5 Reasons I Can No Longer Relate To The Little House On The Prairie

by Christine@TheAums on September 6, 2012 · 51 comments

It's the swagger wagon, yeah the swagger wagon...

When I revealed my summer plan to read the Little House on the Prairie series to my kids and then treat them to some Netflix episodes of the TV Show, I usually heard a collective, “Awww, I loved those books! What a great idea!”

I, too, loved reading those books as a kid, often pretending I was Laura Ingalls and imagining life in her shoes, or bare feet as she preferred. But re-reading them as a parent is a whole new experience, albeit, a very sarcastic one.

Here are 5 Reasons I Can No Longer Relate to Little House on the Prairie:

1. Caroline, mother of three little girls and wife to Charles, remains eerily, unbelievably calm under any circumstances. Family nearly drowns crossing a river! House surrounded by a pack of wolves! Runs out of sugar and the nearest store is two days away! Finally settles into a newly built log cabin only to have to pack up and leave the next day! She basically has 3 reactions and none end with an exclamation point:

“Yes, Charles.”

“Whatever you say, Charles.”

“All’s well that ends well.”

Just once, I wanted to hear Caroline whine, complain, or give Charles a little attitude… “What do you mean start packing? We just finished building this house yesterday!” “Yeah right, like I’m gonna cross this rising river with my babies in a covered wagon…are you crazy?!”

2. Caroline works from sunup ’til sundown and in her free time she, wait, there is no such thing as free time on the prairie. Even during a blizzard she  is making the beds and dusting on a daily basis, all while tending the fire round the clock. On bath day, she has to fill the tub with snow, melt it, and warm the water, then drain and repeat the process AFTER EACH PERSON’S BATH.

Really? I’d throw all 4 of my kids in one bath. I mean c’mon, Caroline, live a little! I’m sure Mom’s Night Out is hard to come by on the prairie, but leaving a sink full of dishes overnight every once in a blizzard isn’t going to hurt anybody.

3. Throughout the series, the kids strictly abide by the “Do not speak unless spoken to” and “Children should be seen and not heard” rules. And get this, they all go to bed immediately without a single fuss or request for water or another story.

Hmmm…could it be the corporal punishment that is barely mentioned? Or maybe they’re so gosh darn tired after doing chores all day? Who knows? While there are times I would appreciate these rules, I’m more of a “Children should be HEARD and NOT SEEN” kinda gal, because once you stop hearing them you know they are up to no good. And as far as bedtime, there’s a reason why I love the book Go the F**k to Sleep.

4. When Charles has to go into town to buy groceries and supplies, Caroline doesn’t see him for 4 or 5 days. She has an idea when he’ll return but any number of events could delay him: bear attack, broken wagon wheel, falls through frozen lake, just to name a few. So they just wait patiently, day in and day out until he arrives, hoping he doesn’t forget anything on the list, I’m sure.

I freak out if my husband doesn’t answer his cell phone on a trip to Costco. Nuff said.

5. Then there’s the time when Pa tells Ma he’s taking her to a dance and she’s all, “Oh, Charles! I’ll wear my delaine dress!”

First of all, in case you’re wondering, she’s referring to a dress she owned BEFORE she married and gave birth to 3 kids. And second of all, um. yeah. freaking. right! That’s like planning a date night with my husband and saying, “Shoot, what am I going to wear? I know! I’ll wear that one dress I still have hanging in the back of my closet, the one I wore before I married you and popped out 4 babies. I’m sure it’ll fit perfectly! Might even have to take it in a little at the waist!”

We’ve only made it about four books into the Little House on the Prairie series, but I can’t help imagining if my kids were to write about our road trip adventures little-house-on-the-prairie-style:

Adapted from our last road trip to Los Angeles
Pa was sitting in the driver’s seat, but Ma was really doing the driving. As we made our way up a steep hill, we suddenly stopped in a sea of traffic much like a herd of buffalo on the prairie. That’s when Pa noticed the empty gas warning light was on. He whispered something to Ma and gave her a serious look to which she replied, “Seriously? We’re about to run out of gas on a bumper to bumper L.A. freeway and you want to make a U-turn and go against oncoming, single-lane, onramp traffic, just so we make it to a gas station?! You’ve gotta be kidding me. I have four babies in the car! I can’t believe this! What, you think gas magically appears in the tank? Do you ever check the gauge before leaving? If we had horses you’d probably forget to hitch them, too!” Pa stared straight ahead. “Yes, Ma.” “Whatever you say, Ma.” As we made it over the hill and coasted to the next exit, it was a true miracle that we reached the gas station in time. “All’s well that ends well,” said Ma…never.

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Angus September 6, 2012 at 8:44 am

Hahahaha! Nothing else. Just giggling uncontrollably: Hahahahahahahaha……!!
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Christine@TheAums September 6, 2012 at 9:37 am

Yay for early morning ab workouts! Thanks, Angus.


OT and ET September 6, 2012 at 8:46 am

ha! awesome.
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Christine@TheAums September 6, 2012 at 9:38 am

Thanks, Lindsey!


Sharon at Momof6 September 6, 2012 at 9:22 am

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Christine@TheAums September 6, 2012 at 9:37 am

Thanks, Sharon!


dave September 6, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Love it! LMAO


Christine@TheAums September 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Remember being stuck on Kellogg Hill??? That’s pretty much what it was like, except for the horses part ;)


Amber September 7, 2012 at 5:39 am

Olivia from the Walton’s is more believable. ;) She actually looses it from time to time and when John does something she doesn’t like, she lets it be known. She sure may not say a world but she says it all with her expression. Olivia would mop the ground with Caroline. ;)


Christine@TheAums September 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Amber, I think we’re on book 4 or 5 and Caroline is FINALLY starting to show some emotion! She’s still cleaning the house during blizzards though.


