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Getting wisdom teeth out makes them babies again

By Lisa Sugarman

I’m a firm believer that there’s humor in just about everything. With obvious exceptions like death and illness and a few others, of course. So when my oldest daughter, just north of nineteen, found out she needed another wisdom tooth pulled, I couldn’t help but see the yin and the yang in that situation. I knew it was gonna be tough for her but hilarious for me. wisdom-teeth-come-out-1

Now don’t jump to conclusions that I’m some heartless mom-witch who likes to see her child suffer. There’s no Munchausen syndrome by proxy here, don’t worry. I don’t get off on my kid’s pain. What I do get off on is seeing her doped up on Vicodin and slavering on herself. That’s like found money.

And if you’ve ever had a kid who’s had major dental surgery, like a wisdom tooth extraction, then you get it. While we’re basically their indentured servant for a couple of days, we do get the hidden benefit of watching them dribble and salivate all over themselves when they miss their mouth with the water glass, not to mention talk like lunatics while they’re all doped up. (As a parent, I take whatever entertainment I can get.)

Believe me, very little in this world is as funny as a kid coming out of anesthesia. The things that get said and done are some of the most unique and organic forms of entertainment out there.

Like the girl who came out of anesthesia crying over the fact that she didn’t wake up as rapper Nicki Minaj. If you’re not one of the over four million people to see the video her husband shot, you need to, because it’s wet-your-pants hilarious. And the best part is that it’s completely unscripted, raw comedy.

This girl was so out of her mind when she woke up, that she was in tears over the fact that she wasn’t black and didn’t have Nicki’s butt. Oh, and she was also distraught that she didn’t wake up as best friends with Ellen DeGeneres. Like you just can’t make this stuff up. Click here to watch the video. (But go to the bathroom before you do, cause you’ll pee yourself, that’s how funny it is.)3752366_awkward-moments-after-wisdom-tooth-surgery_b4023179_m

In Riley’s case, though, because she only had one tooth that needed to come out this time around, she wasn’t under that long, so the degree of loopiness was significantly less. Regardless, it was still an entertaining little dinner show for us.

Oh, hi muuuuuuummy. [Eyes super wide and stoned-like]. I saw a Pokémon run through here when I woke up. And I also think I said some swear words. Hee hee, sorry. Those were her first words to me post-surgery. And I literally almost peed myself right there in the recovery room.

Then she had me super-serious video a message to her sister that, in no uncertain terms, insisted that Libby was absolutely going to share the video with the entire free world. Yet she made me film it anyway. Good stuff.

I mean, it’s obviously funny when we watch other people being goofy like that, but when it’s our own kid saying and doing off-the-wall stuff like that, it’s priceless. And when you combine that with them being a little needy for the first time in years, it’s really a rare kind of happening.

For the first time since she was little, Riley let me take care of her. Let me wipe the milkshake off her chin when she couldn’t feel it dribbling down. Let me sit on the edge of her bed and watch hilarious videos of wisdom-tooth patients post-surgery. She reverted back to the vulnerable little girl I used to snuggle and take care of when she was sick. And I’ll be honest, a part of me was relishing in it.

What can I say, I took an incredible amount of pride and satisfaction in the fact that I was the preferred ice-pack deliverer and watermelon-cutter. Apparently Riley didn’t think Dave could cube up watermelon and put it in a bowl quite like me, because she only wanted me. And between you and me, it made me feel wanted and needed in a way that I haven’t for a long time.FFCFT87ICX7NNHQ_LARGE

Because you have to keep in mind that aside from allowing me the “gift” of doing her laundry from time to time, my fiercely independent daughter has no real interest anymore in being mothered. She wants to take care of herself and as much as I try to sometimes, I can’t fault her for it. It’s actually the cycle of life. And while I try not to take it personally and understand that learning to live her own life is a rite of passage, it still stings that she doesn’t need me as much anymore.

I guess that’s why her being helpless and needy (and pathetic) after her surgery was such an unexpected gift for me. It gave me a chance to be a real mom to her again, while providing some legitimate comic relief. So if it wasn’t illegal, I might actually consider mixing a little hydrocodone into her juice every morning just so I can relive the magic every single day.

