“I don’t like what I’m seeing here,” Santa said looking over Nim and Lil’s notes.
Nim and Lil peeked at each other, knowing what Santa was about to say. Their kids’ behaviour had not been good.
In fact, it was slowly but surely creeping toward bad.
And bad behaviour was bad news.
Bad behaviour meant…The Naughty List.
“Well, Santa,” began Nim. “It’s just that–”
“I know you don’t want to do this,” Santa interrupted. “But the fact remains, Issabella and Cheyenne and Joe and Jake have not been behaving themselves. I’ve let it slide as long as I could.”
“Oh Santa,” Lil fretted. “Can’t we just give them one more chance before we put them on The Naughty List?”
Now, Santa was not known to be a big meanie, so he looked kindly at the elves and said, “Now, now. Don’t get upset. You can give them one more chance to mend their ways. Remind them that you can spy both good and bad behaviour everywhere they go. And if they don’t behave…”
“Oh, thank you Santa!” they both cried at once and scurried out the door.
On their trip back to the house, Nim and Lil discussed different ways to warn the kids that they were dangerously close to getting put on The Naughty List.
“I know that my girls will understand what The List means–they’ve had a couple of close calls before–but what about your boys? Do you think they are still too young?”
Nim didn’t want to admit it, but he’d been thinking the exact same thing. Were Joe and Jake too young to understand what The Naughty List meant?
“I’m not so sure about Jake. He still may be too little,” Nim murmured, almost as if to himself. “But Joe knows what it means to be in trouble so he should understand the seriousness of The List.”
“Alright,” said Lil as they landed on the counter, “Let’s get to work.”
The two friends sat and made a list of behaviours that had been especially naughty.
“They’ve been fighting,” said Nim.
“A lot,” agreed Lil. “And not just with each other, they’ve been arguing with their parents too.”
“And not listening,” said Nim.
“Or doing what they’re told,” added Lil.
“Punching?!” asked a shocked Lil when Nim added it to the list.
“That’s right,” replied Nim, a rather grim look on his face. “And it has been a struggle to get them to pick up their toys and clean their plates too.”
After double-checking the list to make sure they had included everything, Nim and Lil relieved some stress by plastering Christmas stickers all over the kitchen counter, table and floor.
Laughing, Lil said, “I suppose we should clean up our mess since we are scolding the kids for not cleaning up theirs.”
“Yes, I guess that’s true,” Nim said, twirling through the air and pelting fuzzy pom poms at Lil.
They cleaned up the clutter they had made. Giggling at their own silliness, they took their positions for the day, trying (and failing) to hide themselves under Christmas stickers.
“Boy, we sure don’t make very good spies,” smirked Lil.
Nim giggled nervously, hoping that the kids wouldn’t be too upset by their note.