Ice cream truck, you’re killing me

January 27, 2014 | 79 comments

You know how I was going to get all the important things done the other day, but I wrote a post instead? And then I got sick? Well, I finally had a free moment to sit down and tackle some of these pressing items, but an unfortunate event took place, and now I am forced to write instead of working yet again. It’s cool, though. When Joe settles in to watch sports tomorrow night and the house suddenly goes dark because I never did get around to paying the electricity bill, I know that he’ll smile to himself and say, “At least Jen got to blog.”

What follows is an open letter to our local ice cream truck driver, who was the initiator of said unfortunate event. (And yes, ice cream truck rounds in January are yet another thing that comes with living on the same line of latitude as Egypt. Scorpions in beds and year-round ice cream trucks — remember that next time you’re shoveling snow, northern friends.)

Dear Ice Cream Truck Driver:

Hi, my name is Jennifer. We have not had the pleasure of meeting in person, though if I were to shout from a distance “YOU KIDS GET BACK IN HERE AND PUT ON SOME SHOES! AND PANTS!” my voice would probably sound familiar.

Let me begin by saying that while I appreciate your service to our community, your presence in our neighborhood is an increasing source of distress for me, and so I am contacting you today in hopes of finding a mutually beneficial path forward.

Let me begin by describing the events of yesterday afternoon:

At 2:15 PM, my afternoon was off to a lovely start. We had had a long week where one plague after another descended upon this house, which left me working so hard and under such miserable conditions that I began to consider scrubbing vomit out of the carpet to be a relaxing activity. So when a long stretch of health and peace seemed to be finally afoot, I was overjoyed. I got my two youngest children down for naps, and set the four older kids up with quiet educational activities (read: I told them they could watch whatever they want on Netflix as long as they leave me alone). Finally, I could escape for some much-needed time to myself.

I went into my office and began my afternoon prayers. Okay, fine, I was pinning stuff like this on Pinterest. But maybe I would have said prayers at some point. We’ll never know. Because ten seconds later I heard the ominous ding-dong-dinging sound of your truck’s music.

Unlike Mommy No-Fun,  Yaya is always happy to take the kids to the ice cream truck.

Unlike Mommy No-Fun, Yaya is always happy to take the kids to the ice cream truck.

It’s hard to describe the intensity of the reaction that that noise triggers in me. Just as a tornado siren announces impending bad weather, the distant, electronic rendition of The Entertainer is like a Bad Life Siren announcing that my precious quiet time is about to come to a very abrupt end.

And while we’re on the subject, is there no other noise your truck could make? Must the presence of your vehicle be all downside for me? If you insist on continuing to peddle overpriced unhealthy treats at my front door during naptime — a matter which we will return to in a moment — perhaps we could discuss replacing the current song with secret bird calls recognizable only to parents, or, if it must be music, maybe some Wilco. (Although then you’d have a bunch of hipsters chasing after your truck. Just brainstorming here.)


So there I was, in my formerly silent house, the sound of your impending visit now filling the air. The last time this happened it woke up my napping two-year-old, and I can now admit that at one point when the overtired child was hitting me while refusing to be put down, I had a vivid fantasy about running out of my house with a knife and slashing your tires while screaming, “That’s what you get for coming at naptime!!!!” (Although later I realized that the main upshot of that move would be that your truck would be stuck in front of my house — undoubtedly with the music still blaring — for hours on end.) (My revenge fantasies need some work.)

A+ for leaving mommy alone during quiet time.

A+ for leaving mommy alone during quiet time.

But yesterday, while the two-year-old mercifully slept through it, my other children heard the approach of your truck. And, as usual, as soon as their ears detected the first few notes, they morphed from quiet little humans into rabid animals who had heard their species’ mating call, and whose ritual response was to howl “MOMMY-WE-NEEEEEEED-ICE-CREAM!” over and over and over again.

I was faced with the usual decision:

  • A. Refuse to let them get ice cream and watch them sit at the window like Flowers in the Attic children, peering from inside their darkened house at the neighbor kids who frolic in the sun with their treats.
  • B. Let them get ice cream.
  • C. Lock myself in a closet and scream.

Now, at first glance, B might seem to be the obvious choice. Just let them get the ice cream! you say. What’s the big deal?

