Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ice Cream, You Scream

The ice-cream man selling my son Oliver a plastic toy gun and pellets really resonated with a lot of you on Sunday when I posted about it. The whole situation was actually more humorous to me than scary, though, which my writing apparently didn't convey, so I thought I should clarify a bit. We live close to a huge public park and last Friday night, Henry played flag football for his school at the park. Oliver came along to watch, of course, and during the game asked if he could have money for ice-cream. At our city parks, people with small freezer carts roll around, selling ice-cream and toys and balloons. Yes, it's a bummer that the ice-cream man would sell a potentially dangerous toy, but these guys are pretty desperate anyway -- they're going to sell what sells, right? They're making their living selling ice-cream and plastic shit. I believe it was my responsibility to forbid the purchase of that toy -- just as it would be my responsibility to forbid my kids to buy crappy candy or McDonald's for that matter -- and Oliver totally and completely did this on the sly because he knows I wouldn't have approved.

So I'm giving the ice-cream man a break and claiming this one as my own -- and Oliver's bad!


  1. Yes, wise decision. The ice cream man can't be the parent. This was a wise lesson to learn for Oliver. He could have gone to a 5 and dime store and done the same thing.

  2. I get that. My brother got lots of toy guns as Christmas and birthday gifts when we were growing up. we played a lot of cops and robbers and shooting games. My favorites were the cap guns, where you had the roll of tape with gunpowder dots that made noise when the pin struck it. why aren't we more screwed up? well, we are, but not about guns. still, i never bought my own son a gun, though his dad got him mega super soakers and he and the neighbor kids ran around skirting each other madly, so it might be the same thing.

    all's well that ends well. you handled everything perfectly.

  3. I like the term on the sly. Kids must do these things (not gun things specifically, but sly things). They learn.

  4. I've been thinking about this a lot, Elizabeth, since you posted yesterday and I think you are exactly right about the ice cream man.
    I've also been thinking about how my husband DOES have guns and how he grew up with them around. NOT handguns. He and his father hunted together and he was taught gun safety and great respect for guns and is neither afraid of them nor does he give them any sort of power. They are what they are- weapons to hunt with and I respect that in him. Guns are another sort of tool for him. Not unlike a fishing rod or his bow. Or his air pressure thingee, whatever it is that he uses for tires. He has a LOT of tools.
    And, sigh, I feel certain that when Owen is old enough, his Bop WILL give him a BB gun and he will teach him to use it properly and they will have huge fun, shooting at targets.
    Do I approve? I don't even know at this point. I think about Tearful and I know that guns in the right hands, can be forces for good.
    Hell, I'm sorry for going on. I have a lot of thoughts but no answers and like I said- I think Oliver will NOT EVER become an assassin. But if he did, it would not be because the ice cream man sold him a plastic gun for a buck.

  5. I love that Oliver 'fessed up. I've found that, even though it means they did something wrong, those are my favorite parenting moments - when my kids tell me the truth about something they did. And then I take that opportunity to remind them that if they have to hide what they're doing or saying from me or their father, it's probably not the right decision.



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