Werewolves, Shots, and Schools

When we looked at this townhouse, there were 4 kids living here with their parents, who assured us that the elementary down the school was great, in fact superior to the school on the mainland they’d come from (Utah). A cursory glance at GreatSchools.net said it had test score ratings of 8 out of 10.

A week later, that score had dropped to 6.

I went in and got info for registration. “I hear your school’s good,” I said cheerfully to the woman behind the desk.

She hesitated, palpable, her eyes not meeting mine. “Yeah…uh…it’s…pretty good.”

How encouraging.

Then I considered homeschool for about one hot minute. I know there are plenty who do it successfully. One of my favorite blogs is Pioneer Woman, all about a sassy LA woman who ended up marrying a cowboy and now lives what appears to be an idyllic life on a ranch, homeschooling, baking in a fabulous kitchen, taking gorgeous pics, and writing a prolific blog.

But I don’t live on a ranch with lots of room. I live in an 1100 square foot shoebox.

My plan was this: we would arise early, swim or hit the beach for exercise for an hour, then delve into school work, then have a field trip or something. Theoretically, it’s a good plan.

Then my daughter arrived and reminded me that she does not like to listen to me. She is of the belief that she knows everything. We were watching a “mockumentary” on Animal Planet about werewolves. She insisted, “It’s a documentary.”

I attempted to explain the difference between a “mock”umentary and a documentary. “You’re saying these werewolves are real?”

“I know it’s a documentary, MOTHER!” she spat. “It’s real.”

The show ultimately got shut off. An hour later, out of nowhere, she told her father, “It was a documentary. I’m right!”

Then last night, I was playing the game Zooreka with my son. He had some of the procedures wrong, which were draaggggingg the game out. I explained to him how to play (and therefore get more Zoo cards anyway) and he got upset. Tears in his eyes, he said, “I’m not playing,” and put away the game.


“You’re not playing…why? Because I’m showing you how to play? Because you’ll get MORE Zoo cards if we play it right?” I asked. Then I made him play. He had a good time.

Argh. Anyway, my kids are uncoachable by me. So it’s back to public.

An unfortunate thing happened, though. Somehow– most likely my fault, in fact I know it is– Ethan’s shot records and birth certificate got lost. I had taken out these important records and hand-carried them (in carry-on) here. Ethan’s were missing.

“They’re getting shipped,” Cadillac said. “Don’t worry.”

But I did worry, luckily. I asked my MIL to get a new birth certificate copy, and she did and I have that. And when our stuff got here, his records did not. They are AWOL.

I then contacted his pediatrician and asked them to FAX over the shots to his new pediatrician. They sent all the records, but APPARENTLY never copied the info from Ethan’s shot card onto the actual record as EVERY OTHER DOCTOR ON THE PLANET does. Not even a copy was sent.

I talked to the new ped’s office. “What will we do if I can’t get his records?”

“We have to start all over from zero,” she said.


(On a side note, the ACTUAL doc called this morning to ask about it. I have never even SEEN Ethan’s actual pediatrician on the mainland, just the nurse or an auxillary doc. I was most impressed.)

I had one more idea to get the records. I called Foster Elementary, where the kids were going to school. I explained the situation. “You guys made a copy of his shots, didn’t you?” I asked. He had been enrolled only a year, so the shots would be current.

“We sure did. I’ll FAX those right over,” Bernie the Secretary said. My savior.


Tomorrow, they have to get physicals and TB tests. Or else Ethan really would have been homeschooled.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

2 thoughts on “Werewolves, Shots, and Schools

  1. Couldn’t Ethan have blood drawn to see what he’s immune to? I did that last year to see what immunizations I needed (since the effectiveness of some of the ones I got as a kid have faded with time).

  2. They did not offer that option, so I don’t know. If I had to do a blood draw, we would have to get paperwork and go to a different lab, then back to the dr. to get the immunizations…I’d probably still just get the shots.

    Anyway, they got the shot records so all was well, and they only needed a couple of boosters.

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