The XX Factor

Mister Softee: The Latest Menace to Society

Kudos to the New York Times for providing an endless supply of parenting trend stories to irritate and delight. There’s a doozy in today’s paper, about moms and dads who are trying to oust ice cream trucks from their local parks. Next week: a movement to euthanize Mr. Peanut .

One woman describes the ice cream men as “predatory” because they loiter inside the playground’s gates. My favorite passage from the article is a quote from a woman who says that learning how to deal with your children wanting treats from the ice cream man is as difficult as potty training. “The ice cream truck, nobody ever mentions that” as a potential sore spot, the lady laments.

In this matter I must side with the wise Hilary Guishard of Brooklyn, who has driven Mister Softee trucks for over 30 years. “I empathize with moms when it come to health issues,” Mr. Guishard says. He continues:

“But moms have a choice. … We should be mature enough to tell our kids, ‘No.’” Wanting the trucks to go away “is not a valid issue,” he said, adding, “It’s like a mother being angry at a store being at a particular corner.” Besides, the ice cream man isn’t forever. “It’s summer,” he said, sighing. “It’s only four months.”

Moms out there, do the Mister Softee haters have a point, or are they being helicopter moms to an insane degree?

Photograph of a girl eating ice cream by David DeLossy/Getty Images.

Image in mantle of ice cream and cone by Digital Vision/Getty Images.