Sunday, November 24, 2013

He's Back! Otter Antics 2013 - Week One

Dear Ian,

With Daddy being out of town last week and you deciding to go all Linda Blair Exorcist behavior on me, I chose to bring in some reinforcements.  I dunno.  It was like you sensed vulnerability in the air since I was on my own and doing the single parent thing.  Well, Mommy outsmarted her little boy and fought fire with fire.

The end of this week heralded the reappearance of our beloved scout elf, Otter.  Straight from the North Pole, he's back to help monitor and report your behavior for Santa.  I must say, it has worked pretty well.  It was like you flipped a switch.  And when you did have a lapse, all I had to do was look at Otter, and you'd get your little self back under control.

Bribery?  Heck yes.  But I prefer to term it "external regulator."  You have an outside motivation to keep your self in check.  And Otter isn't all about teaching you to modify your behavior as a means to a selfish end - presents.  We also use our elf to teach empathy and kindness, as you'll see in one of our pictures.  And he's also great for a morning game of hide-and-seek or eye-spy.

With that introduction, here's what our little intrepid elf has been up to this week:

Otter had a little work done while he was away from our house this summer.  He had some wire implants added, so that way he could be a little more bendy.  Now he can get into all kinds of trouble!
Otter arrived on a Thursday, and he came with a bit of a warning.  You had been having a bit of a doozy of a week, so he brought you some coal from the North Pole to show you what it was and how little fun it would be to get a stocking full of it on Christmas Day.
Friday morning, we woke up to Otter leading a parade of all your tractors.  He seemed to be having a good time!  That morning kicked off the roughest day we had of the whole week, what with the "I hate you" and all.  Otter disappeared after nap and he didn't come back until the next morning at Grandma and Grandpa Brooks' house.  I think he was giving you another chance to get yourself together.  Friday afternoon you were good as gold, and Grandma and Grandpa gave you a glowing report, too, so Otter showed up at their house Saturday morning after your sleepover.  He was playing with their Legos!  That crazy elf.

Today is Sunday, and when we woke up we found Otter had left us some work to do:
He brought you a big box and on it was a note explaining that although Santa makes a TON of toys every year, there are still some families where the Moms and Dads struggle to give their children gifts at Christmas.  Otter and Santa asked you to find toys in your room that you no longer play with and put them in this box.  Mommy and Daddy have been given instructions as to what to do with the box and where to take it.  You were so excited to help.  We went right up to your room after breakfast, and you got started!  You were genuinely interested in helping others, which is a quality that I want to instill in you.  Seeing you so eager to share what you have with others who could really benefit from it made my heart smile.  You donated puzzles you've outgrown, stuffed animals, a bunch of clothes, and a couple of baby board books.  I was so proud of your generosity.

So tomorrow is Monday, and I know that Otter will be up to something fun while we are all snoozing away.  I can't wait to hear your excited voice as you find him and discover his newest antic.  I am having a total blast with this!

Love you always,

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