Alas, this is a huge decision fraught with day-ruining implications:

First of all, I must make the agonizing call as to whether or not there is time enough to catch your truck before it passes by. There was one day when I announced with great fanfare that the kids could have treats, but by the time all seven of us managed to get out the door, you’d disappeared around the corner. I think I could taxidermy the cat and there would be fewer tears of outraged despair than I saw that afternoon.

But even if it’s clear that we have time to catch you, the difficulty has just begun.

Trying to find matching shoes for six young children in under ten seconds is like a challenge from one of those reality shows where they also make people eat roaches. I don’t even attempt it. Also, inexplicably, at least one of my children always has at least one sartorial disaster going on at all times, and there’s no time to untangle the two-year-old from the ream of toilet paper she’s wearing as a scarf if we’re going to catch your truck.

And then they get out the door. Contrary to all the evidence you’ve seen, my kids are generally pretty good about not straying too far away from me. They typically listen when I tell them to slow down or come back. But evidently we are descended from a long line of people who survived by hunting animals that were large, white, square, and made electronic music noises, because as soon as they spot your truck, an ancient, primal force takes over and instills them with superhuman speed and agility. This leaves me watching my barefoot kids sprint down the street at twice their normal pace in various states of undress, my words utterly powerless to bring them back. Then I’m running through the streets as well, occasionally wearing one black high heel and one poofy pink slipper because that’s all I can find, feeling every single pound of the extra baby weight as I lumber after my shoeless, ragtag group of children.

I can't deal with shoes for our outings that are PLANNED. Forget spontaneous ice cream truck chasing.

I can’t deal with shoes for our outings that are PLANNED.

We arrive at your truck where you’ve carefully arranged the choices so that there are the plain vanilla cones that cost $2, known as the “boring and stupid ice cream” by my children, and then, right next to them, there are the ones shaped like a happy frog with candy eyes and sprinkles for hair for $5.50. And I am panting and sweating and all decisioned-out, so we walk away with six ice cream frogs and I just blew my budget for little extras like dinner.

Look, I respect your entrepreneurial zeal. I admire your hustle. I certainly don’t want to stop anyone from making a buck in this economy. But surely we can put our heads together and find a better solution than the current one. How about you start a street-by-street racket where you have us parents pay you off not to come to our part of the neighborhood? The mafia has proven that this can be an effective monetization strategy for your type of business. Similarly, you could let us pay you to park your truck with the music on full blast in front of other people’s homes. I know someone who recently stuck me with quadruple the parent volunteer work I signed up for. I have an address. Send me a bill.

In conclusion, I must ask you to cease and desist your operation in its current form. However, if you would like to transform your vehicle into the Wine Truck that comes around every evening at 5:30, you have my full support.


Jennifer Fulwiler


  1. JoAnna

    We live in Arizona (killed a scorpion just this weekend, yay) and the stupid ice cream truck always comes around RIGHT BEFORE DINNER. So I get to be mean mom practically every night when I say, “No, you can’t have ice cream, dinner will be ready in just a few minutes.” Sigh.

    • Erin

      Ha! This has made my morning soooooo much better. You have such a knack for describing the absurdities of life with kids.

      And our ice cream truck plays “Fur Elise” and the theme from “Love Story” from its roof, AND THAT’S ALL. Eerie? Yes.

      • Melissa

        I live in Florida and our ice cream truck plays “Fur Elise” and the theme from “Love Story” too, which then get stuck in my head for hours. I always wonder what possessed them to choose that music.

  2. Maria

    I had my children convinced that the “music truck” visited our neighborhood periodically for what seemed like the longest time. Innocence ends too soon, alas.

    • Marcy K.

      Oh, we had a music truck too! Until little Kevin next door dimed on me when my oldest was five. (Heavy Sigh) “You know Mommy….that’s not the “music truck,” Kevin told me it sells ice cream!” Thanks, Kevin. I’m just too cheap to buy ice cream for what I can almost buy a 1/2 gallon for at the supermarket.

    • LPatter

      YES to music truck! That was the first 3 years of my son’s life. That and the merry-go-rounds at the mall that you just sit on and pretend! 🙂

      • Mary @ Parenthood

        You mean the merry-go-rounds actually do something??? (Shh don’t tell my kids!)

