My first indication something was amiss was Hadley’s blood-curdling screams for help as she stood in her crib. It wasn’t the blood curdling part that was cause for alarm so much – when a 2, 3 and 4-year-old share a bedroom there’s always lots of screaming at bedtime. Every night I read them a story, tuck them in, kiss them goodnight, declare martial law and quietly shut the door.
But usually the screams don’t involve the words, “No no please stop make them stop help Mom help me come quick.” Nick was the first to enter the room, and by the time I made my way up the stairs all of my three kids were standing fully clothed in the bathtub and Nick was giving birth to a litter of kittens in their bedroom.
“What’s wrong? Why did you put the kids in the bathtub?” I asked, my voice trailing off as I noticed an open, EMPTY jar of Vaseline in Hadley’s crib.
My head spun around independently of my body as I assessed the damage, and saw why my OCD anal retentive clean freak husband had curled up into the fetal position. The entire room was coated in petroleum jelly. En. Ti. Ure. Room.
The dressers. The beds. The walls. The floor. When they are older I will describe this story to my kids as “your near-death experience.”
“How are we going to get this stuff up?” I asked as a giant slimy chunk fell from the diaper changer onto the floor as if to punctuate the atrocity.
“This is nothing. Wait until you see the kids.”
Oh yeah right – we have kids! I ran into the bathroom, wincing as I slowly peeked behind the door and into the shower in anticipation of the damage.
And it was bad. Coated. Scalp to toenails. Thick. I didn’t even know where to start. I heard Nick begin to sob as he peeled off their bedding.
I turned on the bathtub faucet, and immediately saw my kids were water repellant. As I wet their hair the water beaded up and rolled right off, laughing at me as it swirled down the drain. The same with their bodies. The washcloth only seemed to smear it around, and getting them wet seemed to just make it sticky.
I considered my options. I could put them out on the curb in a recycling bin. I could put myself out on the curb in a recycling bin. I thought about grabbing Nick and making an escape for the airport, but he was way too emotionally unstable at this point. An entire bottle of shampoo and three scouring pads later, and they were at least at the point I didn’t feel like they would slide out of their beds.
But this is how they woke up the next morning:
Ellie’s genetically blessed thick hair left her relatively unscathed, and poor little Hadley got it the worst. I can only imagine what she must have been thinking when she saw Ellie and Lila coming at her with fistfuls of Vaseline as she was trapped in her crib while they slathered her.
Just put another quarter in the therapy jar.