I once ran a half-marathon, nearly eight miles up-hill and five miles down.  When I went to bed that night I wasn’t as exhausted as I was yesterday when at last my weary body collapsed on my bed. 
Miriam got a hold of a couple markers.  I’m not sure if she was feeling particularly deprived of attention or just especially mischevious, because she’s had markers before without using them to decorate her brother and herself and the walls and floors and stool.  I admit, I sometimes get distracted while online, or trying to accomplish some other task, but that was not even the case in this incident.  I was in the laundry room, sorting through mail and it still boggles my mind how quickly she worked.  The picture almost doesn’t do it justice, his hands, neck and scalp/hair were colored purple and turquoise.  She was no better, her cheeks, hair and arms also covered in markings.  And I mentioned the walls, floors and the stool behind Simon? Fortunately they were washable markers, nothing a wet rag and quick bath couldn’t fix.  UN-fortunately Simon has decided in the last few days that he hates baths, and cried through the whole thing.  I hate baths too, or at least my back hates me after giving them.  But I was able to laugh about it all in no time. 
Vaseline. Two-thirds of the 13oz tub. They weren’t in bath when I discovered them, Miriam the trouble-maker and Simon the incidental partner in crime.  Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  When I found them in the boys’ room they were both shoving fistfuls of petroleum into their own and each other’s hair.  I was angry.  I put them in the bath while I composed myself.  I spent 45 minutes washing and rinsing and re-washing the slippery little grease-monkeys.  It was fruitless.  I combed through their hair with a fine-tooth comb and gobs of soap-slime came out but when I finally removed them from the bath with an aching back and no more hot water, it seemed I had made no progress.  I put Simon in his high chair and gave Miriam a “pretty hat” to keep her from contaminating other surfaces.
About this time I called Richard, whose plane had just landed from Spokane.  He asked me if I’d googled it.  I’m not sure why I thought I was the only woman in the world whose child lathered their hair with vaseline.  Apparently it’s a common problem.  The most popular solutions were baby powder/corn starch and Dawn dishsoap.  Hopefully Miriam and Simon don’t develop asthma because I didn’t have corn starch and despite the many warnings about NOT using baby powder because it was so bad for their lungs, I was desperate.  I did Round 2: baby powder, wash with regular shampoo, wash with Dawn, wash with shampoo.  There was definite improvement but still their hair could stand straight up off their head, defying gravity with the stiff support of the vaseline.
This was when the exhaustion took over and I had to call it good.  Off to bed they went, to make greasy pillows and sheets. 
This morning I did Round 3 in the shower, unable to bear the thought of hunching over the bathtub again.  More baby powder, more Dawn and more shampoo.  Once again progress, but I’m sure Simon will require another round and Miriam two or three. 
Someday I will laugh. I know I will.  But this has been by far the most lasting of Miriam’s reckless destruction and I am still feeling totally defeated. 

9 thoughts on “exhausted

  1. I love the timeline:) You have every right to be exhausted! Working AND raising two energetic boys is tough. All without a husband there to add to it. Yes Jo, I think you have FULL right to be exhausted.


  2. Oh my!!!! Yes, you will laugh about this someday and you will probably laugh really hard. And until you do, I will be doing it for you. It's only funny because it didn't happen at my house. Sorry 😦


  3. Is Miriam related to my Isaac, he's 20 months and into everything. He eats markers, paints my couches and floors, LOVES vaseline with a passion and likes dumping stuff. He actually vaselined my carpet one day and the only reason I didn't lose it was because we had already bought laminate to replace that carpet (thank goodness). He likes to dump Dawn all over the carpet and massage it in. One day I tried to take a break for a few minutes to find he had dumped hot sauce and bbq sauce on my off white carpet. I know how you feel, the stresses of motherhood can be overwhelming and exhausting, but I'm sure you are a great mother and making lasting impressions on your children (for good)! Vaseline is great for cradle cap and dry scalp, I've used it before when nothing else worked, so at least you have dandruff free kids!!!


  4. Sometimes I read your stories and laugh, sometimes I read them and am scared. I have two that will be the same age and the thought of the things they can do terrifies me;) Maybe I'll go lock up the Vaseline now.


  5. I loved this post!!! Seriously so funny!! Ava is my terror, it does not matter how many times she gets in trouble for getting into, Vaseline, hair gel, lotion, tooth paste…all those dang things she seems to not be able to resist!! I felt your pain!!


  6. Oh my goodness. This sounds exhausting. Last night Liam pooped in the tub and then Christian was up with food poisoning from 1am-5:30am. Cleaning up baby poop isn't so bad. Cleaning up adult vomit all over the hallway carpet at 2:30am IS so bad. Too bad I can't just stick a shower cap over our nasty carpet… 😉


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