When Sprout was in the first or second grade, he did not like to do his homework. He especially did not like to write sentences using his spelling words. One particular night, after having sat with him for a long time while he dilly-dallied and played instead of finishing his homework, I finally had had enough and I popped his little leg hard and threatened him with more harm if he did not finish writing his sentences by the time I returned. I then withdrew all my motherly help and began loading the dishwasher.
After a few minutes, I returned to check his progress, which was going very well due to a swift dose of corporal punishment. I forget now what most of his spelling words were, but they were simple words like home, from, came, with, wish, when, etc. He wrote his sentences and all was well until I read his sentence for the word "wish". As I read over his spelling homework, I realized that Sprout had gotten the last laugh. His sentence?
"I wish my mother would stop hitting me."
Even at that young age, he had a keen sense of come-back.
Very soon, that wise-cracking little boy-turned-soldier will be in a war zone. May he never lose his penchant for one-upism. May it serve him well when he needs it the most.