Monthly Archives: March 2016

Barf Duty: Should My Kids Stay Home Today?

I think one of the hardest decisions I have to make as a parent of school-age children is whether they are sick enough to stay home from school or not. It doesn’t sound that difficult, I know, but if you’ve been there then you know what I mean.

First of all, I swear at least one of my children has a complaint every single morning. They are either too tired, or they’ve coughed once, or they imagine they have a stomachache because they’re hungry. If I let them stay home every time they said they didn’t feel good, they’d be home all year long.

Now, if I do decide to let them stay home, inevitably they feel absolutely fine just a couple hours later. Fine enough that they are hanging on me, begging for snacks or another round of Go Fish even though I’ve explained that I need to work. Fine enough that I ought to take them to school, but I never do. Fine enough that I think I made the wrong decision.

Of course, then there are the mornings when I have leaned the other direction and sent them to school anyway, only to get a call from the nurse a couple hours later to come pick up my puking and/or feverish child.

There’s no way to win.

And that’s why I told my youngest that she was going to school Tuesday morning. She had already stayed home on Monday with a bellyache, and of course she spent most of the day playing, singing, running in the house after I told her not to, and in general enjoying herself far too much for a sick day.  No vomiting, no fever.

So when she complained of a bellyache Tuesday morning, I didn’t worry about it. I mean, she was fine, right? She got up and ate her weight in Cap’n Crunch, as usual, and seemed alright. Our normal morning routine is to spend any extra time before the bus comes cuddling on the couch and watching TV, and when we sat down she complained of her stomach hurting. Again, I assured her she was fine.

And then Cap’n Crunch exploded all over my living room. Seriously, if you haven’t ever seen a lake of well-used crunchberries spreading all over your living room floor, then I don’t advise it. It came pretty close to beating the Double Projectile Vomiting of Cocoa Puffs Incident of 2010. (They both stayed home that day.)

Of course this was two minutes before it was time to go outside for the bus, so I was racing back and forth between mopping up puke and making sure my other daughter was at the bus on time.

So what was the universe trying to teach me here? That I should just let my kids stay home any time they’re under the weather? That there’s a reason I don’t eat kid cereal? (Cause really, I don’t even want to smell that stuff anymore.) Or maybe just that it’s impossible to always make the right decisions as a parent.

All I can do is scoop up the barf and move on.

sick day

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Filed under Parenting

Let’s Pretend I Got a Movie Deal

The movie is never as good as The Book.  The Book is special and must be treated as such.  The evil movie producers should never stray from anything as small as a line of dialogue in The Book.  They shall scour the Earth to find the one person who looks EXACTLY as the author described the main character, or else we The Readers shall rebel.

Really, we get so upset over these things, myself included.

I was on this nice little fantastical train of thought the other day where The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping was being made into a movie.  Of course, I would be highly involved in the production process and the movie would be wildly successful.  (Hey, I said it was a fantasy, right?)

Anyway, I started to think:  If these really talented Hollywood types who are experts at telling a visual story make recommendations and changes to the original story, would I be so selfish with my book as to not let it happen?  Would I tell them, “Oh, hell no.  My readers expect that wooden box to be square, not rectangular.  I don’t care what your props department thinks; have them carve another one.”


I just started watching the Outlander series on Starz.  I have read and absolutely adored the books.  Even though it’s been several years since I read the first book, I can already tell that the series is not an exact reflection of the book.  But I do know that Diana Gabaldon was highly involved, and she has said on her own Facebook page that “the book is the book, and the show is the show.”  She understands that some changes have to be made to convert the story into one that can be told visually.  And the thing is, it’s still a good story.  Yes, I am usually a staunch supporter of The Book.  But I’m beginning to realize that just because it’s a little bit different in film format doesn’t mean that it’s wrong or bad.

You can all feel free to remind me of this when I do get a movie deal, and I’m yelling at the actors. 🙂


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Filed under Books, On Writing

A Salute to the Failed Blog Posts

I can’t even begin to tell you how many ideas I have for blog posts that never make it onto this page.  And the rough drafts are endless.  There’s no telling if even this will earn the honored status of “Posted.”

I’ve started to write reviews of movies that I’ve seen, but then I forget about them and they become irrelevant.  Or I feel as though I’m not doing a good job of reviewing a book because I don’t feel like picking apart every literary element of it.  Sometimes, I just like a book.  It really can be that simple.

Sometimes, I have really great ideas.  Epiphanies, even.  These undoubtedly occur while I’m in the shower, or driving, or cleaning dog poop out of the yard, or any other situation where I just can’t drop what I’m doing and write it down.  Or I make the mistake of thinking I’ll remember it.  You’d think I would learn from that mistake, but I haven’t yet.

Perhaps the worse attempts are when I think I have a good idea, but it all just melts into sophomoric mush when it hits the screen.  A topic that sounds truly amazing, like it could really be something special, comes out wooden and dull.  Bluh.

So here’s to the failed blog posts.  Here’s to the bad ideas, the good ideas gone wrong, the half-ass reviews, the drafts that just never get finished, and the ideas that simply get forgotten.  Because without them, the good posts wouldn’t be nearly so good.



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Filed under Blogging, On Writing