This is the title of a book I’m reading by comedian Jim Gaffigan. It’s pretty funny. I recommend it for all you parents out there. Lots to relate to. For me it’s him talking about how pale he and his children are. I totally get that. He even graced his book with a picture of himself in his swim shirt. I get that too.
My four-year-old has a full-body swimsuit. It’s actually called a rash guard–what surfers wear to avoid getting a rash from contact with their board. Why they make these in size 4 I’ll never understand. I can’t exactly picture my little girl hanging 10. But it was in the hand-me-down bag from another family, and since I’m cheap, I kept it. Plus, since two-thirds of my children are redheads, all the skin coverage they can get is for the better. In case you’ve never noticed, red hair=white skin. Look up pictures of your favorite red-headed actress and you’ll see what I mean.
The other third of my children may actually have been switched at birth. I seriously suspect this because she is capable of tanning. However, for myself (my mom is a redhead and I got her skin pigmentation but not the tell-tale excuse of the gorgeous red hair. Thanks for only passing on the lame genes, Mom!) and those two redheads of mine, the sun is our enemy. Sadly, I live in San Diego county, only a few miles from the coast; therefore, beach=fun fun happy fun time for children, and arch-nemesis for me. At least I’ve got my youngest mostly covered.
Of course wearing a rash guard anywhere other than the lower half of the West Coast or Hawaii just looks weird. This past summer we were in Ohio at a lake. I suddenly, for the first time, felt very self-conscious about my daughter’s wardrobe. “What a cute swimsuit,” someone said. “Is she Amish?”
“It’s like a surfing outfit,” I explained.
“Ah,” the woman said, walking away slowly, still staring at my daughter. She was probably thinking to herself, “Surf outfit for a four-year-old? I can’t exactly see her hanging ten.” Exactly. Land-locked people probably wouldn’t know a rash guard if a shark bit them in the butt…and that shark also had a surfer dangling from its teeth.
“You look uncomfortable.”
Surfer: “Yea, the teeth are kinda poking me, but at least my rash guard is preventing chafing.”
“Ah, so that’s what they’re called.”
“Huh. Good to meet you, by the way. I’m Doris.”
“Yea, you too. I’m Doug.”
Now, for your educational instruction, here is a rash guard: