One of Emmy's favorite things in the world is to shred up her food on the sly and then surreptitiously drop it off her tray when I'm not looking. Little git.
So it's now her job to pick up the floor around her chair after mealtimes. This solution has somewhat backfired. I don't have to painstakingly pick up every last chunk of food off the floor anymore, but she now thinks she's being rewarded for her little habit, and it hasn't deterred her in the slightest.
Well, today it was a tortilla. I was cleaning up the dishes, Grace was doing calisthenics or something in the living room, and Emmy, as usual, was still eating. Or so I thought. Something registered in my brain at some point, and I looked over to see her picking the tiniest pieces off her tortilla and peering intently over the edge of her tray as gravity did its thing. (This sort of nonsense had better mean she'll be a scientist one day) It looked like a bag of rice had spilled on the floor.
So I came over, got her out of her chair and told her she had to pick ALL OF IT up. She looked at me like, "Well... duh. Why do you think I did it?"
But there were probably a hundred of these little tiny pieces, and after about ten, she started losing interest. Mainly because she likes to pick up one little piece at a time and trot back and forth from her pile to the garbage can. Which is really funny when she has a full belly and has been forced to dine shirtless.
And I stood over her like a taskmaster and pointed to each one that she had to pick up. Honestly, it was more work for me than it was for her. But she eventually stopped enjoying it and was all, "Nnnnngh! This is work. Why are you making me WORK?"
I think from now on I will allow her to make a really huge mess before getting her down and making her pick it up. This will work, right?