Role Daddy: The Ice Cream Man
When I was a kid I LOVED the Ice cream man. I wanted to BE the ice cream man. I loved the little change counter thing he wore on his belt, the big white festive truck alight with colors and lights and menu boards chock full of tasty looking pieces of frozen heaven on sticks. And all these treats were right there at their disposal, neatly tucked away into the magical freezer chests that are all over the back of the truck. And he, the omniscient Ice cream man knows exactly which chest each of the treats live in. He's clad head to toe in white with little accents of black around his belt and around the brim of his hat. A man in uniform. The music would play announcing his coming, like the regal entrance of a prince to his coronation. Majestic. Festive. Fun - The ice cream truck.
As a parent? I FREAKIN' HATE the ice cream truck! HATE! HATE HATE HATE!! It's about the biggest instigator of discord in all my family. I think he's following me around, knows my schedule with the kids and our standard meal times and does everything he possibly can to accost us right before lunch and dinner almost every day from May through August each year. He sneaks up on us, too. You're about to try and get your kid seated before a plate of good-for-you lightly-steamed vegetables when this truck comes darting up filled with Chipwiches. It is not complementary to the mission. It is a disaster. And I take offense to it.
I don't like commercial entities, like the ice cream man, that subsist by pitting child against parent. They bet on the will of the children to come out ahead. That's who they're pandering to. If they wanted the approval of the parent they'd only come at... well, they wouldn't come at all. And that's not a good business model.
On top of the poor nutritional options afforded our children by the ice cream truck it's a complete rip off. What you pay for an ice cream treat could almost buy you a whole box of the same treat at the super market. (and there's a supermarket a block away from my house.)
Box of ice cream sandwiches 4 dollars. One ice cream sandwich from the ice cream man - $3.50
But maybe we're paying for "the atmosphere" and the convenience of home delivery. But that still doesn't appeal to me. Appeals like crazy to my kids evidently. But as far as I'm concerned - Hey! Ice Cream Man! I've got your bomb pop, right here!
Eric Ruhalter lives in Morristown, New Jersey with his wife, Kara & 3 rambunctious children. Eric is the creator of The KidDicitonary - A Book of Words Parents Need To Describe Their Kids. For more of his wit and wisdom, except for wisdom, amuse yourself at www.TheKidDictionary.com.