Then I had a flash of brilliance.
The girls are fully immersed in Princess mode right now. Fancy is supremely important and the best color is rainbow sparkle! and dresses should be poofy and jewelry should be lavish. So I harnessed the Princess Power for my own plan, and feeling like the crafty marionette-wrangler every clever mother tries to be, I invoked The Crown.
"You know, girls, a Princess's job isn't just to be beautiful. She must care for all the people of her land. She must listen carefully when they speak, because it is her job to solve their problems. She must speak respectfully, because Princesses are never rude. She must act generously, because Princesses show their love to every one who visits them."
It was one of my greater successes, because the royal daughters were bratty no longer.
And then we hit a snag.
L left her brownie on the coffee table instead of the kitchen table. The coffee table is her brother's favorite hunting ground and he devoured that brownie, leaving a trail of crumbs across the carpet that announced to her that he wasn't even embarrassed about his audacious thievery.
I saw the girls conferring, after which L brought me a complaint:
Mama, G took food that wasn't his. He isn't acting princessy.
We're going to have to tweak this plan a little bit.