Good news, everyone! Park Slope parents DON’T hate ice cream. Or at least, they don’t hate it THAT much. Or rather, they don’t hate it in a way that will drastically affect my life. Or something.
What am I even talking about? Why do we care what Park Slope parents think about ice cream? To bring you up to speed: Some parents are (still) angry that ice cream trucks and Italian ice carts have found their way to Prospect Park playgrounds. They took to the blogosphere, specifically Park Slope Parents, to complain about it. The Post picked up the story and tipped off the entire world to an alleged plot to ban ice cream trucks from Prospect Park. A blogging shitstorm of epic proportions followed. Everyone from Jezebel to FiPS picked up the story and skewered the Park Slope Parent community. How could they demonstrate such bad parenting? Why couldn’t they just say “no” to their children? Why is ice cream that big of a deal?
The Times posted a pretty fair account of the story, and allowed Dorothy Scanlan, whose initial comments led to the whole outburst, to defend herself. Scanlan claims that her anger stems from the fact that an ice cream vendor handed a sweet treat to her kid without permission. “I should not have to fight with my children every warm day on the playground just so someone can make a living!" she fumed in the article. "I too was at the Ninth Street playground on Monday, and one of the vendors just handed my 4-year-old an ice cream cone. I was furious.”
What if the child had allergies!? First the ice cream debacle ruined her day and now she has to defend herself to a bunch of faceless blog commenters!? The tragedy of this story makes me weep.
After the Times post went up, Grubstreet threw up a brief post about it under the title “Park Slope Parents Throw Temper Tantrum Over Being Portayed As Crybabies,” and now the commenting rhetoric has once again proved pretty harsh toward these guys.
In the midst of all of this nastiness, Ms. Scanlan has found it necessary to defend her parenting skills to a bunch of faceless people on the internet:
“What is so painful is seeing so many people say you’re just afraid to discipline your kid,” Ms. Scanlan said. “I think they’re easy comments to make when people already have a certain attitude about parents in Park Slope over-indulging their kids and spoiling them. People already know what they think.”
But here’s the thing: If you have to engage with Internet commenters, obviously they’ve hit a nerve. This isn’t exactly on par with the recent “coverage” of Ashley Judd’s puffy face, which Judd appropriately pointed out as a misogynistic assault on all women. This is about ice cream, and your ability to watch your children and say “no” to them without it ruining your day. So please, prove to us that you’re a capable parent. But actually, don’t prove it to us. We’re just a bunch of idiots with keyboards. So please, just prove it to your children. They’re the only ones who actually matter here.