Wow! If the author's of the parenting books could have been at our house during dinner tonight, they would have been highly disappointed! When I found myself saying to Emma, "Emma, I already told you that if I have to tell you again you are going to bed"...I knew that I was doomed. I was talking in circles. So, when I turned to her and said, "If you smash your crackers again what is going to happen"...and she said, "I will go to bed"....I felt triumphant. She understood what I was talking about and what the consequences were, AND even though I was not following through (and I usually only give ONE chance), I knew that she was understanding, and she did not do it again.
Sometimes we have to make exceptions. Sometimes the rules do not apply to all situations. There is a reason that I got rid of every parenting book that I was given when Emma was only 3 months old. She defied the odds by living, and I am routing our own course in parenting. It's working for us:).