Editorial: Grouch on the couch

Photo Courtesy UTBA

Column By Melissa Martin

Melissa Martin

Parents use Elf on the Shelf as a surveillance device to ensure younger children are behaving during the holidays.

But what about a mom with teens, a spouse, and a dog? Well, worry no more. I have a marvelous idea. It’s called Grouch on the Couch. And it’s to be used all year long.

What is it? I’m glad you asked. It’s an elf body, but instead of a sweet cherub face, you cut out a selfie of you with a frown and glue it on. Abracadabra. It’s magic — the Grouch knows what to say and when to say it.

How does it work for teens? I’m glad you asked. You put the Grouch on the living room couch. Whenever a teen walks by the Grouch says, “Take your dishes into the kitchen. Mom is not your maid” or “Do your homework or no technology tonight” or “Sweep the floor and don’t get sassy lassie.”

How does it work for your spouse? I’m glad you asked. Whenever hubby strolls by the couch, the Grouch stares with squinted eyeballs. “Do the dishes before your real wife gets home” or “Take your wife out for a nice dinner once in a while” or “Clean your junk out of the garage or we’ll have a scorching bonfire this weekend.”

The Grouch can move anywhere inside and outside your home. I told you it’s magical.

How does the Grouch help with the dog? My furry pet weighs 115 pounds and tries to run by me with dirty paws after an outside adventure of rolling in stinky stuff. The Grouch says, “Oh no you don’t! Stop right there, Buster. It’s time for a bath.”

When your son asks for twenty bucks, you can reply “Sorry. The Grouch denied your request so don’t blame me.”

While the Elf on the Shelf tattles to Santa each night, the Grouch tattles to you. Moms will know who did what, when, where, and how.

And the Grouch has a lot of tips on how to reveal what moms really want. The Grouch knows you want a new fluffy mattress. And for hubby to turn the honey-do list into a honey-done list. The Grouch even knows you want Stepford kids (robotic lookalikes) that will obey.

Use the Grouch as a chaperone on teen dating events. Accessories include beachwear, hiking gear, and casual outfits, so you can take the Grouch along on family vacations and outings.

So, sprint to the nearest store before the Grouch on the Couch is sold out. You owe it to your family.

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Ohio. Contact her at melissamcolumnist@gmail.com.