Monday, August 8, 2011

The Great Vaseline Incident

That title still makes me shudder.

Oh the horror of much too much sticky vaseline, smeared everywhere you don't want it - which is pretty much anywhere.

It all started last Tuesday.  I was happily putting clothes away in our bedroom at around 4:15, anticipating another 30 minutes or so out of Charlie's nap, when I hear blood curdling screaming from across the hall.  He never wakes up crying like that, so I thought it was pretty unusual.  I gave him a little while to see if he'd just woken up on the wrong side of the bed and would calm himself down.  No avail.  After 5 minutes I decided to get him up early and see what was wrong.

I open the door to see Charlie looking very strange with "stuff" all down his front.  My first thought was puke. It could have passed for puke, and I'm not sure but what there was a little bit of vomit mixed in.  But on closer inspection I realized the stuff covering Charlie's face, hair, inside of his mouth, shirt, shorts, legs, stuffed animals, drawer inside, wall, floor and changing table was in fact, vaseline.

Sticky, nasty vaseline.

My second thought upon seeing all this was, I kid you not, "Well that's the end of Lully."

Brief detour to explain Lully.  Lully or E-O as Charlie now calls him, is the beloved blue elephant Lovey that he has been attached to for the last 18 months of his life.  This really adorable, dirty grubby little thing is not washable due to a music box inside, and therefore is pretty grubby and smelly, but also one of the only sources of comfort for him when Mama and Daddy are not around.  I hadn't planned for a Lovey, but it had worked out in our favor, until now.


Lully/ E-O was covered in gooey vaseline.  COVERED.  Before thoughts of "how to get my child clean" popped into my mind, thoughts of "I'll never get that animal clean/what do I do/this is a disaster/poor Lully" flooded my brain.

But thankfully I set aside my paranoia for a while and tackled the job of first getting my son clean.  Which involved of course stripping him down and dumping him in a tub with as hot a water as he could stand and scrubbing the daylights out of him.

After scrubbing him, I gathered up all the sticky clothes and stuffed animals and deposited them in the laundry area while I went to go wipe down surfaces in his room and start the process of scrubbing the floor.  Then I searched good old google for how to clean vaseline off of fabric.

Lots of suggestions.  Lots of steps involved generally.  I was not looking forward to this.

But I settled on one website that suggested first saturating the sticky items with rubbing alcohol, and then after letting them sit a while, douse them with Dawn dish detergent to sit for another long while before washing in hot water and rinsing like crazy.

Over the course of 2 days, I went through the above process 2.5 times, surprisingly getting most of the items clean.  His little shorts fared the worst, with greasy stains that simply won't come out.  His little shirt has a shadow of a grease stain still on it, and most of his stuffed animals are fine now.

Lully on the other hand I am still battling with.  I cannot seem to get the grease out of his feet.  Still greasy to the touch after all the scrubbing and washing.

And oh, by the way, he has gone in the washing machine several times now despite the "spot clean only" warning on his tag (since at this point I had nothing to lose), and amazingly enough his music box still plays - albeit a little more creaky and tinny now.  If I had only known this, the animal would have been washed months and months ago.  I don't know if I'll ever end up getting E-O fully cleaned or not, but I figured I wanted to try, so that at least I had "What to do if your child smears vaseline everywhere cleaning experience" under my mom belt.

In the mean time, Charlie has actually been (sort of) holding onto a new E-O, which I had picked up for cheap at a consignment sale recently, as a back up for this one should it ever die (since the elephants in the store where this was bought, now play a new tune, which I knew would be a dead giveaway).

He eyes this new one suspiciously, holding it by it's tag and trying to smell for the familiar stinky smell of the tag and toosh area, half the time casting it aside as though the poor animal has betrayed him by no longer bringing the comforting dirty, grimy smell of old.

And that ends the vaseline saga.  Mostly.  I'm still scrubbing the old Lully's sticky feet.

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