Politeness and good manners are highly valued in our house; I've been known to dance across the kitchen when my 15 month old uses both "please" and "thank you" in a transaction without a prompt. [15 months and saying please and thank you? Wow. I'd dance around, too! — Ed.] My husband recently sent me a link to this hack which was part of an essay at Inside Higher Ed . I'm sure will come in handy when we get beyond the sippy cup and high chair stage:
Utilize the b-d rule for triumph over the bread plate. When you sit down at a round table, you are immediately faced with lots of glasses, coffee cups, and bread plates. Which is yours? You can’t go wrong with the b-d rule. In your lap, take both your hands and form the OK sign with your thumb and pointer finger touching to shape an “o”. Keep your other fingers extended straight and together. With both hands in this position, you will see the shape of a “b” on the left hand and a “d” on the right. The “b” stands for bread, which means your bread plate will always be on your left. The “d” means drink, which translates to your drinking glasses and cup placed on your right.
Boy, my family's lucky if they get their salad served on a separate salad plate. I'm all about reducing dirty dishes. I can see how this would come in handy at a restaurant or the Thanksgiving table, though.