Evil Joy Speaks

Spawning the next generation of evil genius, one misadventure at a time

How to NOT Rock Summer

In the upper Midwest summer means a lot of 80 degree days and a few scorchers. Regardless it means sunscreen. And I use a lot of sunscreen.

Evidently expired sunscreen.

I applied the lovely spray lotion sunscreen three times in one afternoon on my blonde haired, blue eyed daughter and her red headed cousin. Until Littlest came along my children, while requiring sunscreen to prevent skin cancer, do fine in the sun with limited sunblock. They tan and rarely burn. Then I had this blonde child and now I’m uber aware of the sun’s intensity and the time between applications.

Expired sunscreen doesn’t work well. Maybe it has to be applied every 8 minutes and not every 60. I don’t know. I do, however, know I didn’t use it frequently enough.

IMG_8021Littlest got fried. I thought she had the worst burn I’d ever observed until I got a text from my sister in law.


Bad Auntie.

It gets better. Or worse if you’re my children or niece.

I know extremely little about gardening and plants. We had what I thought were wild carrots growing around our garden. They smell like carrots when you break the stalk. They look like carrots when you dig them up. My neighbor kindly asked several times if I was sure they were carrots and stubborn as I am I answered, “Pretty darn sure.” The kids asked if they could dig some up. “Sure kids, go play in the weeds!” Now infamous last words in my house.

My sister in law texted me today asking about poison ivy. I said, “I don’t think we have any but it’s possible!”  She sent me these pictures. A terrible sunburn wasn’t bad enough, I exposed her child to something in our weeds.

My children love active strips (aka bandaids by another manufacturer). When I peeled several off Littlest I found the same huge blisters from which my niece is suffering. A friend came over and thought poison oak or poison sumac. A third friend when I showed her the pictures iimmediately said “wild parsnip.” (And it’s Awesome Amy with the win!) Luckily the roots are NOT poisonous as the girls tried to eat some after I gave them permission.

The stupid wild parsnip is in the same area the kids threw several packets of carrots seeds a few years ago so my DUMB assumption had a little basis…but not enough.

So consider this your PSA – don’t play with wild parsnip. It hurts. Over 75 blisters between the three girls with my niece being the hardest hit having more than 40 herself.

The lesson here is I sunburn and plant burn children. Send them my way at your – or their – own risk.

EJ out – to hang my head in deep, deep shame.

Here are a couple of pictures of wild parsnip from my yard. And a link with more information.  



  1. Yikes!!! Thanks for the warning. Poor babies, I hope they all feel better soon!

  2. Oh noooooo! Poor punkins!

  3. We’ve all fried our kids Joy! Welcome to the Mother of the Year Club! I’m burning your ‘welcome to the club’ cake as we speak.

  4. Well that all sucks! It can only get better from here though, right? ๐Ÿ˜•

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