October 19th, 2008
Cheri at Blog this Mom! is the first San Diego blogger I read after starting San Diego Momma this past winter. She be-charmed me with her dry wit, quiet genius and spectacular writing. It was through Cheri that I met the Blog Bitches and I am forever
haunted by thankful for that. I believe that many of you already read Blog This Mom! But if you don’t, leave my blog immediately and get on over there! (But feel free to come back here later) Oh! And you know what I just discovered after all these fabulous guest posters have graced my space with their wise, witty and wonderful words?
I was surprised one summer afternoon when I heard that unmistakable jingle coming down our street. I hadn’t seen an ice cream truck since I was a kid and my little brothers and I watched all the neighborhood kids getting Choco Tacos, 50/50 Bars, Drumsticks, and Fudgsicles. We thought of ourselves as poor and didn’t bother begging for change from our mom, who spent afternoons on the couch listening to her Elvis Gospel album and smoking Virginia Slims.
My then-six-year-old daughter, Laura, asked me what the sound was. I knew instantly, but hesitated for just a moment, pondering whether it would be wise to introduce my child to cleverly packaged frozen chemical concoctions. Although she’d been able to get frozen milk solids with high fructose corn syrup, benzyl acetate, butyraldehyde, diethyl glycol, and yellow dye #5 from dealers on the streets, like other mothers at birthday parties, she had yet to complain about the fruit-sweetened, organic soy ice cream at home. On the other hand, what childhood would be complete without ice cream from a truck?
I started running toward the door, pausing only to grab my wallet. I hollered to Laura, “Let’s go! Do you hear it? Listen! We have to catch it! Follow me!” Sensing something spectacular was about to go down, with wide eyes she began to run too. At the door, Laura asked if she should put on her flip-flops. She looked stunned when I said, “No, just keep running!” I had always made her put on shoes to go outside before. But she’d never run after the ice cream truck before! And we all know that children must be barefoot as they run for the ice cream truck. It’s an unwritten law.
We flagged down the truck, and Laura could hardly believe her eyes when she saw all of the goodies from which she could choose. Each treat was shrewdly displayed in a full-color drawing, so that even children who could not yet read would be able to pick out the treats of their desires. Laura selected an ice cream sandwich, ate every bite of it, and thought I was the best mommy God ever made.
A few days later we heard “Turkey in the Straw” blaring from the loudspeaker as it came around the corner. Laura rallied the troops as she ran through the house hollering, “Let’s go! Do you hear it? Listen! We have to catch it! Follow me!” I hesitated for a moment, wondering how I was going to un-ring this bell, but then I grabbed my wallet and followed. As Laura was busy slurping down her frozen delectable, I said firmly, “Honey, you know we are not going to be chasing the ice cream truck every time. Treats are something we have only once in a while.” She replied in a very mature manner in between bites, “Oh, I know. That’s not a problem, Mom.” Golly, that was too easy, I thought. And then Laura added, “We’ll only chase the ice cream truck on the days that we are home to hear it. The days that we don’t hear it will be the days that we don’t get ice cream.”