It’s one of those treasured rites of summer that I remember fondly from my childhood: Sitting at the dinner table with my family on a warm July evening when the faint bell of the Good Humor truck tinkling down the street could be heard through the screen door. My sister and I would run outside and revel in the humidity of the night air licking our cheeks as we carefully studied the illustrated options on the side of the truck as if our entire future rested upon a Chocolate Éclair vs. Candy Center Crunch Bar.
I’m sure there were some nights when our parents denied our Good Humor requests. I’m sure my sister and I whined on those nights. Surely we moved on pretty quickly, as life moves pretty quickly when you’re a kid. You win some ice-cream, you’re denied it on other days. To kids then and now, surely winning ice-cream on some days is better than winning it never at all.
To some parents in (where else?) Park Slope, Brooklyn, however, apparently winning ice-cream never is preferably to their whining kids. That’s why some are trying to get rid of their neighborhood’s ice-cream vendors.
The New York Post is reporting that an online group, Park Slope Parents, is trying to put the kibosh on ice-cream in the area’s Prospect Park to avoid the screams of kids excited about ice-cream, and the whines from those denied the frozen treats.
“I should not have to fight with my children every warm day on the playground just so someone can make a living!” one online commenter said. “I too was at the 9th Street Playground on Monday, and one of the vendors just handed my 4-year-old an ice cream cone. I was furious.”
“Along with the first truly beautiful day of the year, my son and I had our first ruined day at the playground,” another recounted. “Two different people came into the actual playground with ice cream/Italian ice push carts. I was able to avoid it for a little while but eventually I left with a crying 4-year-old.”
Maybe I’m wrong here — but isn’t it up to parents to manage their kids’ expectations, disappointments and rewards? Since when are pushcart Italian ice vendors or ice-cream trucks to blame? Aren’t the vendors and trucks the symptom, not the problem? Are these parents also going to manage every other want and desire of their kids in the form of attempting to shut down other shops and businesses just so they don’t have to deal with their kids’ reactions when they see something they want? That has to be exhausting, no?
I wouldn’t give my kids ice-cream every afternoon at the park — just like my parents probably didn’t give it to me and my sister every time the Good Humor truck came down our street — but that doesn’t meant the Good Humor man and the other vendors in Park Slope don’t have a right to try and sell their good(ie)s.
Sheesh. Enough already with the crazy parenting news out of Park Slope.
Do you think ice-cream vendors should be banned from parks and playgrounds, or do Park Slope parents need to take some parenting classes on how to manage the expectations of their children just a wee bit better?
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