In praise of petroleum

By Published On: August 23rd, 2011

Written by: Josh August 22 2011 The longer this whole […]

Written by: Josh

The longer this whole “parenting” thing goes on, the more I’m becoming convinced that you just have to trust yourself and your natural instincts.

Baby books are so long and wordy and contradictory. My wife sends me these articles all the time that pick at my parental ego the way beauty and muscle magazines trash your self-esteem. Do this, don’t do that, you need this, don’t feed them that. So I’ve decided to write my own baby book, the world’s shortest, published right here: It’s called Love and Vaseline.

Vaseline has been a part of Bub’s life pretty much since circumcision. An over-sized tub of the stuff, some Q-Tips and a plethora of sterile bandages yielded him a perfectly-healed private part. I think it’s safe to say they were friends from the get-go.

Now I remember my parents prescribing Vaseline to me over the years as a remedy to anything from jacked-up lips to, um, over-wiping. They were so ahead of their time. Chris Rock talks about his dad telling him to ‘Put some Tussin on it!’ Vaseline, ergo, is simply the new Tussin.

Consider: Boxers rub that stuff all over their grills before entering the ring (to decrease the friction of the impacts) and after, to stem the bloodflow. Football players use is to keep sand and dirt out of their eyes. And less-than-reputable pitchers use it to throw a wicked spitball.

So it’s great in sports, but did you also know:

• Beauty pageants rub it on their teeth to keep their lipstick from sticking to their teeth.
• As a sunscreen, it protects against ultraviolet rays.
• Marathoners (mostly male) rub it on their nipples to prevent chafing.
• It makes a pretty killer shoeshine.

And so on. But as far as Bub’s purposes are concerned, like unsightly cradle cap, I’m like Sam in Holes: ‘I can fix that.’ Me and my trusty vat of goo. A little dry patch on the back of your legs? I’ve got the answer. And some splotchy patches on your neckline from over-drooling? No match for Mr. V.

It works wonders on diaper rash and sunburn, and makes a great pomade for nights on the town. It would also work great in a baby bodybuilding show, were you to enter one. Or if you wanted to for some reason bathe your child without actually getting him wet? You know what to do. Regardless of the question, Vaseline is usually the answer. Think of it as lifelube, making parenting and the rest of your world glide much more smoothly.