My kids are an excellent example of Classical Conditioning... you know, like how Pavlov once trained his dog to salivate at the sound of a bell? That's it. Except, instead of a bell, my kids are trained to the sound of a phone ringing... that is, whenever they hear a phone ring, something aggressive triggers in their little brains that causes a full-out smackdown resulting in tears and screams.
Another example: the moment hot food arrives on Mommy's plate and they sense my butt nestled happily in my chair at the dinner table, it signals their little tummies to HAVE TO poop... all of them, in succession, until my meal is one big blur of wiping hineys, gasping and gagging for fresh air, and then scooting people back up to the table in booster seats. For those un-initiated to parenthood, you may be thinking, "Aren't your kids 4?! Why not make them do it themselves?" The answer, my naive friends, is that 4 year olds can, in fact, wipe, but it's a horribly messy endeavor ultimately ending up in my having to scrub walls, sink handles, door knobs, and toilet seats, not to mention undies and hynies anyway... so I say why double (or quadruple) my work, when one quick wipe of the tushie saves me a full bathroom and child scrub down.
One more example, you say? Well lets talk meal preparation. I have my children fully conditioned to come to the dinner table at the sound of the smoke alarm. When that baby rings, it must mean Mommy's almost finished cooking. Yep, some day the firefighters are going to arrive at my house in the middle of the evening and find my kids seated at the table with fork and spoon in hand, and even a little drool...
Pavlov would be proud.