  3. Kari

    I live in Florida. We have the ice cream truck year round too. I feel your pain! A neighbor of mine shared with me that he had convinced his children that the musical truck with the bright colors was really a singing garbage truck. They believed him FOR YEARS!

    • Marcy K.

      OH I LOVE this! I wish I had THAT one.

  4. Elise

    This is hysterical, Jen! I have fond childhood memories of running into the kitchen and pulling out the drawer where my parents kept a small box. It often had extra coins and $1 bills in it for occasions such as the ice cream man coming through our subdivision. 🙂 I admit my husband & I still go to the ice cream truck that parks itself in the local park upon occasion – a vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles is my favorite!

  5. Emily

    I think your next book should be “Letters from a Mom.” With this and Shaun the Sheep, you’ve got, what, the first 5 pages already? And somehow I don’t doubt you having the material to fill the rest…

    • Gina

      I second this!

      • TheresaEH

        along with retorts you hold in when total strangers ask you if “all those kids are yours or are you done yet” ;p

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      LOL! I’ll definitely add it to the list of ideas! 🙂

  6. Adam

    Ice cream trucks creep me out. Some parents are afraid of clowns around their children. For me, it’s ice cream trucks. It just makes me uncomfortable to have vehicles driving around looking for children. Yes, I know it’s not fair to generalize. My sincere apologies to all the reputable ice cream vendors out there just trying to make an honest living!

    • Sara McD

      I understand – “c’mere little boy want some ice cream?”

  7. stasa travers

    I almost fell of the chair laughing when I saw the picture of your little girl wearing a matching pair of shoes on top of the kitchen counter 🙂

  8. Francine

    Yes to the wine truck! Maybe with cheese pairings?

  9. Amy

    This little flat out lie is too late for you. But hopefully others can benefit from it.
    When the ice cream truck comes round, I remind my daugher – “They only play music when they are out of ice cream!” She’s an only child, our neighbors don’t partake in the ice cream truck, I’m going to live this lie as long as I can! She’s 6, and still believes. It helps when we see the ice cream truck at the park, and they AREN’T playing that horrible music, and there are kids lined up! Of course, I conveniently never have money on those days!

    • Ann-Marie

      Brilliant! The music truck theory is still working in our home, but I will tuck this one away for when it’s true identity is discovered.

  10. Katey

    Wow, I remember 50 cent Popsicles when I was a kid. If he’s getting 30 bucks from your house alone no wonder he keeps coming back.
    I just tell my kids, “no ice cream man, ever.” so we don’t have any problems. That and I never have any cash for the guy anyway.

  11. Hannah

    My mother had me and my 3 younger siblings convinced for YEARS that they only played music when they were out of ice cream (like a previous commenter). It was a devious thing that I fully plan on using for my children.

    Also in Nebraska all the ice cream trucks are driven by ex-convicts…not sure why they decided it was a good program for rehab into society but whatever. They still creep me out as an adult.

  12. Mary

    Unfortunately I feel your pain. We are on such good terms, meaning regular suckers, that she will sit at the end of our driveway blaring the music, in case we didn’t hear it. She doesn’t realize once I have a whiff of the music, I call the kids in the house immediately and turn some noise on real loud.
    It only works a fraction of the time.

  13. lisa

    yes to the wine truck!

  14. Sara

    Oh, Jen, don’t we all hate the ice cream man? Sheesh! I have a couple of thoughts for you:
    1. You live in Texas—why do your kids have to have their shoes on to greet the ICM?
    2. You could refuse to EVER buy ice cream from him, and they’ll actually stop asking. I used to get compliments all the time at the store about how my kids weren’t whining for candy. If they know it’s not an option, it’s not a problem. But you can’t EVER give in.
    3. You can buy some reasonably priced, not boring ice cream that they can have ONLY when the ICM comes.

    • Melissa H-K

      Why shoes? Because SCORPIONS.

      And Yaya seems to have taken care of options 2 and 3, leaving Jen holding the bag when Yaya isn’t around.

      • elizabethe

        No no! it can still work! Jen just needs to make ice cream truck ice cream a Ya Ya specific activity. “Oh no, only Yaya has the ice cream money. When Ya Ya’s here, she can get you ice cream if she wants.”

        In our house, Daddy is the only person who buys them icee’s. I have shut down many arguments at Target this way.

