My husband is the sunblock police. We were recently on vacation, and I swear, every time I turned around, he was applying another layer on our 14-month-old. He practically followed her around with the bottle in his hand for 5 straight days. (It really was so cute.) He was the one who burned the crap out of his own back on our first day there, however, and is still peeling a week after leaving paradise, but that’s another story… oftentimes his burns on his backside are (self-admittedly) my fault because I don’t apply it–at least on him–as if I am going to win an award for covering every millimeter of skin evenly (like he does). He often has finger marks and handprints on the edges of his back from me hurriedly slapping some lotion on him–oops. Sorry, Dear. “I swear, I got everything!” I always tell him that night as he scowls at me and points out my own non-burned back, thanks to his tedious application process. That’s when I give him my most charming, cheesy smile, and say in a singsong voice with a tip of my head, “Aren’t you glad you get to spend your whole life with me?!” I usually follow it up with, “… and you’re perfect, by the way.” His favorite reply: “Why, thank you…” And I’m out of the doghouse, just like that. :)
This time when he got the worst burn I’ve ever seen him with, however, it was his own darn fault–he should have used a higher SPF and had someone reapply it after I took the baby up for her nap. Yes, he was fried, but he was EVENLY fried this time, people!! I did my part, thank you very much.
Now that you have all the background information, you can see why my hubby isn’t exactly receptive to me telling him that I have a better way of applying sunblock to our children’s faces. He likes to kneel in front of them so he can see what he’s doing (he doesn’t want to miss a spot!), and he practically sticks in his fingers in their eyeballs as they groan and try to back away from him.
“This is important!! You don’t want to burn, kids!!! Stay still!” (more eye-poking…)
“Can we just have Mom do our faces??!!”
What was that, kids? You want your mother to apply your sunblock, you say? The one Daddy thinks is totally incompetent in that department??
All I can do is smile and shrug my shoulders… Mommy has a better method than Daddy–ha! Take that, Sunblock Police!
My thought-process is simple, really. When you put sunblock on your own face, you rub it in your hands, and then your hands naturally contour over your face as you reach up to apply it. It’s easy to apply evenly, and it’s comfortable. (When was the last time you poked yourself in the eye while putting on sunblock?) So when you apply sunblock to another person’s face, it makes more sense to stand behind them so you imitate what it’s like to put it on yourself. Your child is also knocked around a lot less because your body kind of anchors them. It’s so much easier than facing them where your fingers can’t cup naturally around their face. You will still apply it well from the back–just have your kids close their eyes and rub their face thoroughly. You’ll even be able to get their lips and eyelids this way. (Try it right now on your own face–reach up and see what I’m talking about… makes sense, right?)
The above scene (where my kids requested that yours truly save the day!) happened more than once, so my husband finally gave up and awarded me official “face duty”. (Hey, I did win an award after all!) But that’s all I’m allowed–faces. And his back, of course–trust me, he would apply the sunblock himself back there if he could reach. But until he figures out a way to do that, he’s got me! Lucky man. :)
This tip isn’t rocket science, but I hope it’s been helpful nonetheless. You’ll have to give it a whirl and see if you think it makes life a little bit easier for you during these hot summer months! Most kids cannot stand being patient while their parents apply sunblock because they just want to go play already!! So maybe this tip will make that process slightly less painful for all of you!
Don’t forget to check back each Friday for another quick tip or idea!
Do you prefer spray sunblock or lotion? The spray has been great for kids because you can apply it quickly, but I always worry that it’s not quite doing enough (and I don’t want to spray their faces–I still use lotion on their faces.) Thoughts?