Wednesday, July 26, 2006


My kids are getting dark. They spend a lot of time outside and at the pool. No matter how much sunscreen I coat them with, their skin seems to soak up the sun. And I guess it's genetic, because my skin does the same.

However, that doesn't mean I am pleased with their tans. On the contrary, I am very horrified about the fact that their skin cells are being damaged every time they step outside. I try my hardest to keep them in the shade and covered in sunscreen. But the damage, it keeps happening.

The other day my daughter looked up at me, looking very pleased, and stated that her skin was getting darker and darker. I was flabbergasted by her pleasure. And immediately I took steps to stop her misguided love of sun damage - or tanning as you sun-lovers might call it.

I told her that the darkening of her skin was actually the sun cooking her skin. Every time she goes outside, I informed her, she is being cooked. Well, I think that the cooking analogy might have scared her a little. She looked at me, with a very frightened look on her face, and said, "Cooking me?!?"

So score another bad parent point for me. Now I've made my daughter envision herself as the main dish served on a big platter with a little parsley garnish on the side - after she's been thoroughly cooked, that is.

(I seem to subscribe to the school of thought that thinks this: if a little bit of healthy fear is good, well, then let's go ahead and scare the shit out of them so it can be that much better. Um, mission accomplished.)

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