Meet Charlie, our elf. He came to us from the North Pole (Target) to keep an eye on Doug for Santa (Mommy & Daddy).
I had seen these elves in the stores for a while now and I was hesitant about getting one. Other people's children either loved them or feared them. But after three time-outs on Friday night, I decided it was worth a try.
Doug was interested from the beginning. Saturday night he came out of his bath to find Charlie perched on top of the entertainment center. We read the story that came with him and reiterated several times that Charlie will see if you're being naughty or nice and tell Santa Claus, who will in turn bring you more or less presents. You can't tell Doug that Santa will bring him coal. He loves coal. He has a collection of coal he has found while watching trains with Grandpa. So rather than a threat, he'd be over the moon to get some more
There have been several times when Doug's not doing what we told him (cleaning up, sitting down to dinner, etc) and we've said to him, "Charlie is watching you!". At which point he usually jumps up and goes and does whatever it is we've asked him to do. The other night we were having dinner at my mom's house and Doug was having no part of sitting down to dinner. Desperately, I showed him a large snowman salt shaker and told Doug that the snowman knew Charlie and would report back. Doug was not impressed. I've also told him that Charlie has friends in stores who can report back to him. This keeps him from running around the store like a maniac and heads off the issue of running into a whole display of elves (Charlie's friends. They're watching you!). I also make a point to tell Charlie how well Doug did something, so that Charlie doesn't become 'The Man' (Elf) and Doug won't resent him.
I have to say, so far I'm pleased with this new tradition. Doug's begun to clean up hos toys without much fuss from me. I think we may modify St. Nicholas Day to say that St. Nick sent the gifts via Charlie, who's seen Doug being good (hopefully) to help reinforce the message that Charlie reports back to the bog boss. Hopefully this will continue to work right up until Christmas.