several days last summer, this song, sung in a low bluesy voice allowed me to
apply sunscreen to my suspicious son: "We're gonna put your sunscreen on/So you
don't get a sunburn/and then it would be ouchy/and you might get melanoma/and
then you'd be sorry/you didn't put your sunscreen on/down by the river/put your
damn sunscreen on."
Smear as fast as you can before she runs away shrieking.
your child a sense of control by allowing her to first apply sunscreen to your
face. After 35 minutes of trying to sit still while she finger paints your
eyebrows, you squeeze a dab of sunscreen onto your finger and sneak your
fingers toward her little arm. Smear as fast as you can before she runs away
shrieking. Forget that you have unsavory, creamy smears on your face until
later, when that cute dad at the beach raises his eyebrows.
3. The Hold Down
pin your son's arms down and rub the sunscreen on as fast as you can. He
screams as if someone was giving him 27 flu shots. In the eye. You wonder why
no one told you having children meant you'd spend hours trying to protect your
child's skin from burns and cancer and premature aging. You think, "I could be Netflix binging/working/drinking
right now instead of walking through this fresh summer hell."
4. The Polka Dot
"Hey Sweetie! I'm going to make polka dots on you, OK?" you sing.
Miraculously, your girl's eyes light up. You hesitantly reach your fingers to
her face, dabbing a series of dots across her face and arms. She stands there
still as a lamp post with a goofy grin on her face. "I am a freaking sunscreen ninja," you think. And you are. Until
tomorrow, when she runs away screaming.
5. The Fuck It
an enormous hat, a long-sleeved clothes and a surgical mask on your child,
despite it being 90 degrees out. They look like Michael Jackson trying to be
incognito, but you no longer care.
6. The Surprise Attack
While your son is peacefully arranging his toy cars into surprisingly complex
lines, dab sunscreen across both of your palms and all fingers. Crouch down,
preparing to attack. Pop up behind him, possibly saying, "boogly boogly boo!"
and apply sunscreen rapidly. Rub as much in as possible while he's frozen in
Leave gobs of half-rubbed-in sunscreen on their faces. This is not a job
half-done—those are battle scars, mama. Walk proud. Other parents will see this
and recognize what you've been through, smudged across your kids' face, and
they will nod in solidarity.
Don't worry, moms and dads—only three more months until