Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday, Vaseline, and Cornstarch

I woke up unprepared for a Monday and moved into the day adrift.

It is 2:30 PM and I am still wearing the sweatpants I threw on this morning. I think I brushed my teeth but am not quite sure.

Sometimes on these drifty days, I don't pay attention well. This morning, I realized I'd left Eden upstairs quite some time ago and there had been perfect quiet since. This could mean she is sitting in her room, sucking her pacifier and reading books. I crept upstairs to check and found her hair slick and glistening.
What's in your hair, Eden?
...Goop. (little smile of pride and beauty)
What kind of goop? She retrieved a thoroughly squeezed tube of Vaseline.

I put her in the bathtub, utterly unsure of how to get viscous Vaseline out of hair, then somehow instantly forgot she was there (denial), googled Vaseline-in-hair, and tried some washing. To no avail.

So I toweled her off, brushed her hair into the grossest greasiest pony tail I have ever seen, and took her downstairs.

Chat room write-up's suggested all sorts of remedies, and I knew a run to the store for Vaseline-fighting ingredients should have been first priority, but the whining broke out instantly at the thought, we could find only single shoes and my motivation was rock bottom. So we stayed home.

I made each kid a bowl of cornstarch and water and plunked them at the table. We started out in the usual way with my piping up instructions about keeping the water in the bowl blah blah. But after intervening a few times, I let them splash their corn starch water out, then scoop it up, and finally smear it all over the table. I realized I didn't really care if the kitchen turned into a white swamp; I got to write in Eden's journal (letters to her later) and they were in heaven.

But Silas and Eden were suspicious. They pretended each time they glopped more cornstarch on the table was an accident, then tested me with declarations:
We making a mess. (glance in my direction. I nodded, smiled, and kept writing)
We making a Meeeeesssss! (another look in my direction, another nod-smile)
LOOK AT THE TABLE!!!! (nervous look ready to outsource blame -- the table was solid white. another nod)
We making a MEESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!! (one more glance).
Finally they trusted and dove into their extravagant mess.

Now Eden is napping -- I have washed her hair with shampoo, soap, raw egg, a coke, more shampoo, and I'm pretty sure we've made little to no headway. Her hair thick, sticky, mailable. I bet I could make a 7" mohawk on her little head.

This afternoon, if we can muster leaving the house, we will buy another coke and some baby oil to try (people swear by it), then head to the bathtub once more.


amy said...

Regan did this to Micah when he was a baby- only it was Balmex, not Vasiline. Baby oil got the Balmex out, but it took AT LEAST a week or maybe it was two to wash all the baby oil out! Good luck! Post your results if you find something good, incase it happens again :)

Casa Castillo said...

Bronwen, I am so sorry about the passing of Ben's mom. I pray God mightily carries you through this time of grieving with young children. I love reading your blog. "The Problem" has been a struggle for me too. Thank you for the gift of your authenticity.
Love, Sarah Burrows Castillo

Anonymous said...

Where are the pictures of all of this? I know you took one of Eden. mh

Anonymous said...


Saltwater, saltwater, saltwater.


Denise said...

I don't quite get the fun of cornstarch in water if you can't spread it around on the table. Am I missing something?