That’s called a “parenting assist”
“Oliver, if you don’t get in here right now and take care of these, I’m calling Santa!”
That’s right, I went there.
As soon as I said it, I was kind of cursing myself for not saying “email Santa” – I certainly could have gotten away with that one – but what’s done is done.
A few minutes later, I heard Ollie in the other room talking to Sara. “What’s Santa’s phone number?” he asked, innocently. Without missing a beat, Sara said, “Well, I think it is 1-800-NORTH-POLE, but I’m not sure.” “Oh,” said Ollie, glumly realizing my story checked out.
Parenting high five!
Ollie: “At school, all of the kids have an elf on the shelf. It watches them and tells Santa when they’re naughty. Please don’t get an elf on the shelf! Santa can’t watch everyone all the time, but if you have an elf at your house, it can.”
Ollie, on further reflection: “…but when I have kids, THEN I’ll get an elf on the shelf.”