  15. priest's wife (@byzcathwife)

    haha! We are in S. Cal- the ice cream man comes dinner. (well- makes sense- most people are home at 5:45!)- the song on November 1st was O Christmas Tree (coincidentally my least favorite Christmas song) whoever bought their kids ice cream the day(45 degrees- cold for here) after trick or treating should be throttled!

  16. Carrie

    Laughed until I cried…

  17. Caroline M.

    That is a rip-off! Not to sound all “well in my day” about it, but I remember using quarters to buy stuff from the ice cream truck. My favorites were the red, white, and blue popsicles (no idea what the flavor was). And now I have the ice cream truck song stuck in my head, thanks Jenn.

  18. Anne

    I live in Canada…in Ottawa, Ontario, to be precise…which is now in the depths of our 2nd “polar vortex.” The thought of an ice cream truck slays me…although, one with Irish Cream coffee on a bitterly cold day sounds awesome…but I digress…
    We have an ice cream truck that roams the neighbourhood here in the summer…at RANDOM times. As in, 8:45 p.m. random….or, afternoon nap time random (I don’t have afternoon napping children anymore, but when I did…gahhhhh)…or even later in the evening. And on top of it, he never comes at the same day, or same time, or anything….RAN-DOM.
    Also? Annoying as a polar vortex in January. 😀 But I’ll take the snow over scorpions any day, haha!

  19. Elisa | blissfulE

    This makes me think of the “family culture” post Kendra recently published. My family never has ice cream from the ice cream truck.

    Of course it helps that I’ve only heard the ice cream truck music, and that only distantly, one time in the five years we’ve lived in Australia – though we often see them parked at parks. Maybe you could move here!! 🙂

  20. Deme

    Trying not to wake my own sleeping child beings with my muffled snort laughter…I may have just peed myself. I don’t think you should totally discount slashing the tires. A viable option if you don’t receive a prompt response to your letter. Also. At $5.50 a pop, I’m definitely in the wrong line of work. But if I make the career move I will be sure to stay off your street!

  21. Monica

    Ahh the ice cream truck… a perennial pain for parents! My mom had an interesting solution – she couldn’t believe how much *we* were willing to spend on ice cream from that truck, so she bought Popsicles and SOLD them to us (and other kids!) whenever the ice cream truck came around. Hers were cheaper- and oddly, neighbor kids (not us) remembered this little tactic fondly for YEARS!

  22. Tee

    I’ve been too sick and yucky to haul myself out of bed for the better portion of the day, so I went on a hunt for new blogs to read. Found yours by clicking on a link and then a link and then another link. (I think I started at Kelly’s Korner Blog and it just sort of spiraled from there.) So grateful I landed here, though, because I’ve been reading through some back posts for two hours and am giggling up a storm over here! While not Catholic… I’m old order Mennonite… I have tremendously enjoyed reading your posts about your beliefs and recognizing that a love for Christ is a love for Christ, no matter the denomination. So thank you for the entertainment! I hope you have a scorpion free evening! (My area of the deep south of Mississippi doesn’t see scorpions and after reading your blog, I’m very thankful for that!)

    The Lord be with you,

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Thanks so much, and so nice to “meet” you!

  23. Kendra

    I have a thing about lying to my kids, I don’t do it. But that doesn’t mean I can’t mess with them. We have an ice cream truck that makes the rounds all year right around dinner time. I have convinced my kids that it is hilarious to shout, “Oh no! It’s the Ice Cream Man!” And hide.

    They do it at home and in the car. It’s pretty entertaining.

    Unfortunately they don’t think it applies to the little carts at the park. So sometimes we do get ice cream from those.

  24. Anne McD

    Amy, our neighbors tell their kids that the music means they’re out of ice cream, too! I hate the truck that comes through our neighborhood. Sketchy doesn’t describe it well– the truck has the name and number of a contractor service peeking through a bad paint job, and it plays things like Jingle Bells and James Bond theme songs, and has the words “ice cream” written out in electrical tape.

    Um. No.

  25. Catholic Bibliophagist

    When I was a little girl growing up in Southern California, my mother convinced us that the driver of the musical truck was just “a man selling tools.”