Lisa Sugarman lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Read and discuss all her columns at www.lisasugarman.com. She is also the author of LIFE: It Is What It Is available on Amazon.com and at select Whole Foods Market stores.

It’s not adulting, guys, it’s just living

By Lisa Sugarman

There’s a pop culture verb floating around out there that I’m wondering if you’ve heard of yet. Maybe you recognize the word. Maybe you don’t. I mean, it is still pretty new. But make no mistake, the word adulting is real and it’s out there. And it totally fascinates me.

This new word, which I guess you could call a concept, has fast become a major buzzword out there in the mainstream, especially among millennials. Or with anyone talking about millennials. So if, by some freak chance, you haven’t come across it yet, you will. And now, when you do, you won’t feel stupid.doneadulting46

Personally, I feel like I’m hearing or reading about adulting everywhere lately; so it felt worthy of a little extra attention. Because I love a good cultural phenomena.

Before we talk about the actual word in any detail, though, like what it really refers to or how it even came to be, I think it’s important to understand why the word refers exclusively to millennials. So here’s a little history…

In simple terms, millennials, aka Generation Y, are the demographic born between the early 1980s and early 2000. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, they’re actually the largest living population on the planet right now. So the word adulting was coined especially for them.

It’s a clever adaptation of a very old and very plain word that’s got linguists around the world and all the lexicographers at Dictionary.com salivating all over themselves. And that’s because, according to a recent article in Time.com, the word started out as just an ordinary noun and then evolved into a catchy verb that was then turned back into a clever noun. We’re talking Word-of-the-Year contender.

The guys at Urban Dictionary define it like this…

untitledAdulting (v): to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grownups. Used in a sentence: Jane is adulting quite well today as she is on time for work promptly at 8am and appears well groomed.

So to say someone is adulting has become a cheeky way of making fun of the fact that the majority of millennials are doing adult-like things much later in life than their baby boomer parents did, and their parents before them. In other words, millennials are getting married and having kids and buying houses and paying bills much later in life than past generations have, historically. Much, much later.

Ultimately (and unfortunately), that’s put millennials behind the eight ball when it comes to managing grown-up responsibilities. Which, in my opinion, isn’t good. And the simple reason why it’s not good is because these things that they’re putting off learning how to do are critical life skills that they can’t live without. Unless, of course, they’re planning on living in mommy and daddy’s basement forever.

Now sure, millennials are tech-savvy and more aware of what’s going on in the world than we were back in the day, but too many of them still don’t know what it means to pay rent or work fulltime or shop or cook for themselves. And that’s because they haven’t been expected to do those things the way earlier generations were. So consequently, they perceive those things (when they do do them) like accomplishments. Like they’re playing grownup.art-of-adulting

What I find so interesting is that the very nature of the word adulting implies pretty heavily that growing up is a conscious choice rather than just a natural evolution. I mean, it’s just so funny to me that so many millennials are tossing around #adulting all over social media when they do things like cook a meal or pay bills or work an eight-hour day. Because those are normal, routine, day-to-day things that are just a part of life as an adult. But that’s the thing, a lot of millennials don’t see them that way, which is why the word has become so popular with that generation.

I just think the whole concept is comical (and maybe even a little disturbing). That’s probably because one of my two kids is a millennial right now. And as much as Dave and I have consciously, actively raised her to be independent and comfortable doing grown-up stuff, it still cracks me up when she makes a big deal about going to the bank to deposit her paycheck. Because, to her, doing something as simple as cashing her check feels like such an adult thing to do. And she’s still so inclined to ask me to do it for her. Which is why she’s totally adulting on the rare occasion when she does it herself.nopenotadulting

And the doing-it-for-her part is on me. Because I’ll be the first to admit that I do that sort of thing for my kids all the time. We all do. More out of habit and courtesy if I’m already going to the bank or doing the laundry. But we can’t anymore. Or, rather, we shouldn’t. Because the more we keep them from becoming legit adults themselves, the worse off this next generation will be. So sorry, babe. From now on, it’s just life. #justliving

Lisa Sugarman lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Read and discuss all her columns at http://www.lisasugarman.com. She is also the author of LIFE: It Is What It Is available on Amazon.com and at select Whole Foods Market stores.


