A debate has erupted on Park Slope Parents, the notorious parental hellhole, that is so ridiculous it actually makes you want to cry. Mostly you want to cry because they're trying to take ice cream away from children. But you also want to cry because if this is how much parents are babying their children, we are fucked—I mean 100 percent, completely fucked—when these kids grow up, and we have to share the world with them.
So, this all centers around the playgrounds in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. According to the New York Post, a woman named Sarah posted to PSP about a terrible time she had there recently:
Along with the first truly beautiful day of the year, my son and I had our first ruined day at the playground. 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.
So what's the problem? Four-year-olds cry all the time. Apparently, though, this isn't her fault for denying him ice cream or teaching him that sometimes we don't get ice cream when we want it. It's the fault of the ice cream sellers. Another mom, Dorothy Scanlan, was on board with Sarah's anger:
I should not have to fight with my children every warm day on the playground just so someone can make a living! 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.
Oh, good god. Yes, let's ban the sale of ice cream within 100 yards of schools and playgrounds. You are seriously furious that someone is trying to make a living in your vicinity? Well, I live in Park Slope, and I am furious that you bring your children into the the nail salon while I am trying to enjoy the yearly manicure I splurge on in peace, and I am furious that your child regularly runs into my feet with his scooter. But I do not try to ban your child from my sight. Why? Mostly because I am too lazy to get into that kind of legal battle. But also because I am an adult whose parents taught me that the entire world does not revolve around me. They taught me that I will not always be completely happy; that I sometimes need to wait for things I want or not get them at all; and that other people have just as much of a right to do what they want in this world as I do. And you know what? I cried a lot when I was young because these lessons pissed me off. And my parents were annoyed by my crying, but they dealt with it because they knew that in the end it was better for me to cry for five minutes than to grow up to be a complete asshole. It's called parenting, and it's hard work, whether there's ice cream involved or not.
Fortunately, a few sane people do exist in this fair borough. One playground mom told the Post, "People just need to say no. I say no to him all the time, and I feel his wrath. But he needs to hear that no." Another mom disagrees with the idea of banning ice cream, but she didn't want to give her name "for fear of being ostracized by other parents." Jesus. It's like being in the mafia only without any of the fun. Sarah Schenk, presumably a different Sarah than the one who began all of this, is a mom and co-founder of the eco-friendly parentearth.com who says,
Nobody wants to be a crank, but one in three kids are going to be obese or diabetic by high school. When my kids see other kids get ice cream, they just start begging me. I just don't think these are the fights we should be having.
First of all, if occasionally eating ice cream in the park gave you diabetes, most of us would have died before the age of ten, but also, she is aware that if her kids aren't begging her for ice cream, they're going to be begging her for some other thing—even if it's something sad like the kale chips she brought to the park in her bag. It's what kids do: they needle, they whine, they constantly try to get whatever they can. And it's your job to deny them, again and again, until they grow up to be people who the rest of us can tolerate being around. It's also your job to give them ice cream once in a while so they don't hate you for depriving them of all joy in life.
Image via Iurii Davydov/Shutterstock.