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April 19th, 2009

I have an odd confession to make: I’ve got a parallel life.   Not a real one, one entirely in my head, but real enough that it is sometimes all the encouragement I need to get me through the day.   It is nerdy, so stay with me here…

Ever since Kenny was born, whenever I’m having a rough day (or a rough ten minutes), I imagine how I would get through it if I were in Little House on the Prairie.   Not the TV show – that was fun to watch as a kid, but it veered off too much from the books for me.   I have had a minor obsession with the Laura Ingalls Wilder books since I was a preteen.   I have read most of them 20 or more times, and even re-read the series when I first had Kenny in those lonely midnight nursing hours.   I might seem weird, but it’s really facinating to think about.

Let’s say I’m having trouble thinking of something to make for dinner.   Well, poor Ma was stuck with potatoes and salt pork all winter, waiting for spring when the garden started to grow and Pa started hunting again.   And then it wasn’t like she could log into Safeway.com (what would I do without you, Safeway??) and order some chicken breasts and ground round… no, she had to butcher whatever Pa came home with and make it last.  

Kids driving you nuts?     There were no DVD players on the prarie.   Kids won’t pick up their toys?   At least they have them!   Ma had to entertain preschoolers with wooden spoons and metal pots all day.   But of course, there was always, “Who wants a turn milking the cow?” and “How many eggs did the hen lay today??”     And what did she do with a three-year-old with a bottomless stomach?   I tell Kenny to go make himself an Eggo, or grab a yogurt out of the fridge.   Did they even have snacks?

And Ma didn’t have a sleek double jogging stroller to pop the kids in when she needed to get out of the house.   She was stuck until they could all walk on their own.   And what did she do to free her brain at the end of a trying day?   Here I am complaining about a slow internet connection, and Ma was sitting there by the light of a candle darning socks and underwear.

Days when I’m on my fourth load of laundry, I envy Ma for the fact that they only had a few dresses each, and they could get away with wearing them for days at a stretch.   Then again, when the kids had a growth spurt, she couldn’t head out to Old Navy or cash in her Gymbucks – she had to send Pa to The Store for fabric and make the new clothes by hand.   Of course, Ma only had a one (and later two) room house to clean, so she had a lot more time on her hands.


  1. Cousin Kelly says

    That is too funny!! I think about stuff like that a lot, too. I imagine what it would have been like to live in a village back in cave man days. In some ways, I think it might have been easier. You know, one mom watches the kids, one mom makes dinner, one cleans up- just sharing everything.

    April 19th, 2009 | #

  2. Jessica says

    I love “Little House” and I love this confession… kind of puts it all in perspective and made me chuckle. Thanks!

    April 20th, 2009 | #

  3. Jennifer says

    I sometimes think about things like this, how it was in different eras.
    Makes you appreciate what you have a little more. 🙂

    April 20th, 2009 | #

  4. Amanda says

    😀 That’s a great post! I love your blog, by the way. I’ve been a reader for a few years now. And I’m soooo relieved to see that I’m not the only SAHM with a Little House habit! I too read all the books several times & even adored the TV show…imagine my delight when I saw the whole series in boxed DVD sets at Costco not too long ago. I’ll have to grab that! 😉 By the way, I’m sure you know this but Hallmark channel re-runs the shows every day. =) Cheers!

    April 21st, 2009 | #

  5. Cyndy says

    Yeah !! I am not the ONLY one who has a Little House On The Prairie crutch ! When I am having a rough day or feeling sorry for myself because of the things that I don’t have,etc…I think about Little House On The Prairie and remind myself that I am SO LUCKY to have the things that I do ! I have been doing that since I was in my early twenties. It completely changes my outlook. I am incredibly relieved that I may not be as insane as I thought.

    May 12th, 2009 | #

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