  26. Michelle

    This is awesome! I was having an off day a couple of years ago when the ice cream truck came down our street. My son said, “Why can’t we get ice cream?” and I replied, “Because only creepers drive ice cream trucks.” Isn’t that horrible? Now my 7 year old says, “There is that creeper again!”, but he never asks to buy ice cream 🙂

    Another mom I know told her kids that they only play music on the ice cream truck when they are out of ice cream. Ha ha!

    Oh, the things we do to maintain our fragile grip on sanity.

  27. Sarah Mackenzie

    Oh my gosh. This has GOT to be the funniest thing you have ever posted!

    • TheresaEH

      Indeed eh!

  28. Michelle Marvian

    I am sorry to make you envious, but “the truck” is not allowed in our development.

    I left this “real” problem behind with our old house. Year round must be hell. Even now, the children know NEVER to hum or sing the TUNE of the ice cream man…..

    Seriously though, I bought sort of healthy cheapo pops and they knew they could have them when they heard the bell.

  29. TheresaEH

    I guess I was the meanest nastiest mommy in Northern Canada eh! The only time my 2 kids received ice cream truck treats was when their grandparents were visiting 😉 I will embrace the snow as I do not wish scorpion’s in anyone’s bed, eeeeeek!

  30. Traci

    Taking a break from all that shoveling and your article served as a great distraction. No ice cream trucks at all on our unplowed roads. – A Northener

  31. Mish

    When I was growing up, my sisters and I were the only kids on our street so my mom literally banned the ice cream man from coming down our street. I’m now 46 years old and have NEVER had ice cream from the ice cream truck! My sister-in-law told her kids that it was a music truck that came through the neighborhood just playing music. They were school age before someone finally told them that there was ice cream in that “Music Truck”! 🙂

  32. Lynne

    I thought all of this was going to lead up to the ice cream driver looking like a child molesting ex-con– which is what all our ice cream truck drivers always looked like. I wouldn’t let the kids go out of the house for the simple fear of him seeing where they lived.

    taxidermy the cat–classic!

  33. Annette Nellums

    I am a friend of your Aunt Claudia, one of my favorite people. She first sent me the link to your blog. As a mother of six children in less than 10 years, (all grown and most parents themselves)and a stay-at-home mother until the youngest started kindergarten, I can so relate. I laughed at this one until my sides hurt. You are an inspiration. God bless you.

  34. Mark S.


  35. sheila

    We didn’t have an ice cream truck in our neighborhood when I was growing up. We had a snow cone truck. The driver lived on the next street over, just 2 houses away. Granny & Grandpa never had a chance!

  36. John

    I’m still getting over the fact that it’s late January and the kids are dressed like it’s the middle of summer. It’s 14 degrees where I live!

  37. Connie Rossini

    Ice cream truck in January?! We make snow ice cream at this time of the year–when it’s not -45 windchill. I don’t think there is an ice cream truck in our town (we’ve lived here 4 years). Fortunate for us since my kids can’t have milk. But we make it with pure cream in the summer.

  38. Martha

    That is terrible! And hilarious. Being a farmgirl from MN, I have never experienced the joys of this phenomenon. However, we do have the Schwans guy, and just yesterday, during naptime as well (it was probably happening simultaneously in our worlds), he knocked his classic ‘shave and a haircut’ on the door, which acts in much the same way as the music, I imagine. Screams of ‘ICE CREAM’ and abandoned beds ensued.

    And here I was hoping that, since our blizzard on Sunday, and my husband thinking it would be funny to not blow out the 6′ drifts on the driveway (1/4 mile), the Schwans guy couldn’t navigate it. Well people, he walked. Up the entire driveway. That’s how desperate the ice cream people are. They’re an unforgiving lot.

  39. Amy

    Jennifer.. THANK YOU! I once counted the ice cream truck going down our street 7 TIMES IN ONE DAY! I was about to call the cops on him for harassment. Seriously, these people need to find another line of work that doesn’t involve torturing parents and forcing us to lie, or to disappoint our children. I live in Florida, I feel your pain..;)

  40. Maggie

    For VD have your hubby buy the family a white noise device that can
    simulate various rains, fans, etc, and put it outside in the kids
    hallway. I’ve even used gregorian chant sometimes. Tell them once
    a week is all they get, so put it on the calendar, so they can keep
    track. I also used to tell my kids they could get up at a certain
    time easy to remember like 2:22 or 1:35 etc and they would fall
    asleep watching the clock 🙂

