Sunscreen, Raccoon Poop, and Other Things Not to Worry About
"I got some sunscreen for the baby too."
I had been researching. Babies should be protected from the sun with shade, brimmed hats and sunglasses. Sunscreen is not recommended before six months. I had been googling. Best sunscreen for babies. Safest sunscreen for babies. Ten best sunscreens. Non-toxic. Natural. Non-toxic natural sunscreen guide. Sun Bum. Thinkbaby. Babo Botanicals. Honest Company. Beauty Counter.
My husband needed sunscreen for work. He returned from the drugstore with some for him and some for baby.
"What kind did you get?"
"I don't know. It just said baby on it."
Shortly after this exchange, I read Sarah Kallies' "Excuse Me While I Lather My Child in This Toxic Death Cream." http://sarahkallies.com/the-inkwell/2016/5/29/bgpi5orgbccncvahrbxp3x2ywoac48
It's a good read, and it hit close to home. She talks about sunscreen, the "toxic death cream" that she purchased that just so happens to top the list of worst sunscreens. She talks about all the rules when it comes to parenting nowadays. The overwhelming, exhausting list of rules. It's really funny, and it also made me change my perspective. Or, rather, gain some perspective.
Not much later, I was scrolling Facebook and happened across Today Parent's article, "Summer Safety: 13 Surprising Summertime Dangers." https://www.todaysparent.com/family/family-health/surprising-summertime-dangers/#gallery/summer-safety-surprising-summertime-hazards/12
There are so many of these lists on the internet, clickbait for the anxious mind. Just googling "summer risks for babies" results in dozens of articles: 9 Surprising Summer Dangers for Baby, Top 10 Summer Dangers to Kids, 8 Summer Safety Tips for Baby. And on and on. Of course, I clicked through this particular list, which includes: overheated garden hoses, wire grill brushes, trampolines, hot slides, mesh lining in swim trunks, hot dogs, marshmallows, ice cubes, hot splash pads, sand, and pavement, sun hat straps, blankets over strollers, popsicles, secondary drowning, lawnmowers, and, drumroll... raccoon poop.
Some of these are legitimate concerns. Some even made me take pause. I hadn't considered how hot the water sitting in a garden hose out in the sun could get. But the one that really got me was the last one. Raccoon poop. It struck me as so funny. Probably because we don't have many raccoons around these parts. As a matter of fact, I've never seen one of the cute little critters in my life. Aren't there enough things to worry about? Day to day things like meals and naps. Big picture things like raising happy, well-adjusted, kind, contributing citizens. I think I'll go ahead and cross raccoon poop off my list of worries.
Diligent as he is, my husband doesn't seem to be quite as affected by all of the potential worries. He bought the sunscreen that said baby on it. No researching. No lists. No obsessing. No rules. And his drugstore sunscreen works just fine, thank you very much.