Getting What You Ask For

Bart Simpson
Click to generate your own Simpsons chalkboard quote.

Today’s blog will be picture-heavy and word-light, owing in part to the fact I have only nine functioning fingers after playing hockey last night. I blocked a shot attempt with the tip of my middle finger, which is now grotesquely swollen and largely useless.

It’s a good thing I sit and type at a computer all day. Oh, wait.

On the bright side, at least Ryan got a kick out of it being my middle finger. Because that’s almost as good as cursing, you know.

Speaking of Ryan’s lovely little habit, one of the doctors that works with him saw him earlier this week. Ryan was at his sarcastic, mischievous best. The doctor, unfazed, asked if Ryan had any difficulties at school with a couple of behaviors — volume control and cursing — that have been problematic at home. Told no, he suggested some old-school discipline.

No, not switches — he’s not that old-school. He suggested that every time Ryan exhibited the behaviors, we have him write out 20 times that he would not do it again. Mrs. Krabappel would be proud.

So, the first time, post-warning, that Ryan told us something “sucks,” out came the notebook.

Any parent of a child on the autism spectrum knows that you have to be prepared to get exactly what you ask for.

So, when we asked Ryan to write “I will not curse” 20 times, I should not have been surprised when the first effort produced the following sentence:


He was incredibly proud of himself, and I had to laugh as well. I gave him full credit for cleverness, and then told him to re-do the assignment.

The second effort produced this, which according to his math equalled 10 sentences.


Unsatisfied, I asked him to write the other 10. I realized I was in trouble even before he came back with this:


I was still finding this somewhat amusing, but was growing tired of the debate. I told him to “just write it.” Big mistake. That produced this:


He eventually did what we asked, but not before trying one more creative approach:


He’s nothing if not persistent. And opinionated. Elsewhere in his notebook, I found this:


I suppose he was going for extra credit?


7 thoughts on “Getting What You Ask For

  1. I needed that this morning! Hope your finger gets better. And don’t forget to show your injury to all those special work buddies and other people you have always wanted to share a special moment with. 😉


  2. Oh MY! This made me laugh because we tried this as well when my son was much younger, with much the same result. I finally figured out that I needed to write the target phrase on the top of the paper in marker, then number the desired number of lines to copy the phrase on.

    Nothing like our literal thinkers to show us our flaws in logic, eh? 🙂


    1. He’s a literal thinker for sure. But he also was cracking himself up by making a mockery of our discipline. Which I can begrudgingly celebrate as a sign of progress.


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