I have developed a six-shooter mentality.
We use a squirt bottle to correct the dogs and cat. What is amazing to me is that a one hundred plus pound dog, one who will attack the hose when it is operating at full force, will cower when spritzed. However, this works. So, when Dirty Harry raids the trash and is careening through the house with garbage, trailing coffee grounds, I can say, "Leave it!" and aim and fire, and the four-legged malfeasant surrenders immediately.
If only this worked with children. Today I had breakfast, deciding to indulge in a box of cereal which last week was "Special K with Red Berries." Today, it is Stale Special K with Missing Red Berries Because They Were Picked Out and Eaten by My Oldest When I Wasn't Home. When I confronted Kiki, she denied any involvement despite my waving the squirt bottle in her general direction and staring at her squinty-eyed and in my best intimidating manner.
Maybe if I had a silver star.