when little boys name an elf.

We’ve had friends the past few years talk about how much they enjoy their Elf on the Shelf.

It sounded fun, but I wasn’t sure how exactly it would work with my family. We don’t make a big deal about Santa. We do pictures with Santa every year as a fun tradition, but we choose to focus more on the original story of St. Nicholas. Well, I thought we’d try the Elf on the Shelf this year…and I am so glad we did. It is more a game in our house, who can find the elf first in the morning. We’ve enjoyed letting our imaginations run wild with it.

There are so many pictures online of super creative things to do with your elf. Usually, I am just about to fall asleep and I remember to move him…so our little guy hasn’t had any creative adventures – yet.


There is a book with the elf, that encourages you to name your elf. Here is how that discussion went with our kids:

Me: You guys get to pick any name you want, the only rule is all four of you must agree on the name.

Them: Silence.

Me: How about Charlie, Dasher, Little Red, Pokey, Jet?

Them: No.

Me: What about Twinkletoes?

Oldest: No, but how about Tinkletoes?

Youngest Brother: Tinkles! laughs all around

Oldest: Mr. Tinkles! More laughs

Second son: I know…Mr. Tinkles Poopsalot! Roaring laughs

Me: Boys, pick a good name. It won’t be funny when you are teenagers looking for “Mr. Tinkles Poopsalot”.

Chris: Yes, it will. receives glare/’please help me on this” look from me

They got their sister to agree. Bummer.

Why is bathroom humor their absolute favorite?

Life with little boys. I choose to only call him by his first name.


Only seemed appropriate.

FireCracker thinks he is the greatest little thing. It kills her that she isn’t allowed to touch him. Hearing her squeal “Mr. Tinkles!” in the morning, makes his name a bit more bearable. One of the boys pointed out to me that if he keeps eating cookies, he really will have to poop a lot. Ah, the joys of boys.

Chris thinks FireCracker and Mr. Tinkles Poopsalot kind of look a like….

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  • Jen - So funny. My first two were girls, my last is a boy, so I (sadly) completely understand the unique fascination they have with all things body function and bathroom. Someday, their kids will find Mr. Tinkles and the story behind his name just as funny, alas.

  • Brittaney - Love it! ALL boys think bathroom humor is the best- even grown ones! Can’t wait to do Elf on the Shelf with my future little ones!

  • Andrea - Hysterical! I could totally see my husband saying the exact thing about how it will be funny when their teenagers looking for Mr. Tinkles Poopsalot.

    Love your pictures as always, it makes my morning just looking at them!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  • Lisa Johnson - hehehe πŸ™‚

  • Molly - Your story is hilarious!

  • Leslie - That is HILARIOUS! We’re not huge on Santa either & got this as a gift from my mil (who is BIG on Santa) so I love the idea of finding him first thing in the morning – that’s a great tradition to start (our son is only 13 months old, so maybe next year). Thank you for sharing! πŸ™‚

  • Angela - I was already laughing, but Chris’ chiming in made me crack up! It’s already in full swing with R and R, and that’s only two at the table together! Good times.

  • Linden White - Correction… bathroom humor is funny to little boys AND this girl. In fact, not only is your elf named Mr. Tinkles Poopsalot, I think I’ll start calling Matt that, too. Thanks for the idea. Here’s a knock knock joke to “WOW” your kids. Your boys will think it’s cool.
    who’s there?
    I EAT MOP…
    i eat mop who (sounds like I eat my poo)
    Eeew that’s really disgusting.

  • Alicia - Adorable. we ahve one too and I think he looks a lot like my youngest, about firecrackers age. It must be those cheeks and big bright smiling eyes.

  • Rachel Nolen - Ha Ha – Ashley this made me laugh a lot!!! Have fun with Mr. Tinkles, and yes, one day you’ll laugh looking back at this πŸ™‚

  • Celia - HA! This is too funny! Now I know what I have to look forward to……. πŸ™‚

  • Sarah Pratt - Here’s to Mr. Tinkles Poopsalot!

