Since ours was a bit of a "blended family" I wanted to include the common concern: will my kid and our kid get along?
I wanted to give Lawrence a challenging situation, and therefore give me something challenging to write about. How was a young boy, accustomed to being in the care of one female adult, going to adjust to a father figure–plus two more adult females in his family?
I wanted to see this situation through Lawrence’s eyes, to put myself in his position. A male child with a problem like this on his hands gave me an ample fantasy workout. Would I be able to write and draw a believable situation? Would a reader Lawrence’s age accept the dialogue and the expressions as true to life, or would he say, "It’s an adult pretending to know how a kid feels"?
Writing for Lawrence was much more difficult than writing for Connie. As a single mother, I had gone through the same situation. I had a strong sense of what she was going through. Coming up with light-hearted quips while dealing with a serious situation, saved this storyline from becoming maudlin and preachy. As in all great personal upheaval, a sense of humour is essential — the best tool in your survival pack!
You can say something serious if the punch line is light. This was my way of keeping the characters "cartoons," while covering a sensitive topic.
This is the long way of telling you that what Elizabeth is doing in this Sunday strip never happened but it should have. Watching Katie open and pour a can of apple juice, I thought: If she’d made multiple openings, the scene might just have gone just like this.