What's a Mother To Do?

What’s a Mother To Do?
by Ann Edwards Cannon

on the cover:
Being a mother may not seem that amusing to, well, mothers. But the way Ann Edwards Cannon tells it—drawing on real-life experiences that will remind readers of their own most embarrassing family moments—parenting can be as hilarious and unpredictable as any situation comedy. Like when her kids forgot to tell her about the police officers waiting for her in the front room…or when her youngest refused her collect long-distance telephone call home!

She despairs at being able to master such essential mothering skills as the mysterious watermelon thump at the grocery store, and she worries that her children suffer. Because as she has learned: we pass on our goofiest genes to our kids.

about the author: Ann Edwards Cannon (class of Provo High ’74) is the author of seven books, two of which—Amazing Gracie and The Shadow Brothers—were named Best Young Adult Book of the Year by the American Library Association. (What’s a Mother to Do? Is her first book for grown-ups.) She writes for the Deseret News, Dialogue, Exponent II, the New Era, Parent Express, Teen, and This People.

She is the daughter of Wyoming rodeo queen Patti Louise Covey and Utah State University linebacker LaVell Edwards—which may explain a lot. She and her baseball-historian husband, Ken, have five sons: Philip, Alec, Dylan, Geoffrey, and Quinton. According to a bumper sticker on the family minivan, she once dated Jimi Hendrix, but she says that part is a lie. The rest is real.

title page:
What’s a Mother to Do?
by Ann Edwards Cannon
Signature Books
Salt Lake City

copyright page:
What’s a Mother to Do? was printed on acid-free paper
and was composed, printed, and bound in the United States.
© 1997 by Ann Edwards Cannon
Signature Books is a registered trademark of Signature Books, Inc.
2001  2000  99  98  97   5 4 3 2 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication-Data
What’s a mother to do? / by Ann Edwards Cannon.
p. cm.
1. American wit and humor.  I. Title.
PN6162.V26  1997
814′.54–dc21  97-28908
ISBN 1-56085-095-7 (pbk. : alk.paper)

dedication page:
This book is dedicated to my mother
Patti Louise Covey Edwards
a woman of
rare graciousness, generosity, and good humor.

Acknowledgements [see below]

You Say Tomato: The Real Difference between Men and Women
01 – The Real Difference between Men and Women
02 – The Real Difference between Men and Women, Part II
03 – How Guys Impress Girls: The Formative Years
04 – The True Reason Why Guys Have Been in Charge of the World
05 – Real Men Don’t Have Babies
06 – How Not to Act When Your Husband Gets a Speeding Ticket
07 – Telephone Trauma

Gotcha: The Kids
08 – Gotcha!
09 – How to Fight Like a Five-Year-Old
10 – Playing Games
11 – The Stare
12 – Say Cowabunga, Dude
13 – How to Tell Children from Adults
14 – The Information Gap
15 – Teenagori
16 – Goodbye, Donatello

Fashion Folly
17 – Fashion Folly
18 – Fashion Folly II: The Pool Party
19 – Jazz Dancer
20 – Hair Anxiety
21 – ‘Tis the Season for Football
22 – Power Whining n the 1990s
23 – Reflections on the Fondue

Some Shallow Thoughts on Man’s Best Friend
24 – The True Reason Why Dog Is My Best Friend
25 – My Telephone Call with a Social Worker
26 – How to Enhance Your Own Self-Esteem
27 – Dog on a Diet
28 – Why I Truly Believe that Cats Are as Stupid as Dogs

Weird Science
29 – Biology Is Destiny
30 – Infectious Disease: The Gift That Keeps on Giving
31 – Back to Biology
32 – The Load That Is Laundry
33 – My Politeness Problem
34 – A Good Melon Is Hard to Find
35 – High-Tech Boots
36 – The Mysterious Explaining Disease

In Praise of Older Women
37 – In Praise of Older Women
38 – Life with Mother
39 – The Red Bag

And So On and So Forth
40 – Wimps Need Not Apply
41 – Travel with Family
42 – Resolutions
43 – More Resolutions
44 – Haughty Beauty
45 – Why I Love the Soaps

Christmas Cheers
46 – Pregnant Ho! H0! Ho!
47 – A Christmas Wish
48 – The Year My Brothers and I Turned into the Herdmans
49 – Christmas Doll


I wish to thank those persons who, over the past ten years, have made these essays possible: Karen Hale and Jeanne Jardine, owners an editors of Parent Express; Keith and Maryjane Whisenant, owners and publishers of This People magazine; Bill Smart, Maurine and Scot Proctor, and Jim Bell, editors of  This People magazine; and most especially Patty Kimball, founder of Parent Express, who started the whole thing.