  • emmybrown - LOL!!!! LOVE IT!!!

  • the inadvertent farmer - Hahahaha…three of my boys are in their 20’s and would also find this hilarious, sorry, no outgrowing bathroom humor! Kim

  • Sadie - I soooo needed this laugh this morning! This totally made my day! Your kids are so funny and they get a kick out of the silliest things!

  • Jen - I read this to my husband who is surrounded by girls. He laughed and I could see the wheels turning in his head to start calling our elf Tinkle instead of what our girls named him Twinkle.

  • MichelleD - Too funny! That sounds like something my kids would name an elf. Thanks for starting my day off with a good laugh.

  • Emily Langston - This is my future. Already everything at my house always rhymes with “poop”.

  • sarah - too funny!! i thought about doing the elf on the shelf too this year but i thought it might go over my 2 year old’s head. next year for sure…and just so you know, growing up it was only me and my little sister and it never failed. every night at the dinner table the discussion would turn to bodily functions. i don’t think it’s just a boy thing:)

  • Kari - I love your blog. Always have, but this post made me laugh out loud. It seems I too like a little bathroom humor. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jeannette Swan - Awesome!

  • Mandy - Oh my goodness… my hubby and I are having the best laugh right now! Love, love, love! So funny!

  • rachel schindler - Still laughing. Too funny…

  • brandy - aww, what a memory you will have when the kids are older. it will still be funny when they are 30. i like the name

  • BΓ‘rbara Isenberg Grzybowski - Loved it!!

  • Dena - So, so funny! My son is almost 8 and it’s constantly talk involving the words poop pee fart. I can’t stand it! Glad to see I’m not alone in this strange world of boys πŸ˜‰

  • ranee - so stinkin’ hilarious. and really, that last picture is just priceless.

  • cailan - So funny – so cute. I will definitely be looking into getting our own Mr. Tinkles. πŸ™‚

  • Maureen - Gosh, only you could make “Elf on a Shelf” look cute. I always stayed away from it because it gave me the creeps. I grew up with 5 brothers and was in the middle of that bathroom humor constantly…came in handy when I had boys of my own.

  • Erin - Okay so list me among the immature ones because I think that name is hilarious, and everything about this post has made me giggle! Love that Tinkles is hanging from a tree branch, adventurous just like your kiddos!

  • Jen @ LifeAccordingtotheStreets.com - I have little boys too! We also started the elf tradition this year (they are too young to really get it 20mo and 6mo.) But that also means they didn’t name ours (1 got 2 and the vintage one was too creepy looking for me.I found a couple cute elves at Hobby Lobby) We named them Milli Vanilli since they are impostor elves πŸ™‚
    Check em out! http://www.lifeaccordingtothestreets.com/search/label/Elf%20Watch

  • kristi - i find this only appropriate to share…the only way i got my 3 year old to try and finish his beans the other night was to tell him, “if you eat them, they will make you toot.” he grinned ear to ear and took bite after bite til there were no more left on his plate. (sigh) boys…gotta love ’em πŸ™‚

  • Jennifer - We are having alot of fun with our Elf too! My oldest got out the baby name book when we were looking for a name. She picked Ethan. Thankfully her younger sisters went along with her!

  • Kimberlee Jost - I bought a box of christmas stuff for $1 at an auction and I didn’t even know what was totally in there. Guess who was at the bottom of the box? An Elf on the Shelf! A really really old one…I haven’t showed him to my girls yet. I wonder what they’ll name him??? Just thinking that if you shortened your Elf’s name it’s Mr. T.P. or Mr. T. Funny!

  • Monique - We don’t celebrate Santa as well but view him more as a story character that is in some Christmas movies. Our elf “Sparky” loves Jesus and usually leaves an activity for us to do as a family – or he toilet papers the tree.. he’s still a bit tricky πŸ™‚

  • cindy - my husband and his brothers, who are technically “adults”, would find “Mr. Tinkles Poopsalot” hilarious. this is so cute and I bet super fun for your little ones!

