|Swimming in our pool, fully sunscreened|
The palms of my hands are never, ever, ever, ever going to get sunburned. Can that even happen? I don’t know. But if it could, mine wouldn’t. I’ve rubbed more sunscreen into the palms of my hands than most people put on in a life time. Four kids out into the sun equals lots of sunscreen application. And even the spray stuff you have to rub in some parts. It’s the way things are as a mom. You’re sun proof, and there are parts of you that have extra sunscreen protection because, well, you put too much on your hands for that tiny face and you’re not going to waste it. (Do you know how much that junk costs these days? I mean really, if they want us all to use it and they want to have a cancer free society, seems they could make the stuff a little cheaper. Don’t insurance companies have a stake in this? Probably why the stuff is so darned expensive.)
We have this ritual just about every day here. After morning snack, my children grab their swim suits from the bin by the back door. Monkey Man gets upset that his swim suit doesn’t look like Peanut and Bean’s swim suits. Peanut and Bean fuss that they don’t have matching swim suits. And they all strip down and get dressed in the living room leaving a trail of clothes that would make one believe that perhaps the rapture had happened, but God only took children who wear dirty play clothes. On with the suits and then the sunscreen. There are a few sunscreen rules here – 1) Mom is in charge of spray on sunscreen. No one else needs to be spraying anything on anyone’s body. 2) Your face has to have sunscreen, even in the parts that you squench up, so just hold still so I can get it and you can go swimming. 3) If you fight about sunscreen you will get the “without sunscreen you will get skin cancer. In the olden days they didn’t use sunscreen and that’s why Mimi had to have so many spots removed from her face” lecture. 4) No sunscreen = no outside. End of discussion. And so I lather them up and prepare for the pool. As I go outside I notice that my hands don’t tan as well as the rest of me. Why? Mom’s Sunscreen Rules. But that’s okay. They are protected. And my palms are safe forever.
All moms can relate. It’s our “take one for the team” sunscreen contract we make when our children are finally old enough to get out in the sun. Which for Bug is now. For Peanut I think I kept her away from the sun for months. Paranoid she’d spontaneously combust or something. Number four doesn’t get the same consideration. Not because I don’t love Bug, but because hey, by number four I know what works and doesn’t work. Doc W and I have come to an accord that I’ve mostly got this thing down pat and can do it fairly well. So don’t worry first time mommies … they won’t spontaneously combust, and they aren’t vampires (though some of you are probably genuinely sad about that since Edward is so amazing *gag*). So, moms of the world unite your pasty pale hands and hold on tight while you can to those most precious to you as they slip into the out of doors because you lathered them up with too much sunscreen.