Thursday, October 29, 2009

What is it with kids and Vaseline?

The other day I used some of this fine petroleum jelly to aid Seconda with some . . . diaper distress – note my careful avoidance of TMI here – and as I popped off the lid I saw her little eyes shift over to the tub of Vaseline and I saw the thought written there, as clear as if it were in 20 point Arial font on my computer screen,

“I have got to get into that shit.”

I understood that she would not rest until she had been reunited with that petroleum jelly, on her own terms, without my supervision. And yet, despite this assurance, I put the damn thing back in the low shelf in our bathroom.

Less than an hour later, I called for my daughter, to no response.

Then I shouted her name with extra force and I heard her squeaky voice call out from the bathroom: “I can’t.”

“WHY can’t you come here?” I asked.
“I -- can’t.” she repeated, and she sounded muffled, like she was in a compromised position.

There she was, crouched over something in the cabinet, like a feral animal nursing a wound. When I pulled her out, she, of course, had Vaseline all over her. And all over the contents of the cabinet, the shelves and extra toilet paper rolls and sample shampoos and bandaids. Everywhere.

Funny thing about Vaseline. It doesn’t wash off. Not remotely. I learned this only after dragging my daughter to the sink in a farcical Sumo-typr wrestling match with her slipping out of my grasp and darting back over to the Vaseline like some kind of junkie.

Fun way to spend an afternoon.