You may be wondering how I am going to achieve Summerlution Number One (getting my kids to clear their breakfast plates).
For this, I choose subtlety (not an easy word to spell; big thanks to spellcheck). You see, if I announce one morning: ATTENTION ALL! TODAY AND FOR THE REMAINDER OF YOUR LIVES, YOU WILL NOW CLEAR YOUR OWN BREAKFAST PLATES! GONE ARE THE DAYS OF ME SCRAPING CONGEALED MUCK OUT OF YOUR BOWLS. GONE ARE THE DAYS OF ME SNACKING ON YOUR STALE TOAST WHILE I DROWN IN THE MASSES OF YOUR BREAKFAST DETRITUS! NO MORE! YOU WILL NOW CLEAR YOUR PLATES AND IF YOU ARE OLDER THAN FIVE YOU WILL ALSO LOAD THEM INTO THE DISHWASHER!
If I do that I will essentially be told to fuck off. Maybe not in so many words (one can hope), but I will be given 5 fuck off looks.
So I am mentioning it casually to people, as if I don’t really care too much about it (I do! I do!), as if I could go either way on the breakfast clearing (I cannot! I cannot!).
Because any time they sense that I care about something, it seems to set off something in their tiny brains that instructs them to do the exact opposite, and with gusto and flourish.
So far? It’s working….