My siblings and I grew up living in fear of receiving The Look from our father. It meant, in no uncertain terms, that we had pushed matters to a perilous point and that if our next word or motion was not considered wisely it could very well mean our doom. My father dispensed The Look with authority and conviction. We laugh about it now, but it was an unquestionably effective parenting tool.
Yesterday, I decided to try out my own delivery of The Look. When Paige gets bored at meal time, she's taken to tossing food over the side of her high chair. Usually, she gets away with one or two then I put my hand up to block and she goes back to munching. Yesterday started that way but as soon as I pulled my hand away there went another bit of dinner over the side for Rocky to gobble up. So I put my hand back and she went back to eating. Pull my hand away, food on the floor.
That's when I set my mouth in a firm grimace, tilted my head menacingly, and raised the one eyebrow. Paige got The Look. And she laughed and laughed. I'm going to need some practice.