News, Culture & Society

Herts boy who wrote on the wall blames ‘Elf on the Shelf’

A cheeky nine-year-old boy who was caught scrawling his name on a bedroom wall blamed it on his family’s ‘Elf on the Shelf’.

Matthew Atkins, from Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, had written over the pristine white surface using red pen, but was caught out by his mother Danyele.

After creating the mess, the youngster panicked and scrubbed the ink off over night.

But his mother had already snapped the graffiti and confronted him the next day. 

Matthew Atkins left this graffiti on his bedroom wall

Matthew Atkins (left, with his sister Victoria), from Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, had written over the pristine white wall (right) using red pen, but was caught out by his mother Danyele

Ms Atkins, 38, has now posted the picture of Matthew’s artistry online to show other parents his handy work.

She said: ‘He’s a little monkey. First of all, he blamed it on the elf then he said ”you must have dreamt it”. When we showed him to pictures he said ”it’s photoshopped”.

‘The next morning I called him to get up at 7am and said ”I want a word with you” then showed him the photo. I said ”I can’t have been dreaming when I have photographs of it”.

‘In the end, he admitted it and said ”oh I got bored and didn’t want to go to bed at 9 o’clock”.

‘It looked like the writing from The Shining when the boy writes ”redrum”.

‘I’ve said that if he ever does anything like that again and blames the elf, the elf will have to go back to the North Pole with Santa.’

Matthew also decided to blame his siblings but when this did not work and his iPad was confiscated, he took matters into his own hands and scrubbed the ink off the wall.

His mother said: ‘I know it was definitely him. His dad later went to use the flannel and noticed it was still wet.

Matthew Atkins with his father Anthony

Emily, 11, Matthew, nine, Victoria, 18 and Zak Atkins aged 14

Left, Matthew with his father Anthony and right, the nine-year-old with his sisters Emily, 11 and Victoria, 18, and his brother, Zak, 14

‘When we wrung it out, there was a reddish tinge to the water. He’d used that to scrub the ink off the wall.

‘We’re just lucky it wiped off. He’s always doing little things and blaming it on his brother or the dog or the elf.

‘We took his iPad and Xbox off him for the night as a punishment. We couldn’t let him off, especially with the other two who have global development delay as they’d copy it.

‘Matthew is always up to something. He’s always up to mischief.

‘The only thing he doesn’t try and outsmart is the Elf on the Shelf. He’ll always come down to see what he’s got up to overnight.

Matthew Atkins with his father and siblings

Danyele Atkins

Left, Matthew with his family and right, his mother Danyele who described the youngster as a ‘little monkey’

‘The Elf of the Shelf decorated our Christmas tree with his socks and underwear last week.

‘He’ll give a little smirk but he knows he won’t win. He’s actually very quiet at school but shows his true side to us at home.

‘He told his dad that he’s buying me a massive nerf gun for Christmas so we can have battles.’

After posting the images on social media, Ms Atkins was inundated with stories from other parents whose children had used the wall as their canvas.

One mother wrote: ‘My eldest wrote her little sister’s name all over my garden fence, and obviously it wasn’t her ‘because she would have written her own name’. Her younger sister was 2.’

Another said: ‘When my stepsons were younger, the older one drew a crocodile on the wall and signed his name then tried to say it was his three-year-old brother.’