I got a lot of advice from my last blog post about sunscreen. Everyone had a lot of advice on which brand of spray sunscreen was the best, and how to best apply it and keep it from opening in your purse and dousing what little money I have left. Thanks for that. But there is one piece of sunscreen advice that I have known for years and is worth repeating:
Apply sunscreen BEFORE you leave the house….especially if you have kids.
This was really easy to do last week when we were on vacation and the beach/pool area was a quick elevator ride down five flights. Now that we are back to our house, the beach requires a minimum of a 15 minute car ride. That might not sound like much to those of you who don’t live near the coast – but preparing for a 15 minute car ride with a 3 1/2 and a 2 year old sometimes can take an hour.
So, Sunday morning we decided that it was a gorgeous beach day, and that we would pack a big picnic lunch and head down to Bill Baggs State Park on Key Biscayne to spend the day. Of course, we decided this late on Sunday morning after our kick-ass housewarming party Saturday night where I got to play Marathon-girl, Donna Reid, and Joan Jett all at the same party [Rockstar blogpost coming shortly]. Perhaps we were not thinking as clearly as normal.
By the time we got everything packed, and loaded in the car, and then unloaded so Matilda could pee again, then loaded back up, I realized that I did not apply sunscreen to anyone of us. Fine. So I’m not Donna Reid ALL the time — what could be the harm? I’ll just slather us up when we get there, right?
Well, as most of you could probably guess, Lane fell asleep and Matilda cried once we got there. We did manage to get everyone over the boardwalk leading though the seagrapes and to a quiet place on the beach. Of course, Daddy, our faithful Sherpa, was left to bring the cooler, tent, chairs, towels, swim rings, and all other kitchen sink like items from the car while I attended to Sunscreen Duty. Imagine: two screaming, sand-riddled children that I am now coating with goo all while mildly hungover. Instills a piece of calm and tranquility in ya, don’t it?
Needless to say, this was not my best sunscreen work, but I thought it was just best to get it over with and head for the water.
Now, try this little experiment: Squish your face up like a 3 year old staring into the sunlight and try to apply lotion. Did you notice part of your face that you are likely to miss? Perhaps around the eyes? Yeah, me neither.
Of course, nobody cared while we were swimming or eating our lunch. I noticed while giving the kids a bath later that day that both had a rather…um…procyon lotor look to their face. And dammit, the back of my neck stung as well.