Parenthood: If something can happen, chances are it will

By Lisa Sugarman

There are certain crazy, seemingly impossible things that happen to us every day—stuff that, even if we tried really hard to make them up, we couldn’t. And throw some kids into the mix and you’ve just elevated the list of outrageous things that can happen to a whole new level.

Take last night. My sixteen-year-old daughter asked if we could go for ice cream. A totally appropriate request for a steamy Thursday night in July, right? What could possibly go wrong? Yeah, well…murphys+law

So, of course, being the stellar mom that I am, we went. And for the first eleven seconds that we were in the ice cream shop, everything was peachy. It was at second twelve that the wheels came off the bus.

A muffled, Oh, God, was all I heard as I was just about to order. Which was quickly followed by, That did not just happen to me. So right away I know that whatever just happened three inches behind me was not good. Not words you want to hear out of your kid at nine-fifteen at night when all you want to do is peacefully lick on your soft serve and go home to bed.

Now, as a parent of a teenage daughter I won’t lie, I was heavily inclined to just keep facing forward and pretend she wasn’t my kid. But genetics are strong little things. Needless to say, I turned. And what I found was almost too ridiculous to believe.

There she was, standing against the counter, hunched over, and staring down into the three-quarter-inch space between the counter and the ice cream freezer (you know, the giant-size kind that holds like twelve containers of ice cream and weighs around two thousand pounds). Wanna guess what somehow magically slid out of her hand and fell directly, perfectly, almost comically down that little black hole? Yep. Her brand spankin’ new iPhone. Oh yeah. Gone. Gonzo. Bye-bye. Ciao.FullSizeRender

Also wanna know what can make every ounce of color and fluid drain out of a sixteen-year-old-girl’s face faster than anything else? Watch them watch their entire digital world slide into the abyss.

I mean, if you had been there seeing the size of this teeny, tiny little crevice, you would’ve just started laugh-crying, which is more or less what I did, after the initial shock wore off. It was literally, physically impossible that that phone fit into that space without a carefully orchestrated move on her part. But the fact is, it was an accident. A complete fluke. A one in a million. And even though Libby knew I knew that, the vein in her forehead still started bulging.

Of course, she immediately assumed she was S-O-L and her phone was gone for good. Typical kid move. And although I tried to assure her that we had options, she wasn’t hearing me. She had blocked all forms of rational thought. But as far as I was concerned, all we needed to do was move the seven-ton freezer back far enough to reach an arm down and grab it. Which would’ve been potentially doable if the owner was there and if there were more than two people working and if they weren’t closing soon.

Fortunately for her, I’m a problem-solver. And I’m a frugal mom who was not about to lose a crazy-expensive smartphone to some oversized, antiquated freezer unit. Not on my watch. This was going to involve some creative thinking, resourcefulness, and expert hand-eye coordination. Totally my wheelhouse.

So in my head, I was formulating a plan. A plan that was either going to fail miserably or elevate me to an urban legend in my tiny little town. (And I’ve always wanted to be a legend, so…)

But I needed to be systematic about The Plan. I needed to ditch the kid, whose bulging head vein and bloodshot eyes were acting as a distraction, and go get the right tool for the job. That tool being a long steel rod of some kind with a perfectly placed little hook-thingy on the end. And it just so happened we had that exact thing back at the house. It was the tool we use once a year to crank our ski carrier up to the ceiling in the garage, of course. It was just the thing and I knew it would work. (I was doing a lot of positive visualization to avoid getting too pissed at the situation.)IMG_0525

Fifteen minutes later, I walked back into the ice cream shop with my steel rod, a fireplace poker, and my putter over my shoulder. (I needed options just in case.) Ninety seconds after that I had done the impossible. I had fished out her phone—fully intact and buzzing with two hundred new Snapchat notifications. BOOM! Who’s the urban legend now, baby!?

So here’s the takeaway… Life is actually one, long comedy. It really is most of the time. Ridiculous situations are everywhere and we just need to expect that stupid, seemingly impossible things are going to happen every day. We just need to do our best to laugh them off, wherever they come from, and learn to deal. And may I suggest keeping a four-foot-long metal rod in the trunk just in case.

