Monday, November 18, 2013

The Case of the Vaseline-Coated Stuffed Animals

By Kevin

It all started with an unusually long nap. Generally, Juliana rests for at least an hour each afternoon in her bed, but these days she only sleeps once or twice a week. Rarely for more than an hour. But today, when she woke up after 45 minutes, I decided to go in and lie down next to her to see if she wanted to sleep a bit longer. Juliana grabbed my hand and drifted back into a deep slumber. So did I. An hour and a half later, I looked at the clock and saw that it was 4:30. This wouldn't bode well for her bedtime routine. So I pulled the blankets off of her and prodded her out of bed.

After shaking out the cobwebs, she was wired, exuberantly running around, screaming, dancing, singing and playing at an abnormally high-intensity level.

After dinner and a bath, Yaya read her some books and we all told her goodnight around 8:30 and Ruth and I started to play a game of 7 Wonders with her Mom and sisters.

We heard Juliana paging through books a couple times and reminded her that she needed to sleep. After the game was over, she was still rustling around in her bedroom, so I went in to tuck Juliana in a second time. Immediately, my nose began nagging me with a question, "What is the strange, slightly sweet smell emanating from her bed?" Then it hit me. Vaseline.

I hesitated for a moment. "Were you playing with the Vaseline?" I asked. She nodded and looked away, guiltily. "Where is it?"

She rolled over and pointed to the alley of about a dozen stuffed animals, tissues, and various other knick-knacks she's hoarded alongside her bed. "Over there." Grabbing for the mostly empty jar, my hand grazed one of the stuffed animals she's packed around her bed. The elephant was completely coated in goo. It was dripping off of the eyes and soaked into the fur. As was her puppy. And a kitty. And Eeyore. Gross goo was everywhere. I dragged her to the bathroom to wash off her hands and saw a glob in her newly washed hair with dish soap. I asked where else she'd rubbed it. "On my face," she admitted, as I rinsed her off.

"Anywhere else?" I asked.

"Not on my feet. Not on my belly," she said smiling tiredly.

"Did you eat it?"


"Did you rub it in your eyes?"


I finished cleaning her up and brought her back to bed, telling her that she was going to have to sleep without a few friends and that if she ever rubs Vaseline on any other toys again she wouldn't get to play with them anymore. She nodded her understanding and I gave her another good-night hug.

Thankfully she's not the first to have turned her stuffed animals into slippery goo-monsters. A Google search for "Cleaning Vaseline from stuffed animals" leads immediately to other similar stories. Seriously, what would we do without the Internet? Grease-removing Dawn, baking soda and hot water seem to have gotten the goo out of the stuffed animals. By the time the goop was out of the animals, she was sound asleep.

Apparently cornstartch or baking soda and grease-removing dish soap and hot water is the way to go with hair. Lemon juice and Dr. Bonner's also seem to be strong contender. I'll have to try that in the morning, because I have a hunch the dish soap didn't get the job done.

I should have taken a picture.