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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Sunblock or Your Sanity?

By Pam Moore

Thinking of taking your kids to the pool this summer? Follow these simple steps:

1. Tell kids you are going to the pool.

2. Say “No” for the 1,334,543rd time in response to the question “Are we leaving yet?”

3. Nicely ask children to come over to you for sunblock.

4. Tell children to come over to you for sunblock.

5. Fantasize about throwing said sunblock against the wall.

6. Explain in your calmest flight attendant voice how painful sunburn is and why sunblock is so important.

7. Offer a choice between putting on sunblock now and going to the pool or refusing sunblock and staying home.

8. Pat yourself on the back for employing the “give choices” technique from your parenting book. (No one else is going to congratulate you.)

9. Wonder why everyone makes a big deal about childbirth but no one ever talks about putting sunblock on the child once he or she is born.

10. Ask kids to please put their shoes on.

11. Tell kids its time to put shoes on.

12. Explain to kids in a voice that is about two octaves higher than your normal voice that the longer it takes to get out the door, the less time they will have to swim at the pool.

13. Say, “Guys, for real. This is the last time I’m going to ask you to put your shoes on.” (A blatant lie.)

14. Yell “Guys! Shoes!”

15. Collect shoes and offer kids the choice of putting on shoes now or carrying shoes to the car and putting them on at the pool.

16. Remind kids to use the bathroom before you go.

17. Ask them, “For real? No one needs the bathroom?”

18. Tell kids now would be a good time to use the restroom.

19. Mentally commit to wrestling kids out of wet swimsuits in a public restroom and then hoisting each child up to the sink in such a way that the counter is slammed against his or her stomach and your back is on the verge of breaking. Know that the motion-controlled paper towel dispenser will automatically and annoyingly spit out unnecessary towels while you wash the kids’ hands afterward.

20. Pee. Alone. Feel lucky to have this special moment all to yourself.

21. Shove your feet into your flip-flops, run out to the car, make sure everyone’s buckled, and book it to the pool. 

Originally published on Mazel Together.

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