I am loving this weather but unfortunately the sunshine brings a rather trying downside. Applying suncream to a wriggling, screaming toddler multiple times a day.

I find we go through the same routine every single time. I’ve yet to find a way to make it go smoothly. I’ve offered to let her try doing it herself but she never wants to engage. Even when I try to distract her with ice cream, telly, empty threats, it fails to make a difference.

So here is our daily struggle broken down into eight frustrating stages:

The debate
I tell toddler it’s time to put on suncream. She scrunches up her face immediately. I point out we can’t go out in the sun unless we’re wearing sunscreen. She says “don’t want to”. I ask if she wants to get sunburn. She rolls over face down and refuses to answer. I ask her to come over to me so I can start putting it on. She remains motionless. I say only little girls with suncream on get to go to wherever we’re going that day. Still no response.

The refusal
I stand up and start to walk towards her. Toddler rolls over and says “no”. I point out if we start now we can be all done in a matter of minutes. She replies “no”.

The escape
Finally I kneel next to her and spray some cream on my hand. She hears this and leaps to her feet to make a run for it. I try to grab her arm but she’s gone. We then engage in a silly chase where I’m trying not to let the suncream drip from my hand onto the carpet and she is giggling manically as she hides behind the sofa. As I reach her she darts to the other side of the coffee table.

The grab
Realising we’re going to be late I finally pick up my pace and lunge for her. I get hold of an ankle as she crouches behind the coffee table. I drag her towards me. She’s still laughing at this point.

The wrestle
Toddler is now twisting and turning all over the place as I try to get her in the right position to start applying cream. I’m still trying to save the blob I have squirted on my hand (suncream is expensive after all!).

The tantrum
I get toddler pinned underneath me and she now realised it’s happening. She screams “nooooooo mummy” and the tears start. I finally get some cream on her arms and legs, all the while she yells “nooooo” and cries like I’ve burned all her favourite toys.

The mess
Then it’s time for the face. She tucks her chin to her chest then shakes her head back and forth. I end up poking her in the eye and getting more cream in her hair than on her face. I then go for the back of the neck but as I have to lift her hair up with my other hand she wriggles about again and most of it goes on her top. It’s also all over my trousers and the carpet.

The relief
Finally we’re there. She is covered in suncream and safe to go outside. The relief is tainted by the knowledge I must repeat this fiasco in three hours’ time.