It seems that most parents resort to reverse psychology at some point in their care-taking careers. The idea is that you behave as if you want the child to do the exact opposite of what you really want her to do. Avey caught on to this about 6 months ago, but she always treats it like some kind of game (which it is, I suppose). These days she insists that we use reverse psychology with her.
At meals, for example, she calls to me from her chair while I’m preparing my meal. In that melodic, I’m-up-to-something tone of voice she sings, “Oh DAAAAaady, come look at my plAAAAaaate.” I will cautiously approach, feigning ignorance at the reason for such a beckoning. Avey smiles a knowing, naughty smile and gestures toward her plate, which is apparently missing a minuscule fragment of beef, chicken, cracker, or broccoli. She directs me, “Now get mad.”
I muster up an Oscar-worthy performance; “What are you doing, eating that food right in front of you! That food is just to look at! You spit that out on the floor right now!” All the while Avey giggles with delight at successfully getting my goat. I return to my preparations, and this mystical dance continues a dozen times or so until the food is finally gone.
At this point, of course, we’re willing to go along with whatever, just so long as the food gets in her stomach somehow.