  41. Amelia @ One Catholic Mama

    Buy those little ice cream treats (like drumsticks) to keep in the freezer and dole those out instead of eveyrone running for hte ice cream truck. Or just say no! In our family, we only eat ice on Sundays and special days (like birthdays), so they don’t even ask for it any other time. Works for us. 🙂

  42. Monica

    I just about KILLED our ice cream truck driver because he’d come by EVERY DAY at the same time — 12 minutes after I’d put my baby down for her nap, just long enough for her to think she’d napped long enough, but nowhere near the 90 minutes she (and I) actually needed. I may have fantasized about using a shotgun (which, fortunately, we do NOT own), and it wasn’t going to be on the tires of the truck.

    What I actually did was take my baby out there one day after he awoke her and request that he turn off the music as he passed our house at naptime. I was trying to be polite, but I think I must have looked seriously intimidating, because he agreed right away and actually TURNED OFF THE MUSIC when he passed our house! For the rest of the time we lived there! I was then glad that I hadn’t taken to my (nonexistent)shotgun.

    Some of our kids have serious food allergies, so we never actually get ice cream from an ice cream truck. This has made life so much easier in so many ways, but opting into allergies to avoid the ice cream truck is probably not a wise choice…

  43. JZ

    Wouldn’t it be easier to just pick a day of the week, or throw a dart at a few days on the calendar and say,”this is when we’re getting ice cream, don’t bug me when the truck goes by unless it’s THIS day”?

  44. JZ

    And follow it up with, “If you misbehave, you miss ice cream day.”

  45. Holly

    Hi Jen,
    I just found your blog via Rachel. I love it! My 16 year old is sitting across from me wondering why I am laughing. I read him one of your posts about scorpions! We live in WI- no scorpions here. I have 5 boys. 16-6. School has been cancelled for the past 2 days due to -35 wind chill temps. Your writing gave me the laugh I so badly needed today. Thank you!

  46. FDwife

    Being a mom in a hot state, I too cringe at the sound of the infamous ice cream truck. So, my kids have fallen to my lie, that the ice cream truck is for kids who don’t have ice cream at home. I try to keep a fun assortment in the freezer almost at all times for these moments not for every day snacking (using coupons and sales) because those are so expensive from the truck! And if they really want it, well then, I suggest to them, “use your own money.” I have a 10 and 9 yr old and do not have a set allowance, but on avg., $2/week. Once they go get their money, and realize, its basically leaving them with almost nothing, they quickly change their tune and are perfectly happy choosing from our freezer, or they get to pick out a package of 8+ popsicles for the price of 1, at the grocery store, or we make snow cones. I do, however, allow the ice cream truck to STEAL my money on 4th of July(special occasion and pre planned by the CFO…aka Mom) when it really is necessary to stay cool, and ice cream truck treats are a “treat” so we will keep it special and my kids actually respect that. I also realize the more I say “No” the more rabid they are about everything…tv, video games, cookies. Moderation = control in my humble home 🙂 Great idea JZ on choosing a day of the week, by showing them its not the end of the world if they don’t get that treat every time it comes around. but they will on another day. When my kids were babies we lived on an Air Force base with F-16s flying directly over us, and they eventually got used to it at all times of the day. The street noise is a factor of living in a community.

  47. jenny

    Hmmm….judging from your picture and description, I think we live in the same neighborhood. And we had a similar incident with the same thruck a few weeks ago. Usually it’s the run down gutted and shodily refurbished white van with ice cream boxes taped to the doors that roams our neighbohood just before dinner playing Christmas carols from January thru Easter, but occassionally it’s the really load Kona Ice truck.

  48. Bonnie

    ICE CREAM TRUCK???? Who needs ice cream in freezing weather? Hey, the way the weather is in Austin today (according to the Weather Channel) maybe he’ll skid off the road and get stuck in a ditch. Here’s hoping…

  49. Margo

    Just heard you say on a repeat Coming Home ‘We have supernatural powers…just say a prayer it can’t hurt” didn’t catch what it was in
    reference to but it could apply here perhaps? Boundaries are hard
    but oh so necessary.

