I obsess over my photo collection, so I’m always coming across photos I’ve forgotten completely. This one’s from Boobaby’s first ice cream, last August:
As you can probably tell, she’s just not that into ice cream.
Oddly, then, "Ice Cream Shop" is one of Boo’s favorite games. I’m sure you know it, since it seems like every toddler I’ve ever met invents it the minute they come across a play structure with a "window." Boo had never in her life seen a drive-in window, nor any other window-based food delivery system. Nonetheless, as soon as she noticed the playground window, she insisted on taking my order.
"Whaddaya want kinda iceacream?" she asked me, peering out through the gap.
"Um. What kind of ice cream? How about vanilla."
"No have that."
"O—kay…. Do you have strawberry ice cream?"
"NO HAVE THAT!"
"Righty-o. How about…" Here, I pause to reflect on Boo’s favorite things, and an idea strikes me. "Ladybug ice cream?"
"OK. Yeah. You get it you. OK," she replies. We’re still working on prepositions. And pronouns. (She and I are both still "you" most of the time.)
From then on, I pick ice cream flavors to reflect her tastes. "Water ice cream" is popular, as is anything moderately gross ("worm" and "fart" are tasty as gelato). She’s also fond of surreal flavors like "sky ice cream" or "frustrated ice cream." Today she was tickled by "yogurt ice cream" and "ice cream yogurt," which, as she pointed out, are two different things. (The latter is more fattening.)
"Ice cream shop" is so organic and bizarre that, of course, it’s hugely popular. Whenever Boo starts to take my order, we’re almost immediately inundated by a horde of kids ready either to fill my increasingly eccentric whims — or add to the mayhem by inventing their own. Since their flavors usually involve boogers and rice, I have gotten more than one exasperated look from a parent.
I just hope I haven’t set Boo up for disappointment when, some day, she starts to eat actual ice cream and discovers that her flavors are not among the standard 31. I suppose that’s when she’ll learn the horrible truth that in this world, fantasy can be more satisfying than reality.
On the other hand, maybe by then Ben & Jerry’s really will come out with "Sky Worm Fart Crunch."