If you ask my children, I am the meanest mother in the world for making them wear sunscreen and hats, but especially sunscreen.
While we were in Florida, especially with my parents, I saw many versions of us. You could tell who’d come down to visit their grandmas and papas. Over and over, I saw us. Three generations: the oldest, native, tan, and aglow with love and pride. Their visiting children, pasty, slightly nervous, and desperately seeking shade, water, and/or alcohol. The grandchildren, sporting bright and cheerful clothes and hats, giddy with attention and spoils.
Happiness won’t protect your skin, Little Ones!
Yes, Moo tans, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t need sunscreen. I use the spray stuff on her body, but cream for her face.
Everyone gets the special face stuff, because way too much sensitive skin in our family. Skin could be its own blog post, but I’ll spare you.
Sassy is so thin-skinned and fair, she gets chaffed from pool noodles, life vests, or wet socks. I wish I was kidding. She gets this from her father, who wears hats and long-sleeved shirts into the sea. Sassy gets coated like I do. And then re-coated like I do.
On the first day out, Sassy got pink shoulders. And lemme tell you, she complained plenty. And there I was, the wonderful mother I am, “Can you imagine how much pain you’d be in without the sunscreen?!?” She knows.
(Once they’re eight, they know everything. This lasts a decade or so.)
By morning, she was no longer pink.
Moo got pink shoulders on the fourth day, but that only lasted about two hours, and then she became tanner, and none of us were jealous and she didn’t gloat at all, and we didn’t all want to smack her.
The boy one voluntarily applied sunscreen and donned a hat while I beamed with pride.
The Mister broke down and let me apply sunscreen to his neck, and also yielded to my argument that he needed the face cream, since the sun reflects off the sand and sea, even under his hat. You’d think the years he spent in the desert would have made that argument for me, but no…
I was careful about my sunscreen application. I not only burn, but blister easily — and get sun poisoning, and end up quite sick! Sixty-four ounces of prevention is worth not going to the doctor. I put the special face stuff on my face and chest. I put the cream sunscreen on my body, and The Mister coated my back. I pretty much wore hats the entire time.
You know those car sun visors are useless for short people, right? But the brim of my hat can shield a small village.
THIS was my sun exposure:
Just in case, I ate a plate of cookies and drank a lot.
Can you see the face of a laughing fish? Do you have any weird sunscreen fails? Do you take sun exposure seriously?