By the time I've actually got us both kitted out for the sun I barely have the energy, or enthusiasm, to go out at all.
My daughter essentially begins as a blank canvas. In this hot weather she quite happily cruises around the house in just her nappy. First step therefore is to find her something suitable to wear. As much as I want to cover every inch of her delicate skin from the sun in a big cardigan, balaclava and ski goggles, I have to settle for one of her summer outfits of sleeveless smock top and three quarter length trousers.
Before I can even put this on however comes the obligatory nappy check and then, the sun cream. This is applied generously everywhere, even her legs which are going to be covered up by said three quarter length trousers.
This task is made the more difficult by the fact my daughter decides it would be a good idea to try and eat the sun cream.
I manage to get her clothes on over her cream-smeared skin and then comes the sandals. These are guaranteed to slip off, or be pulled of, at least five times before we head out the door. On this occasion, the worst that happens is the strap on one comes undone, but I got lucky.
Then comes my sun cream. Failing to find the factor 25 sun cream in the bathroom, which my husband assured me was there, I opt for my daughter's sun block instead.
Having children must suddenly make you paranoid about your own welfare because pre-baby I would never have bothered with this step.
My own sandals and sunglasses go on. Okay, sunglasses off again, because now I can't see what I am doing.
My daughter's sun hat is retrieved from the drawer and put on her head, and taken off straight away, by my daughter. Looks like we're going hatless again.
We've made it to the front door. Time to set up the pushchair, get the nappy bag and put my daughter in, the pushchair, not the bag, but at this rate anything could happen.
Door locked. Keys in bag, best foot forward down the path.
Oh blimey, what's that?! My daughter's arm thrusts its way out of the pushchair, brazenly clutching onto the rubber duck she plays with in the bath. Some how during all the palaver of getting ready she has got hold of this item and not let go. I think it must have happened whilst I searched for the factor 25 sun cream.
Well, it's too late to turn around and put ducky back inside where he belongs. The three of us will just have to make the best of it. Though I can't help feeling there's something a little indecent about my daughter's travelling companion. This rubber duck to me represents the more shambolic reality of our home life. I put it in the same category as the over-flowing nappy bin. As long as me and my daughter look presentable out and about no one has to know quite how hap-hazard the process was to get us that way.
The fact this duck has flown the nest and left the sanctuary of the bathroom feels a little bit like indecent exposure. I try and look cool as I push my daughter along in the sweltering heat.
“What rubber duck?” I defy people as they pass by, “this heat must be driving you quackers.”