Elf is nearly 10. It's time for him to give up this idea that he is really a Keebler Elf. People sort of think that's a bit odd when you insist that.
"But I really *am* a Keebler Elf," Elf insists.
"No, really," I tell him. "Let's have a serious talk here, Elf. Time to be really honest. We like to pretend that you are a Keebler elf, and that you go to the Keebler factory at night when everyone is sleeping to make cookies, but you've really never been there."
"I go there every night! I make the cookies!" He folds his arms.
"The truth is that the Keebler factory is in Battle Creek, Michigan, and that it employs ADULTS, not elves, and that you have never been there."
"But the Keebler TREE; I've been to that. You're thinking of a different place!"
"No, Elf." I'm trying to speak calmly so he can really listen. "We both know the Keebler Tree and the Keebler elves are just advertising. There are really no Keebler elves, and you have never been to the Keebler factory."
"Explain the cookies, then. You KNOW they don't just show up at the store. I AM a Keebler elf and I do make the Keebler cookies."
"Elf... I'm being serious." (I'm seeing Elf is getting pretty upset... so we'll try a different tack.) "Older elves like to pretend to visit Rivendell and see Frodo..."
"THAT is such a LIE. I don't go to Rivendell! I'm a KEEBLER elf!!"
How should I reason with that? "Okayyy... but when you turn ten, it will be time to stop pretending the Keeblers, Elfie."
"I object! And I want a fair trial!! This isn't fair!"
"Elfie. Elfie..." I don't even know what to say (sigh). "You know in a dictatorship, you don't get a fair trial."
"I know. But I want one anyway!"
"Elfie... you know even with a trial you would have no way of proving you are a Keebler elf."
"I can so! I have the keychain from Ernie!!" (Yep. The Keebler people sent him a plastic "Ernie" elf keychain several years ago. I guess now it's proof that he's an elf.)
"Elfie... you know that keychains don't prove that you are a Keebler elf. It's time that we stop pretending that you are a Keebler elf, little man."
"This is NOT FAIR!" Elf has hopped off the couch and is standing with his hands on his hips. "I want a fair trial! And I have a keychain! And I can show you my Elf ID just as soon as I am done colouring it! I can really prove that I AM AN ELF AT THE KEEBLER FACTORYYYYY!"
Ohhhhhh.... kay. Guess we'll talk about this later.