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The Laughing Mom: humorous tales of motherhood PDF Print E-mail
Written by Susan Pfaltzgraff   

My secret identity

Dear readers, I sit quietly at my computer to write these columns, tucked in the corner of a room near a window where I can see the chickens wandering in and out of the lilac bushes. I always write while my 2-year-old daughter, Melise, is napping—the only time when the house is quiet and still. My 2-month-old daughter, Alina, nurses contentedly in my lap as I type.

From this secluded bubble of household harmony I send my columns out across cyberspace to be printed on paper and delivered to the public eye. As soon as it is done—after Melise awakes and our home becomes chaotic again—I almost forget what I have written. And I completely forget that someone is out there reading it!

So, I go about my life without thinking about myself as “The Laughing Mom.” I am simply her alter-ego: Ms. Pfaltzgraff, or “Mommy” to certain individuals.

I have myself so brainwashed that several times acquaintances have said to me, “That was so funny when Melise did such-and-such,” and my response has been, “How did you know about that?” Well, they read it in my column, of course!

The other day I was at Wal-Mart doing our semi-regular shopping trip. My mother, aka Grammy, was helping, which was much needed as I am still trying to figure out how to juggle two children. One would think that two adults could handle two children effectively, but we could barely hold everything together.

We entered Wal-Mart in perfect order. Alina and her car seat were perched securely on the grocery cart and Melise was helping Grammy push. I held the grocery list and navigated our path through the store. We retrieved the first item without hassle, but by the second item Alina was crying. I lifted Alina out of her seat and bounced her on my shoulder. As we gathered item number three, my mom took Alina from me so I could think straight enough to find my way to number four.

Melise began to grow impatient with our slow progress through the store and walked off in the opposite direction from us. I realized at this point that we were losing control, so I crossed three non-necessary things off the list to shorten the trip. Then I handed the grocery list to Grammy and ran to catch Melise.

Holding Melise’s hand (somewhat unwillingly on her part), we found our way back to Grammy by Alina’s cries. I took the crying baby in my free arm and steered the resisting toddler toward the produce section. Grammy realized she had missed an item and ran off to find it.

Left alone, I slowly fell apart. Alina started howling, so I let go of Melise’s hand in order to better handle her. Melise immediately ran the other direction. I ran after her, grabbed her hand and hauled her back toward the produce. At this point, I’m sure I looked incredibly frazzled with a screaming infant in one arm and a protesting toddler at the end of the other.

And that’s when I heard a woman say, “Don’t you write The Laughing Mom column?”

I’m sure my face turned bright red. For a brief moment I actually hoped she wasn’t talking to me! But, of course, she was. I was sure that my appearance was permanently damaging the public image of The Laughing Mom!

Luckily, that reader had true sympathy for a struggling mom and only gave me warm wishes. Hopefully you will all do the same if you happen to witness me wallowing my way from one awkward parenting moment to the next!