Our two-year-old would not stop dropping food on the floor at meal times. Whether she did it because she found that particular piece inedible, or because she enjoyed studying the spatial relation of the food on her tray versus the pile on the carpet below her, the habit seemed unbreakable. Our best effort at correction was to sternly say, “No,” and lightly rap the back of her hand. This method maintained its desired effect for about five minutes, when our daughter, used to this routine and seemingly impervious to pain, decided to continue her scientific experiment. Just as was my husband was donning his authoritative expression, the perpetrator, sensing what was to come, firmly stated, “No!” and smacked her own hand.
Both my husband’s and my expression of disappointment immediately dissolved, and we needed to hide our faces in our shirt sleeves to cover our smiles and muffle the laughter.
Once my husband regained his composure, all he could say was, “That’s right. No. No.” Our red-haired imp simply beamed back at him.
We soon purchased a “splat mat.”