1 – Perfect your cutest smile. You can get away with anything if you flash your cutest smile after the mischief. Swiped your brother’s cup of milk off the table all over the carpet? Just smile! Kept your parents up half the night? Just smile! Hidden the TV remote in the laundry basket, causing wide spread panic? Just smile!
2 – Leave the scene of the crime. The kitchen cupboards may be emptied on the floor, your cereal may be scattered across the floor, and the toilet roll may be unraveled around the bathroom. But if you are not in the vicinity, how do they actually know it is you?
3 – Blame your sibling. Stick to your brother or sister like glue. Do not leave their side. Your big people will assume they were either the culprit, instigator or accomplish. Either way, they are bound to get in more trouble than you.
4 – Commit mischief close to bedtime. There’s something about soft pyjamas, sleeping children, and peace and quiet that makes the big people forgive in record time.
5 – Practice the words ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’. Whenever you commit mischief and get told off, the big people will regret every cross word when you look up at them with pleading eyes and say their name. Believe me, it gets them every time.
6 – Blame teething. Got caught red handed? Time to pull out the teething card. Ram your fingers into your mouth, wail at full volume, start dribbling, and refuse to eat. The mischief was not your fault! It was the teeth’s fault! Your big people are wise enough to understand.
7 – If there is a chink in the baby proofing, it is your duty to find it. If they forget to lock one of the cupboards, you have every right to clear the shelves onto the kitchen floor. Your big people can not blame you for this! They should instead thank you for drawing it to their attention! If you hear the words ‘well, it’s our fault really’ you know you’ve cracked it.
8 – Never commit mischief at the grandparents. This is a very important rule here. You must always act like an angel with your grandparents. When you are handed over and your big people complain about lack of sleep, total exhaustion or general mischief at home, they won’t believe a word of it. Keep it that way. Remember, your grandparents are the ones that buy packets of sweets and reward you handsomely for good behaviour. They are your allies. Keep it that way.