  • Amy - HAHAHAHA this made my day.

  • Allison - Umm, I have 2 GIRLS – 4 and 9 – and they LOVE potty humor. So, I guess it’s not a boy thing. The difference may be that they may be embarrassed about their childhood love of it when they become adults…or, maybe not! Happy Elfing!

  • Heather@Creative Family Moments - So cute and now I’m sooo tempted to get an elf on the shelf!

  • Kim - that is absolutely the funniest thing!! you had my husband and I cracking up! makes me want an elf on the shelf…

  • Megan - How cute! I love it!

  • Marykay - Funniest thing I have read in a while!!! My husband would so turn on me like that. I have to agree with some of the other commenters, my GIRLS (2 & 4) love potty humor… ugg!

  • kiley - OH. MY. WORD. Similar conversation here. Only thing is our last name is Farwell…so the names our boys came up with were…Toots, Tooty, Stinky, Fart-wellToots FarT-well, Stinky Fart-well, and so on…

    We still haven’t decided on a name. I’m holding out for Acorn FarwELF. Not sure I’m gonna win this one…sigh…

  • Jennifer - My only sibling was a sister. Now I have two boys (nearly 13 and 10). I can totally relate–I laughed and laughed!

  • brooke - ha ha! i laughed out loud at this post. hilarious kids.

  • rachelzana - This is so hilarious! I haven’t laughed so hard for days!

  • mixedmolly - I love this idea! My kids would crack up at Mr. Tinkles full name. It sounds like a fun family tradition.

  • Katie - LOVE! Thanks for the laugh this morning!

  • brooke - oh.my.goodness. This continues to make me laught every time I think about it. πŸ™‚ LOVE THIS. It is one of those things that is so goofy and I can just see your boys laughing about this goofy name. And then thinking about your girl yelling “Mr.Tinkles..” it’s almost too much.

    Enjoying my sweet boy right now, thinking of our next boy and the humor that these two will come up with…

  • Amy - Thank you for sharing this, especially since Santa isn’t a big deal in your home either. We have some friends that have their elf report back to Jesus.
    Your husbands humor is very similar to mine.

  • The Frat Pack + Me - As the mother of two teenage sons, they will totally dig that name when they are teens.

  • Danielle - Ohhhh! She is so perfect!! I adore these pictures of your little Firecracker!! What a cutie!

  • Sarah - Fabulous. i love this!!

  • victoria - loved this little post. pics are great. laughed out loud when i saw tinkles on the back of the toilet. haha. thanks for sharing πŸ˜‰

  • Rob - Yeah, our kids are the same. 3 boys and a girl. My wife sent this to me a work. Thanks for the chuckle.

  • Jenny B. - I read this post to my 7-year-old son, he thought it was hilarious! πŸ™‚ He wanted to leave a comment:

    “My elf has jingle bells and it hangs from my closet top. I really think it’s funny about the cookie thing because that he really would have to poop a lot if he keeps eating cookies. I really like him eating the cookie, and I also like him hanging on the branch. I really like him in the lego box. And I really love your daughter’s nickname, Firecracker.” -Braden πŸ™‚

  • Tawnya - Okay..this for real had me laughing out loud!! My 4 yr old son attempts to find potty humor in everything and it is by far the thing that gets his mouth into trouble the most. The funniest part was that your husband agreed with them…because yes….somehow potty humor is always funny to guys! Thanks for sharing your funny story:)….even if it makes you cringe!

  • Melissa - SO adorable….3 boys and 1 girl…..this name sounds like it’s expected. Mr.Tinkles is cute…lol too funny! I love this idea: of hiding him every night….such a cute thing!

