Caroline Verdon: A momentous weekend for Arthur and Elf on the Shelf

This weekend is a momentous one in the Verdon household.

For the first time ever we are having a special house guest arriving who will be with us for nearly the entire month.

With Arthur being three, we’ve decided to introduce him to the Elf on the Shelf, one of Father Christmas’ helpers who comes alive each night a gets into all sorts of trouble from making snow angels on the kitchen worktops out of flour to tying up the other toys. The original theory behind him is that he has been sent as an extra pair of eyes to report back to Santa how good a child is being but I’m not a fan of that.

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Call me a snowflake but I want Arthur growing up knowing that in his heart he is a good boy and that when we make mistakes or bad decisions it doesn’t make us bad people. Instead our elf is a kindness elf who has come to our house to learn about being kind. I figured it will help push the idea that kindness is a good quality to have.

Whilst I cannot wait to see Arthur’s little face every morning when he clocks what our elf has been up to, I also know that last thing at night before I go to bed I am going to be at my absolute least creative and coming up with ideas for the mischief our elf has gotten himself into will be tricky at that time. To get around that I’ve been super organised and planned the entire month out. As Christmas is the season of goodwill, you’ll find my plan below incase you too get a bit stuck. Merry Christmas!

December 1 - Elf arrives: Elf arrives with a letter and a box to put old toys in (pre-Christmas clearout!).

December 2- Elf brekkie: To say thankyou for having him, Elf has made a special breakfast.

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December 3 - Swing:Elf is sitting on a swing made from the inside of a toilet roll and some string.

December 4- Snow angels: Elf has been making snow angels with flour on the worktop.

December 5- Snowball fight: Elf has been having a snowball fight with the other toys. Cotton wool balls everywhere.

December 6 - Toilet paper snowman: Elf has made a snowman from three stacked loo rolls and some coloured in paper.

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December 7 - Ziplining: Elf has made a zipline from string and a candy cane.

December 8 - Kind list:Elf has made a list of all the kind things the householders have done

December 9 - Giftwrap: Elf has giftwrapped a chair in the lounge

December 10 - Board games: Elf has got a load of board games out and is playing with the other toys.

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December 11 - Chocolate Elf:Elf has eaten too many chocolates and has a chocolate covered mouth and is surrounded by wrappers.

December 12 - Toothpaste: The elf has trodden on the toothpaste tube and there’s toothpaste all over the sink

December 13 - Snowflakes: Elf has made some paper snowflake decorations

December 14 - Fruit fun: Elf has decorated fruit in the fruit bowl with marker pens and googly eyes

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December 15 - Sleeping Elf: Elf is asleep and is using a sock as a sleeping bag.

December 16 - Jelly: Elf has set cutlery in jelly

December 17 - Exercise Elf: Elf has been weightlifting with a lollypop stick with a marshmallow on each end.

December 18- Telescope: Elf has made a telescope out of a toilet roll tube to see if he can see Father Christmas

December 19 - Driving Elf: Elf has gone for a drive in a toy car

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December 20 - Coloured milk: Elf has coloured the milk in the fridge with food colouring!

December 21 - Sack Race:

The elf has been having a sack (paper bag) race with the other toys

December 22 - Hide and seek: Elf has opened a packet of Christmas sweets and hidden them

December 23 - Hostage: The other toys have kidnapped Elf tied him up using string or Christmas lights to stop him being naughty

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December 24 -Movie time: Elf has brought some popcorn and a film to watch together before the elf goes home that evening

Come Christmas Day I reckon we’ll all be ready for a rest!

Time for some serious parenting

This week I had to do some serious parenting.

I was in the kind of situation that makes you really cautious about your response because get it wrong and you worry it could be the first step down the slippery slope ending in a life of crime. Not for me, but for my toddler.

On a Tuesday the inlaws picked him up from nursery and when he got home he was clutching a book. “I got a book” he said excitedly. Immediately his Nanan asked me if it was his. I’d never seen it before.

I could see why he’d like it to be his – it was full of illustrations of brightly coloured sparkling dinosaurs and there was a button that made a roaring noise when pressed. I asked him whose it was and he made up a fanciful story about how nursery had taken him to the shop and bought it for him for being good. It had the name ‘Shelley’ on the back of it in marker pen. It clearly wasn’t his.

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It’s difficult to know how much he understands at three. He repeatedly told me the book was his and when I asked if he was fibbing he said no…but when I asked him if it was his or if he wished it was his, he said he wished it.

I explained that we musn’t take things that aren’t ours and that ‘Shelley’ might be sad that her book was missing and then the following morning he took the book back to nursery and apologised.

The next day he left with a new jumper. I marched him back in to make him give it back and it turns out it was his after all – my husband had bought it the previous day. So much for communication!

Hooked on ‘I’m A Celebrity’

I am completely hooked on I’m A Celebrity.

I’ve watched it before and not hated it but this time round I can’t get enough of it. I think Holly with Dec is a superb mix and that they are fabulous and I really love the line-up. Harry Redknapp’s stories are incredible, Nick Knowles is so selfless, Anne is empowering, they’re all such a good group of people.

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In the past I feel like reality TV shows try and put in quirky off the wall characters that will create arguments but this time round, with all the nastiness going on in the world and with all the political uncertainty of Brexit it’s really nice to watch a programme and see people support each other, celebrate each others individuality and just be so uplifting. Roll on tonight’s!

Caroline Verdon is one half of the breakfast show on Radio Aire. You can hear Caroline and Ant between 6-10am every weekday morning.