsteps allowed her to appreciate all the unseen things I do for her and our family and how much time and attention I already give to taking care of her needs. Many weeks later I got the best Mother’s Day present any mom could ask for- a huge compliment from my little girl thanking me for all that I do her, and a full night’s rest, which was icing on the cake!