Oiling people up is a skill, apparently

I didn’t really think my ability to properly apply oil to my body – or a body in general- was a marketable skill, but apparently, it is. At least, to my child.

2007- present: Mother (On call 24/7)

Excellent at applying oil to freshly washed skin. 

Achievements & Accolades:
Hug and kiss after every oil rub. Declaration of being Best Mommy in World.

I started doing this after taking a yoga teacher training course, in which instructor Amanda Webster introduced us to the health benefits of Ayurveda. (It’s the Chinese medicine equivalent for India.) Oiling the skin after a shower hydrates the dermis.

When Olivia saw me doing this to myself after a shower, she wanted to copy me, thus another ritual was born. At first, I let her do it herself, but she had a heavy hand with the bottle and emerged looking like Tonga’s Olympic flag bearer. 

“Honey. Just a little bit is all you need,” I demonstrated, and did it for her the next time.

This, in Pavlovian terms, is the point in which the conditioning is set. Oil = Mommy’s attention. It’s now been two years.

When we tell her to shower, she looks at me and says, “Oil?” in her cutest voice with her biggest eyes. She likes me to sit and talk to her while she showers, and then come in with the oil bottle after. Most times, I oblige, just because I figure one day soon she will be just the opposite of this: A surly teen.

The other night, I was engrossed in a book and did not want to acquiesce. “I think you can do it yourself,” I replied absently.

“Awww. But you do it so much better than I do,” she complained.

The ridiculousness of that statement made me stop reading and put the book down. “Yes. I am good at putting oil on my body, but if you practice, you will one day be as good as me,” I said, suppressing a laugh.

Mommy = Oil Application World Champion

“But I want you to do it for me,” she persisted.

“I know you do, but I think we can all learn to put oil on our own selves,” I encouraged.

She left for the bathroom, and I presently followed. (See: sixth graph about pre-teen affection.)

Yes, I gave in. I suppose it’s only fair to clarify that I’m the one who is classically conditioned to dole out the oil rubs. 


Diane Ako

Peace of mind By Diane Ako I like to reflect on life. Sometimes it’s philosophically. Sometimes it’s humorously. For all its beauty, life is far too difficult a journey to take alone. You need the support and connection with others to help carry you along the way. Writing brings me that connection– within and without. It clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It helps me reach out to others for advice, wisdom, or feedback. Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become you. A wise yogi- Patanjali- said, “Speak what is true. Speak what is pleasant.” Let’s speak of things pleasant to one another and seek some peace of mind along the way. ABOUT Diane Ako joined Hawaii: In Real Life in October 2016. She likes being part of a community of local bloggers – people who like writing and sharing, like she does. Ako is an anchor/ reporter at Island News (KITV4 – ABC) in Honolulu. She previously anchored and reported at KHON2 (FOX) and KHNL (NBC), and at stations in California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. She freelance writes for NMG Network's magazines. In between news jobs, in 2017, she launched and ran her own p.r. company, Diane Ako PR. From 2010-2014, she headed the public relations department at Halekulani Corporation, which oversees luxury resort Halekulani and boutique hotel Waikiki Parc. She’s been blogging since 2009 – before Hawaii: IRL, she wrote for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest daily newspaper, where her stories garnered a dozen journalism awards and an Emmy nomination. Ako has a BA in Communications from Menlo College and an MA in Political Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa. She volunteers as a board member of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, a Shinto shrine maiden at Daijingyu Temple, a citizen-scientist studying shrimp, and a yoga teacher at a senior center.

Diane Ako has 274 posts and counting. See all posts by Diane Ako

3 thoughts on “Oiling people up is a skill, apparently

  • May 8, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Ahh..Diane you’re paying it forward. When you’re old and infirm then Olivia will feel obligated to repay you by oiling you. 🙂

  • May 9, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Hello Diane, I can think of other fun ways to use the oil. 🙂

    • May 9, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      M – aaarugh! This is a cute little-girl blog!
      mark- Oil’s circle of life.


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