  50. Neva

    I am one who just never buys the ice cream — my kids know this so when they hear the ice cream truck they go to their room in sulk. It gives a surprising quiet 5 minutes.

  51. Heather

    We live in Arizona and that @$!# ice cream truck is the bane of my (afternoon) existence. It ALWAYS comes between 2 and 4 (naptime) and there are days when I desperately need a nap and I’m almost asleep…and then I hear that saccharine music, and my entire body tenses because I know there’s a good chance I’m about to hear bellows of “IT’S THE SONG TRUCK!!!!!!” as my now-awake children bolt from their rooms.

    (They only know it as “the song truck”, thank goodness. I will come up with a very creative and painful punishment for the person that tells them that their beloved song truck is actually a bearer of ice cream. I will never hear the end of it.)

  52. Sara McD

    That picture of your daughter in the cabinet reminds me of the one of Simcha’s crazy child. (I mean that with love.) No liquor bottles in your picture though.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      I know exactly which picture you mean! It’s one of my all-time favorites.

  53. Beth Anne

    I’m so jealous! The ice cream man NEVER comes where I live…I’m dying for a screwball!!!!!! On the first day of summer they hired an ice cream truck to come to my work and gave us all ice was awesome 🙂

  54. Sparki

    Frogs have hair?

    There was a big exposé in our local paper some years ago about how ice cream truck drivers don’t have to submit to background checks and about 30% of the ones in our city had child pornography and/or child molestation records. So we don’t buy ice cream from a truck. Ever. Even if we’re with the kids. I keep ice cream sandwiches and homemade popsicles locked in my downstairs freezer, and when the kids hear the ice cream truck, they are allowed to buy one from me for 50 cents. The cheap middle kid loves the idea of paying 1/4 the price for the same thing. The other kids, not so much.

    BTW, do the ice cream trucks in Texas play weird music? Ours play Christmas songs all summer, mixed pop hits from the 1970s, including the theme from “The Godfather,” the theme from “Love Story” and “Ode to Billy Joe,” and for those of us who know the lyrics, it’s super creepy.

  55. jeni

    my hero. and I mean that sincerely!

  56. Sarah

    Jen-Our ice cream trucks play music but also make an obnoxious tricky sound like someone is knocking on your door and saying “Hello?” to get your attention. Seriously! It makes my heart jump every time and I get so mad at being tricked! (And I never ever have any cash, so that’s my excuse to the kids.)

  57. Jendi

    Glad I kept reading until the end because I really LOL’d at suggesting a mafia style monetization. I’m so glad my children are past having to take naps! And I provide a stool in the kitchen so they can reach things without calling me. 🙂

  58. Chalayn

    Ha! This is fantastic – your writing, not the Ice Cream Truck Menace.

    I only have one memory of the ice cream truck coming to my house. I lived in a home on a highway in Washington State so it wasn’t that residential. The one time he did stop was when we were having a garage sale. The Ice Cream Man killed many birds with one stone that day. I told him to wait for me and ran upstairs to get my spare change. This took longer than expected (hey, I was young and broke) and by the time I was back outside he was gone! I was DEVASTATED and I haven’t trusted an ice cream man since.

    So, I appreciate your bad feelings towards Ice Cream Truck Drivers and I stand with you!

  59. Christine

    Oh…that has to be the funniest, yet most realistic, depiction of what happens when the ice cream man descends upon our neighborhood. I am so glad that I am not the only one who just wishes he would go…away. My 4 boys go nuts every time that music plays. I usually just go for the ice cream treat stash in the freezer and pray that I’ve restocked it. My kids appreciate sugar in any way, shape, or form, so I am good with just pulling out our own treats. Thankfully…

  60. Michelle

    This article is gaining lotta momentum and getting good comments. After reading this, I hardly read a full blog post, but, you know, this is funny. Then, the funniest part is this:

    But yesterday, while the two-year-old mercifully slept through it, my other children heard the approach of your truck. And, as usual, as soon as their ears detected the first few notes, they morphed from quiet little humans into rabid animals who had heard their species’ mating call, and whose ritual response was to howl “MOMMY-WE-NEEEEEEED-ICE-CREAM!” over and over and over again.

    I love it when the kids ask for what they want they we have to watch our spending as well.

    I’ve lived in third world countries where it only costs a fraction to train the children and they get same stuff as we get for other kids in the States.

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