My youngest son has severe eczema to the point where he will scratch himself bloody. It's a really horrible affliction and I feel so bad for him because he's just bound to be miserable. It takes a great deal of care and diligence to keep his skin moderately stable and on a GOOD day, he's still patchy and welped and uncomfortable.
We have a good regime from the doctor which consists of many things we CAN'T do (no fragrances in soaps, detergents, shampoos and no bubble baths which is one of those awesome childhood traditions that is hard to deprive him of) and a decent prescription medicine. The absolute BEST part of the regime (for him, not us) is what we refer to as "spa day".
This consists of taking a wet toddler and slathering him with handfuls of Vaseline. We pull him out of the tub and while he is still wet let him dig his hands into the Vaseline and then we scoop in and liberally apply the goop. At first I thought he'd never lay still for it, but it turns out that it's a genetic pre-disposition for all males of the species to go supine and allow a woman to blob copious amounts of slippery stuff all over his body. He's so accustomed to this practice that he will occasionally run through the house shrieking, "ba day, ba day, ba day!"
Doing this after every bath is time-consuming and an adventure. As soon as Tristan senses we're finished he likes to jump up and run streaking through the house because he doesn't want to wear a diaper. We call this being "free and easy". Normally, if one is fast enough one can catch a baby before he runs off unfettered of his diaper. However, this particular baby has been coated with about 22 layers of petroleum jelly and anyone who has ever seen a country rodeo with a greased pig competition can imagine what happens next. I don't even have to tell you.
The next step consists of me yelling, "Free and easy!" as the war cry to let the rest of the household know that Tristan is on the loose, weapon locked and loaded. One or more of the other men of the household will attempt to subdue the greasy heathen and generally it will take two of us to strap him back into his diaper.
Getting him dressed is another whole matter as cotton clothing doesn't slide well on sticky skin.
However, the treatment works great for eczema and I'd highly recommend it with some slight modifications. Maybe adding sticky flypaper (fragrance-free!) to the spa day station. Or perhaps fencing and cross-fencing the interior of the house. Or maybe inventing a new type of petroleum jelly that instantly puts babies to sleep on contact.
This morning I walked into the kitchen to find Tristan had scooted a chair up to the counter and had gotten into the butter dish. He had squeezed the butter into his hands, rubbed it liberally on the counter, the cutting board and as I walked in he was coating his hands and arms with it. He looked up and me and smiled hugely, saying, "ba day!" Makes sense I guess. We've turned him into some kind of desperate lube junky.
I dropped him off at daycare and the daycare worker hugged in and cuddled him and exclaimed, "Tristan you smell so yummy, like fresh baked bread!" As I walked out the door all I could think was "Lady, please don't eat my baby."