EXT. ICE CREAM STAND — DAY
RU, at this time 18-months old, sits on a pristine stroller, licking an ice cream cone. Her pink t-shirt and denim shorts are blobbed with ketchup from the previously consumed corn dog. The ice cream, a luscious soft serve of vanilla, begins to lean. As all licks are coming from just one angle, the opposing side is running in rivulets down the cone, her hand, her arm. THE WIFE is leaning over her while THE DAD looks on, napkins in hand.
Okay, let’s turn it to the other side.
(Attempts to turn the cone in RU’s hand)
No! I do it myself!
What are you doing? Let her eat her ice cream.
We need to teach her how to do this. Just like we will teach her to use her fork in both the American and Continental styles, how to chop, dice, slice, and to shake, never stir, a martini!
She can figure this out on her own! Stop torturing her! Who cares if she makes a mess? Let her enjoy it how she wants!
I don’t want her to lose her ice cream! This isn’t a deal!
We laugh about it now, but one of the most contentious parenting arguments the Wife and I ever had was over how RU should eat her first ice cream cone.
We pretty much see eye-to-eye when it comes to parenting. Any differences in our points of view are minor, a matter of degrees. That day, however, I felt that she was being anal retentive and causing RU far too much stress over something that’s supposed to be fun. It’s not as if RU would end up going to college still licking her ice cream on one side until it redecorates her shoes. The Wife, on the other hand, was justifiably concerned about how sad RU would be when her Leaning Tower of Vanilla (or maybe it was Vanilla and Chocolate Swirl) met its inevitable end. I guess when you get down to it, it was a dispute over which would make our toddler more miserable: instructing her to rotate the cone and enjoy her ice cream evenly all the way around or letting her have the freedom to discover for herself how gravity hates kids.
Well, we had a big laugh about it again when the Wife reminded me about that incident over this past 4th of July weekend.
INT. HOTEL ROOM — DAY
ME TOO sits on top of the air conditioning unit, licking an ice cream cone. Her red, white, and blue dress already has some smudges on it, but nothing requiring full-on stain treatment yet. The ice cream, being devoured from just one angle, is leaning perilously over the edge of the cone.
THE DAD (O.S.)
Now, MeToo, eat it from the other side. Turn it around. No, you don’t turn around. You stand still and turn the ice cream cone around. Stop touching everything with your sticky hands! Eat it from the other side!