  • Tessa - The funniest part of this whole story is Chris’s comment! I could totally relate because I can completely see my husband and I having the same exact interaction. I can’t tell you how many times we have had bathroom humor in my house and as I am trying to point the inappropriate nature of talking about “who knows what” at the dinner table, I look across from me and my husband is about to bust out laughing. I honestly don’t think guys ever outgrow it. Scary! I also love that Chris thinks Mr. Tinkles and Firecracker look alike! Too funny.

  • Julie B - Hahahaha! Our elf’s name is Charlie! My husband wanted to name him Guy, he lost, Ellie and I wanted Sprinkles and the little ones are too young to care. Charlie was a great compromise πŸ™‚ I like Mr Tinkles. That is hilarious!

  • Darcie - Love, love love this. Ahh, that’s life!

  • Ashley - I’m pretty sure I LOVE your kids. I know I don’t actually know them, but I love them. They are too funny. And seriously, husbands always have a way of egging the kids on don’t’ they? πŸ™‚

  • giozi - Is super cute. Children are very happy with him πŸ˜‰

  • Carolyn - I love the conversation you had with your kids…and the input from your husband..too funny πŸ™‚

  • jenni - Fabulous! I only had girls, but have now been blessed with 2 wonderfully funny grandsons. What a joy and a laugh a minute!

  • rachael - if only we could get through one day without poop talk, it would be awesome….but with 3 and 5 year old boys, it won’t happen anytime soon for me – i feel your pain! πŸ™‚

  • kelly - Hahaha! That’s a great name. My girls are actually fond of potty humor too. :/

  • colleen from alabama - shared this one with my husband.. he is from a family of 4 boys and is now a high school teacher. His favorite part (of course!) was Chris’ comment. I think he agrees but was afraid to say so. I have a 9 year old boy who thinks this name is hilarious and though his 11 year old sister isn’t here, i am sure she would agree. Yes, this is boy humor all around but girls somehow always join in (at least at our house).

  • able mabel - Boys. Gotta love the potty humor and the fact that Dad agreed.

    LOVE the new look of your blog. I’ve been MIA most of the week so it was fun to open up this page and see such happiness!

  • becca g - typical. but i love it! my boys would be laughing too. and i agree with chris, it will still be funny when they’re older.

  • Sherri - I read your blog every single day. It is the first one I go to. I think today is my favorite, so far. Well, maybe my favorite funny post, so far. I have three boys of my own, plus I’m a Kindergarten teacher, so I can relate to little boys’ love for potty humor. And I’m afraid Chris is right, the big boys STILL think it’s funny. πŸ™‚

  • andy - oh so funny.
    i think my mom is buying one of these for our house but it will be something that they will enjoy for next year i guess. can’t wait though. i have to say the name is funny and i’m sure when my son is asked to name our elf….it will have bathroom humor in it, like mr poopy or something

  • JEnni - love this post, the name made me laugh b/c I have 3 GIRLS and we have the same types of bathroom conversations all the time (they have their own poopoo peepee language), in fact, I cleaned out a whole bath tub full of poop today gagging the whole way. We aren’t huge into Santa either, but the elf is fun for the girls, we named ours “Christmas Tree”

  • Elisabeth - Ok, this post just made me AND my husband laugh out loud. Like tears laughter. We empathize. Thanks for always helping me to remember what a joy it is to live with little boys!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - OH, I love it! I neeeeeeeded to laugh tonight. Thank you!

  • Shirley - SOOOOOOOOOO Funny…I love it!!!! My youngest is 3 and it’s all about the potty talk:) Thanks for sharing.

  • Kathie - Loved it!! I needed this cute story… πŸ˜€ Thank you for sharing!

  • Amanda - I am 22, my siblings are 19, 17, 14, and 3 and bathroom humor is still our favorite conversation. At the dinner table especially.

  • mandi - Oh! This is hilarious! I love that you guys went with it!

  • Katie - Haha! Love the name.

  • Miss B. - That last photo is so darling!