Amanda Fox (a.k.a. Fern DeVilliers) September 7, 2012 at 9:45 am

Definitely corporal punishment going on there. Loved this!
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Christine@TheAums September 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Thank you!


Natalie the Singingfool September 7, 2012 at 9:49 am

This. Is. Freaking. Awesome.
The best thing I’ve read today.
I’ve always wondered about Ma…
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Christine@TheAums September 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Glad you enjoyed it!


Brandi September 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Times are a’changin’!
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Christine@TheAums September 8, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Yes, indeed, Brandi!


Aleta September 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm

OMG, I used to love The Little House on the Prairie… but you’re right, even on the TV show, the Mom is always… a shadow.
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Christine@TheAums September 8, 2012 at 8:57 pm

I loved the books and TV series, too…so renting it on Netflix is still on the agenda…I’ll try to keep my sarcastic commentary to a minimum ;)


Emily September 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm

I’ve long had issues with that damned dress. Must be a really good corset.
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Christine@TheAums September 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I’m sure I skipped over reading some of that section out loud. Laura doesn’t shut up about Ma’s skinny waist!


Gina September 7, 2012 at 6:35 pm

This made me laugh so hard. All our Mom’s had the biggest crush on Michael Landon. Come to think of it he was pretty cute. But not cleaning in a snowstorm cute. Nope, I can’t relate either.


Christine@TheAums September 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Yes, I do recall my mom being fond of Highway to Heaven, too, LOL!


Rachee September 8, 2012 at 7:34 am

I always loved Little House but always thought something fishy was going on on that prairie. You nailed it for me! Ha! It makes me a little sad that the books and things I loved as a kid are now colored by my jaded adult eyes as well as the truth not being quite so pleasant to swallow.
Oh. And I got some serious side eye from the guard at the library I’m visiting due to my giggling and snickering.
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Christine@TheAums September 8, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Guard at the library?? That sounds pretty serious!


Kristi September 8, 2012 at 7:46 am

HAHAHA! I love it! I still love LHOTP but ya it would never happen like that now!
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Christine@TheAums September 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Thank you! Guess I haven’t stopped reading them yet…hard to break up with an old flame.


misssrobin September 8, 2012 at 8:13 am

I sometimes think back about those times and think how peaceful and how much more simple life would be without all the electronics and push to be everything. Then I remember the working from sun up to sun down just to stay alive.

Yeah, I’ll keep my internet.
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Christine@TheAums September 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Love your train of thought…right there with you!


Elizabeth September 8, 2012 at 10:24 am

I love your sarcasm!

And I wish I could be as cool, calm, and collected as Ma, but that would require me to get a lobotomy.
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Christine@TheAums September 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm

No kidding, Elizabeth!


Kate / Pennello Lane September 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Too funny! I loved Little House too, but you’re right, Ma was too calm. “Oh Charles….” Thanks for the chuckle! (visiting from Saturday Sharefest) :)
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Christine@TheAums September 8, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Thanks for visiting…and laughing!


MryJhnsn September 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm

And, this is why you are the Aums Mom ;)


Christine@TheAums September 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Thanks, Mary!


Alison September 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm

*snort* Too funny!

(now I want to go watch some Little House on the Prairie!)
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Christine@TheAums September 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm
Tracie September 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm

That post really makes me want to go back and watch it – if only to see if it was that crazy. I mostly remember complaining each time the plot line didn’t follow the books, so I think I missed a lot of those moments when I watched the show.
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Tracey Black September 8, 2012 at 11:39 pm

This posted cracked me up. The “kids should be seen not heard” motto would never hold up in my household too. If I can’t hear my kids I’m automatically suspicious they’re up to something.
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Christine@TheAums September 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Ain’t that the truth!


Ginny Marie September 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm

My husband first read the first four books to my daughter, and he came to them without the memories we have. His favorite parts were of Ma making cheese and Pa killing the pig! (He’s all about food.)
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Beth @ Hungry Happenings September 15, 2012 at 4:36 am

Hilarious. As a girl, I dreamed of living in the Ingalls family. As an adult, I too can’t imagine what it would be like to live in that world of calm. Heaven, I suppose.


Christine@TheAums September 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm

It’s nice to see by book 5 Ma really starts letting Pa have it. Of course she apologizes immediately after.


Rebecca Rider September 15, 2012 at 9:28 am

Too funny! Thanks for the laugh today!
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Christine@TheAums September 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm

You’re welcome :)


OneMommy September 15, 2012 at 10:49 am

Love it!
I have to say, I never thought of it, but, nope, my life sure ain’t anything like Ma’s life in Little House on the Prairie!


Christine@TheAums September 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm

And you should be thankful! I know I am!


Leah September 15, 2012 at 11:57 am

Hilarious! I LOVE your version at the end! You should write a whole series of Bigger House Not on the Prairie
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Christine@TheAums September 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm

That was my favorite part to write, Leah, and getting stuck in traffic on an L.A. freeway with an empty gas tank really did happen! I love your title for a possible book!


Tracie September 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Bwahahaha! This is SO funny!

The Little House on the Prairie series is on our reading list this year, and I’m already seeing that I’m going to have different feelings about it now than I did when I was a child. Oh how things change.

I love the “Little House-ified” version of your road trip. So good.
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Christine@TheAums September 15, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Just try to keep your commentary, eye rolls, and laughter to yourself when reading to the kids.


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