THE BLOG
06/10/2014 10:15 am ET Updated Jun 01, 2016

How to Put Sunscreen on a Toddler

Alberto Pomares via Getty Images

1. Find a toddler. They're usually the two-foot-high maniacs running around the house with a fistful of Goldfish screaming, "Mine! Mine! Mine! Nooooo! Wahhh!" before crashing face-first into the coffee table.

2. Once said toddler is in your clutches, remove their clothing as fast as humanly possible. There is a 100 percent chance they will not be cooperative while this is happening, so begin by pulling their shirt over their head, thereby trapping their arms and face until it is once again safe to release them. They will then kick you.

3. Keeping one hand on the toddler, grab a bottle of sunscreen with the other. (Note: The brand of sunscreen doesn't matter, but if you have a boy toddler, do not buy a pink bottle because he will then say that it's only for "stoopid pwincesseth," and you will have to spend the next 20 minutes convincing him that sunscreen is not inherently gender-biased.)

4. Still keeping one hand on the toddler, fill a shot glass with sunscreen. Per child experts, this is the proper amount of lotion you will need to put on your child. Per mother experts, it is also the proper amount of whiskey you will need to put in yourself after a day of summer fun with your family.

5. Pour a bit of sunscreen onto your palm, then rub your hands together so it looks like you're wearing two white gloves. Hold up your hands in the ready position, stare the toddler dead in the eye, then whisper in your best Willem Dafoe voice, "Here comes the sunscreen fairy!"

6. Attack.

7. As toddler repeatedly screams, "NO, NO! IT BUR-UNS!" and you repeatedly scream, "HOLD STILL, CHUMP!", rub in the sunscreen as fast as your mothereffin' hands can move. Feet, toes, legs, torso; if there's skin, it's getting covered and it's getting covered good. As God is your witness, there will be no sunburns this year. Not on your damn watch.

8. If the situation devolves and the slippery toddler pulls the patented "limp fish" move and manages to escape, immediately give chase. The little ones are usually easily caught. However, if you're dealing with an Evil Genius Toddler (EGT), you may find yourself in a rather tense standoff situation as they scream, "You NOT the boss of me!" and threaten to roll their SPF-covered body all over your one nice piece of furniture. If this happens, resist all urges to maim their Elmo doll with a meat thermometer, and instead, calmly call for back-up.

9. When back-up (Daddy or a very capable dog) finally arrives, designate him as the Official Toddler Holder, then delicately, yet furiously, apply sunscreen to the little, unhappy face in front of you. Be sure to get the back of the neck and behind the ears, and if any lotion accidentally lands in the toddler's eyes, mouth or nose and causes them to start howling like your hairy aunt Linda getting her first Brazilian, simply wipe the lotion off and say, "Oops, sorry! But that wouldn't have happened if you'd stayed still like I asked you to, now would it? WOULD IT? Consequences, man."

10. Once every square inch of the toddler's body is covered in a thin, white layer of lotion, wrangle your child into his or her brightly colored swimwear. Depending on the amount of pushback you receive, this may turn into either a 30 Day Shred workout or an impromptu Pilates class. Hydrate as needed. (Also, as this may quickly become a two-person task, do not let the Official Toddler Handler go back to watching SportsCenter and/or chewing on his own leg until the mission has been completed.)

11. Now that the toddler has more sun protection than a cellar-dwelling creature in a hazmat suit waiting for the End Times, you're finally good to go. Fling open the front door, grab your family and head on out for your day of fun! You deserve it, Mommy! But don't forget: take along your shot glass because the sunscreen will need to be reapplied every two hours.

The whiskey, twice as often.

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