Lisa Sugarman lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Read and discuss all her columns at www.lisasugarman.com. She is also the author of LIFE: It Is What It Is available on Amazon.com and at select Whole Foods Market stores.


Sunscreen…it’s just common sense

By Lisa Sugarman

My children are occasionally idiots. Sorry, but they are. And I’m guessing yours are, too, at times.

Now I love both my girls to death and have nothing but immense pride in who they’ve become as people. Because, in my eyes, they’re both just left of perfect. But I’m openly calling them idiots because they often don’t use that squishy melon inside their heads called a brain when it comes to making good common sense decisions…like wearing sunscreen.

Yes, sunscreen. It’s a constant battle in my house and I just can’t, for the life of me, understand why it’s such an issue. I mean, sun burns human skin. Period. And people who go out in the hot sun for any length of time will more than likely burn said skin if they don’t use sunscreen. Correct?o-SUNBURN-facebook

Well, my children, with their ironically fair skin, seem to think that they’re immune to sunburns. And because of that, they often skip out of the house on hot summer days with nothing but a tank top and a ponytail holder on. Do you have sunblock on? I’ll always ask. I don’t burn, they’ll say. To which I say, Yes you will. To which they say, No I won’t. (This usually goes around and around a while until I just give up and say, Well, the aloe is in the closet when you get home.) Because at this stage of the game, there’s only so much I can do as a parent to influence their decisions now that they’re adults.

It just doesn’t make any sense to me. I mean, they’re smart kids with just about everything else. They’ve got good judgement and good common sense, but where this one thing is concerned, they’re both ignoramuses.

It was easy when they were kids and the summertime routine always included a quick trip out to the deck to be hosed down with a can of SPF 50. Easy peasy. But you know kids, once they get older they get smarter than everyone else around them, including and especially their parents.sun

So, I just give out the daily reminders and make sure there’s a spray bottle of sunblock every ten feet in the house and then I cross my fingers and hope for the best. Because, at the end of the day, there’s only so much that a mom or a dad can do in terms of asserting authority once our kids start adulting. It’s not like I can say, I’m not sending you back to college in the fall if you don’t wear sunscreen. (Even though I’d like to.) There are just some lessons that are best learned the hard way.

Like how their dad learned thirty years ago that it’s a horrible idea to slather on tanning oil when you’re lying out in the hundred-degree heat on the banks of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. Bad idea. Awful. Needless to say, it did not go well. In fact, it was an epic fail that resulted in Dave and all his shmuck-ball friends getting second-degree burns and spending time in the kibbutz infirmary. Good life lesson, though. Never went without sunscreen again.

And of course we’ve both shared that story with our girls multiple times over the years, but because it’s only a one-dimensional story to them that happened to someone else, it really wasn’t all that impactful. Clearly, because they still somehow think they were raised on the Italian coast and have olive skin that just tans when exposed to the slightest bit of sunlight.

Now of course we’ve had the skin cancer talk. Which, again, didn’t leave much of an impression, sadly, because it’s hard for them to think in terms of thirty or forty years down the line. Which I get, because I was that way when I was in high school and all I wanted was a deep, dark tropical tan that would make all my whites pop. So instead, I just keep bugging them and shoving bottles of Banana Boat in their bags, hoping that they’ll eventually realize that there’s no excuse for getting sun burned.rsz_shutterstock_399970786-566x401

Over time, though, I’m sure they’ll figure out that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. (Corny, but appropriate.) In fact, I think Riley’s recent sunburn may have given her a healthy dose of perspective (not to mention pain). Pretty sure she’s been hitting the sunscreen bottle hard ever since.

It’s like I always say, the hardest lessons are usually the ones we learn the best.

I’ve always been a big believer that we all figure out these life lesson-type things sooner or later. And while some of us may take a little longer than others to get there, we all usually make it one way or another.

Lisa Sugarman lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Read and discuss all her columns at http://www.lisasugarman.com. She is also the author of LIFE: It Is What It Is available on Amazon.com and at select Whole Foods Market stores.