Cathy Cantu - The Frazzled Mom
I love the circus, and I even volunteered to be in a skit with a clown once. I didn’t know what I was getting into—kind of like motherhood. My three kids built a three-ring theater of chaos, creating a whirlwind of mayhem and magic. I’m Bozo with funny make-up and clothes, trying to force all of them and their gear into a tiny clown car, and sometimes trying to force them into my version of what the circus should look like. Both endeavors are usually unsuccessful.
Managing my teenagers is like herding the big cats into the main arena when they know the smell of the raw meat is not coming from anywhere near there. They know that if they remain distracted, they can make a mockery of the poor lion tamer and avoid doing any tricks in the center ring—or the laundry room.
Actually, distraction is an art form they’ve perfected. Late one night I yelled upstairs and asked my exhausted, giddy girls for their soccer uniforms so I could wash them. They were lying on the floor upstairs, and from below, I could only see their bare feet kicking the bannister and hear their giggling.
Me: Go get your uniforms! I need to wash them!
C: Mooooommm, we’ll just wear them dirty. I was almost asleep.
B: Yeah, I was getting under the covers.
Me: I want you to get your uniforms.
C: I want a golden toilet seat.
Me: (laughing) What jersey number are you?
C to B: Don’t make eye contact with her, you’ll turn into a (incomprehensible mumble). Do you know what number I am?
B to C: Why are you asking me?
C to B: ‘Cause it’s your turn to keep me.
B to C: Keep you doing what?
Me (hearing their conversation): I am gonna keep pestering you!
C: Mom, you’re such a NAG!!
B: Yeah, NAG-a-ramus, NAG-a-pottamus
C: NAGmeister, NAG me with a spoon
Me: Where did you hear that?
C: The Austin Powers movie.
Me: When did you see it?
C: Dad let me. He’s fun.
Me: Being fun is not my job. Where are your uniforms?
C: Mooooommm! Stop nagging. You nag ALL the time!
B: Yeah, ALLLL. Dad doesn’t nag. He’s fun.
This is the sweet stuff of my life. My kids sprinkle Gobstoppers and Gummy Bears into my single-scoop, vanilla world, and give me a delicious zest for life—and sometimes brain-freeze. They are the essence of bedlam and bliss, a beautiful mess all wrapped up in sugar and sass and stinky cleats.
fotocommunity.com by Rix Weber
I never had siblings so their relationship captivates me. Laughter and late-night whispering weave their teenage hearts together, forming a sacred sister-bond of private affairs and pinky swears. I marvel at the rhythm of their dance, an interplay in which they are as opposite as oil and water and as intimate as peanut butter and jelly.
I love getting to watch them every day in their center-ring silliness. I don’t even mind being the clown. However, I’m pretty sure Bozo never nags.