Path of Least Resistance
This is what I started with... She wants to go left, there's nothing wrong with left...especially because after a couple of lefts, you are going in the direction you were heading for in the first place.
Really - I get so caught up in saying "No" and "Don't"... I realize that I can change the whole afternoon if I begin saying "Yes" and "Instead" to things that really...>>REALLY<< aren't a big deal.
She wants nail polish...sure. Eye shadow...be sure to use clean brushes. All that's good, because when the girl asks for mascara...we are all good with the "No, not yet".
Dinner time...she always comes to the table and announces that she won't eat that. Even if it is her favorite food, doused in cheese, chocolate, and powdered sugar...she says no. I let it be. At some point she will come back to the table.
The best parenting advice I ever got was on a plan trip. The movie noted that I would be no good to my daughter if I didn't take care of my oxygen mask first. What a novel idea. So...if I get myself fed, showered, dressed...I brush my teeth first...I'm in a better position to take care of my kid. AHHHH. OMG - mornings became so much easier once I used this approach. I also use this approach at Souplantation, Hometown Buffet, and similar restaurants. Had I known about this approach, I probably would have started using it before Iolani appeared on the scene.
There it is...I keep sane because I take the path of least resistance, and remember to grab for the oxygen mask...all is well. For now.