The Vaseline Incident of 2018

There is no sound more welcome to a parent of a toddler than silence.

There is also no sound more alarming to a parent of a toddler than silence.

In general we let Ryland roam. Our house is baby proofed in the sense that all of our bleach and detergent and cleaning supplies are inaccessible. There are no drawers of knives or guns just waiting to be explored. Most of our outlets are covered. You know that bare minimum baby proofing when you’re fairly certain your child can’t maim or kill themselves without some really serious effort.

And because I strive to not be a crazy helicopter parent (and because I also have an infant, and am lazy), Ryland gets some freedom.

This may have been a poor choice.

Yeaterday R and I were sitting in our family room. I had Bobby in my lap. We were relaxing. Ryland popped in and out as she ran back and forth from her room.

And then there was a long stretch of silence. It was so nice. I could hear occasional giggles or babbles from her room. She was obviously alive. What trouble could she get into in her room? She was probably just looking at books.

The silence continued. I made silly faces at Bobby. I savored a rare moment I could focus my attention solely on him.

The silence stretched even longer. In the back of my mind a little thought bubble appeared, quiet but insistent.

“You know better Liz,” it scolded. “Your child is never this quiet for this long without trying to destroy your house. Where are the matches? Do you smell smoke? Get it together woman. This is amateur hour.”

I ignored the voice. She’s fine. I’m being a cool and relaxed parent, allowing her freedom to foster independence.

The voice: “Did you leave a pen unattended again? She’s probably drawing another mural. Or what about your water jug you keep by the bed? She’s likely dumping it all over your wood furniture. Or what about the scissors you use to take out the diaper bags?? Did you make sure they were out of reach? She could be trying to groom the dog and murdering him in the process for all you know!

Me: This is an important development tool. I am encouraging her maturity and fine motor skills by not interfering with her play.

Voice: Do you not remember the time she found razor blades??? That was like a month ago….

Me: 22 months is plenty old enough to be totally unsupervised for extended periods of time. And she’s so advanced.


Me: But I’m so comfy. And so relaxed.

Voice: Get off your butt!!

Me: It’s fine, she’s fine. Chillax.

Voice: Razor blades. You idiot.

Me: But, but:..


And so I finally got up. I put Bobby down. I glanced toward Ryland’s room. See, there she is. She’s fine!! Stupid voice.

But then I get closer.

Um, what is that all over her hair?

Closer still.

Is it soap?

Oh it’s on her hands too? Where did she get soap? She’s rubbing it everywhere and grinning.

I make it to her room. She is smiling in a cat ate the canary kind of way. still can’t figure out what the hell is covering my child head to toe. It’s glistening. It’s gleaming in the sun. Is that Criscoe? We don’t even have Criscoe? But it looks like…Like….

I see the empty jar of Aquaphor the same moment I realize what it is:

My child has SLATHERED herself in Vaseline, gooey, slimey, thick as lard Vaseline.



So yeah.

Apparently this stuff doesn’t come out of hair. Like maybe ever. Even with corn starch (I googled).


The corn starch kind of just clung to the Vaseline. So now not only is her hair so greasy it looks like she’s auditioning for the new cast of Jersey Shore, it would also work as an excellent thickener for soup.

This is how it looks this morning.


So I guess our options are to wait for her hair to grow out (it’s only taken two years to get to this point), shave her head, or invest in a lot of hats (could she pull off a jaunty fedora?).

Parenting win!

Also anyone have any other ideas for how to make my child not look like Danny Zucko?

Or similar experiences you want to share to make me feel like a less irresponsible mother?

At least I learned once and for all that silence for a toddler is NEVER a good thing.

1/26/2018 02:55:43 pm

I am laughing out loud. Your daughter is so cute and I love your story. Reminds me of the time in high school when I heard that mayonnaise was a good hair conditioner. I did not realize that I should only use a tablespoon or so…I dumped about a half a jar on my hair. I washed it and washed it but it would not come out. I had to go to school with grease bomb hair. So embarrassing!


1/26/2018 04:44:29 pm

That is an amazing story!??


1/26/2018 04:33:59 pm

Maybe Dawn? If she’s very wiggly like my son I wouldn’t try it, but it’s supposed to cut through grease, i.e. lard, and Vaseline is just whipped mineral oil…


1/26/2018 04:43:39 pm

We actually have tried Dawn and it has helped a little, thank goodness!?


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