In Which I Reach a Détente with the Ice Cream Man

I have a friend who, when her kids were small, managed to convince them that the truck that came tinkling down her street every night during the warm months was a "music truck," with no other purpose than to spread off-key joy to the neighborhood.

I totally support her blatant lie.

My kids are inveterate whiners and shameless panhandlers when it comes to the ice cream truck. We barely get through two bars of "The Entertainer" before they are wild-eyed and shrieking and doing a confused dance in which they're not sure whether to rifle through mommy's purse first, or to sprint down the street and stop the man before he drives away because oh my God the lack of overpriced Good Humor treats would be a summertime tragedy!!!!!

Can you tell I am Not A Fan of the ice cream guy?

This year I am trying a new approach. Sitting on a shelf in the Blue Room are three envelopes with my kids' names on them, each containing $10. They know that this is their money to spend on Batman- and Dora-shaped popsicles with gross bubblegum eyeballs or whatever else they want. When the money is gone, it's gone.

I will report back in late September on this latest experiment in parenting parkour.