  • twirling betty - That.is.hilarious. Haven’t laughed at a post so much in ages. I had never even heard of an Elf on the Shelf but have made a note to get one for next Christmas as I can’t find anywhere that sells them in Australia. And I probably shouldn’t admit this but it’s not just a boy thing: I have 2 girls and I KNOW the first suggestion from the youngest would be Mr Poo Poo Wee Wee Head. As that’s what she calls pretty much everyone when she’s got that glint in her little eye.

  • Caity - I teach preschool and we just got our own Elf this week! The kids love it! Luckily, my class chose the name Happy (its one of our sight words, they love to sing the song that goes with it). Although I’m having a harder time getting some of my oldest students to believe he’s real, its done wonders for some of our more obvious behavior issues. I hope your kids enjoy it as much as we do!

  • Windy - What a hoot! My son has the same sense of humor. What a fun idea!

  • Jennifer - I paraphrased this to my husband and with my two boys overhearing….they died laughing. Glad to hear I’m not the only mom of boys fighting the losing battle against potty talk! πŸ™‚

  • Lacey - Funny … I’ve never been interested in doing the Elf on a Shelf thing until now! It sounds fun! And I always know I’ll get genuine smiles and laughter for photos when I start the toilet-talk with my 3 boys. Go figure!

  • Ruth Abel - Your kids are hilarious. And I can’t believe I have never heard of this! What a cute idea. I am totally going to have to start doing this next year when my toddler would not eat him or something.

  • Mindy Harris - cutest thing in the whole wide world.

  • Mindy Harris - also i know you have a heart for adoption…please take a look at my fundraising efforts if you have a minute! and pray for that family…it’s VERY EXCITING!
    thank you!

  • ways to say i love you - so cute . liked the name mr. tinkles

  • Amy - This made me wish I had boys… LOL!

  • Allison - I love this! I had no idea what Elf on the Shelf was until a few weeks ago. I saw all kinds of photos of this little elf in random locations/positions on Pinterest – I thought it was so bizarre. Then I saw the little guy at Target and it finally came together for me. I think we might get one – it will be so fun when our little guy is a bit older! Oh, and your kids crackmeup!

  • Lisa - My Dad gave us our elf-on-the-shelf a few years ago (they are 7 and 8 now) and it is the highlight of my children’s YEAR!!! I am serious, they start talking about it in September and count the days unti the first of December when he arrives at our house wit their advent calendars. They talk to him with their wishes and how the day was. They will NEVER NEVER touch him (as the story says) and they even tell their friends about it. We live in Europe and no one here know about it of course. Very fun tradition.

  • Sarah Whitworth - I read almost daily and almost never comment, but I loved! this post, and I am not sure why–except that it captures daily life with little children so perfectly. I laughed until I cried! Thanks for bringing joy even in simple ways!

    A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Proverbs 17:22

  • the whyte house - i love your boys. my 4 and 6 yr old just got one this weekend from my friend overseas. it literally took all day for them to pick a name. it was ‘chimney’, then ‘rudolph’, then ‘obi wan’, then ‘googly eyes’. finally they settled on ‘peter’, as in peter pan because the elf can fly. πŸ™‚ so smart. we don’t focus on santa, either, so i just tell them that their elf is gonna let mommy and daddy know if they’re being naughty. πŸ™‚

  • Heldine - I love your camera bag! I like the clover, paris, and belle ones. πŸ™‚

  • Vanessa - i’ve got twin boys age 5 and one toddler age 3 (boy as well) and i thought i was the only mom in the world whose kids are into toilet humor! so glad to read your blog !=)i read it daily. and i can totally relate. we live in the Philippines. your blog is so fun to read!

  • flinging Mr. Tinkerbell Poopsalot » ashleyannphotography.com - […] Elf, Mr. Tinkles Poopsalot, is back (here is the post about him getting his name). FireCracker calls him Mr. Tinkerbell Poopsalot ~ it makes me smile every time I hear her say it. […]