7 Murphy’s Laws of Feeding Your Child Ice Cream

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“Chocolate ice cream? YAY!!!!!!”

I’m no prize-winning parent, but the one thing I’ve managed to keep in check is my sweet-toothed toddler son’s consumption of candy. He usually has fruit for dessert. If he has candy, it’s typically no more than twice a week and comes in the form of three or four dark chocolate-covered dried fruits. Every so often, he gets a pastry or a cupcake, usually at the insistence of a relative. (“He’s skin and bones! Why are you starving your child?” is what passes for polite conversation in my extended family.)

And on very, very special occasions he gets ice cream.

Such was the case recently, on a family vacation to a Jersey shore town. We met up with friends on the boardwalk, had a chaotic dinner — between two families, there were four kids, two high chairs and countless wayward Cheerios — then played at an arcade and, of course, capped off the evening with a visit to a soft-serve ice cream stand, leading to my little boy’s excited cheers.

There is nothing more joyous for a mother than to see your precious child smile and hear him yelp in delight. But when it comes to impending ice cream consumption, that joy is fleeting…without further adieu, I present 7 Murphy’s Laws of Feeding Your Child Ice Cream.

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  • 7 Murphy’s Law of Feeding Your Child Ice Cream 1 of 8

    When it comes to sloppy children and drippy ice cream, what can go wrong, will go wrong...

  • The Serving Will Be Too Big 2 of 8

    You know why they invented so-called kid's sizes? To fool parents into thinking that they don't need to just get one small or medium-sized cup to share with their tots. Surely if you buy a "kid's size," it will be just the right amount and won't overwhelm your little one's tiny mouth, right? WRONG. I am giving you the real scoop on this ice cream conspiracy. Whatever child's size serving you order, it will inevitably prove be too big...much, much too big...

  • The Weather Will Be Too Hot 3 of 8

    The problem with getting an ice cream portion that is too big for your child is that when the weather is hot -- and it often is, duh, if you've made the decision to cool off with some refreshing ice cream -- is that your child will not be able to finish it before it starts melting...

  • The Ice Cream Will Be in a Cone 4 of 8

    Can we pass a law that makes ice cream cone usage illegal for persons under, say, 12? When ice cream starts melting and it's in a cup, no big deal. When it starts melting and it's in a cone -- and said cone is being wielded by a sloppy kid -- you have the makings of an Emmy-winning laundry commercial. Start practicing your acceptance speech now. "I'd like to thank the academy, my son for never meeting an ice cream cone that didn't drip, the ice cream vendor who gave us too few napkins..."

  • There Will Never Be Enough Napkins 5 of 8

    I'm not sure if some businesses are just trying to be economical or eco-friendly, but when they give me just two napkins to go along with whatever food my child is about to consume, it seems like misguided optimism at best. Two napkins? Really? We'll use twice that many in the time it takes you to read this paragraph. That goes quadruple for any food that is or has the potential to be goopy, which includes ice cream. If you're being served by a place that lets you grab your own napkins, great! Save for one thing -- your hands are only so big, so unless you planned ahead and brought a bag with you, you will fail to carry enough in the way of absorbent paper products to stem the tide of melted ice cream spreading across your child's face, hands, clothing, younger sibling, dog, etc.

  • The Ice Cream Will Be Chocolate; Your Child’s Shirt Will NOT Be Brown…or Any Other Color That Hides Chocolate Well 6 of 8

    In some cases, the ice cream will be vanilla, but then that will inevitably mean that your child is wearing black that day.

  • You’re Holding Your Own Ice Cream Cone 7 of 8

    Your child's ice cream is leaking all over the place, but he refuses to get rid of it because it is delicious. What's a devoted parent to do? Why start helping him eat it, of course! One problem: You foolishly purchased your own ice cream, so now you're essentially double-fisting, frantically going back and forth between consuming your own rapidly-melting treat and licking the leaky spots of his. And you thought getting him to eat his broccoli was stressful!

  • It Will All Happen Again…and Sooner Than You Think 8 of 8

    You've had it. You've gorged yourself on ice cream, your kid is a walking chocolate stain and there are about seven napkins that appear permanently affixed to your hands. You seize on a moment when your child is distracted -- "Hey, look is that a puppy? No, it's a pigeon? Are you sure? Look REAL HARD, son. Are you looking??" -- and throw the cone away. But guess what: kids don't forget and as soon as junior is done scratching his head over the puppy that turned out to have wings, he'll be asking you, his eyes filling with tears, where his ice cream cone went. That's when you'll take a deep breath and head back to the ice cream stand to buy a new one.

    Happy licking!


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