Mighty Life List
May 19 2009

Mighty Life List: Watch Hank eat his first ice cream cone.

Lots of parents aren’t particularly concerned about stuff on their kids’ faces. This is because you can wipe a child’s face, leave the room to throw out the tissue, and return to find them covered with snot and dog hair. You’re standing there thinking, “We don’t even own a dog.” Well, that’s beside the point. The point is that keeping your kid’s face clean is like pushing a boulder uphill. Except the boulder has teeth, and can scream.

When I was child free, I’d laugh nervously when people passed me their baby food-covered kids. Then I’d lunge for the nearest napkin before the baby could slime my sweater. I always figured I’d grow out of that when I had my own kids, but instead I just chase Hank around with baby wipes all day. The result is a remarkably fastidious kid who would prefer not to touch anything that might leave a residue. He has a very conflicted relationship with bananas.

For some reason, I didn’t ponder this much when we took him out for his first ice cream cone. It was the first warm day we’ve had since he’s been old enough to hold his own cone, and I could barely wait. I’d somehow failed to remember that the kid who loves to play in mud and sand, and splash in puddles had to be taught that all those things were cool. We weren’t going to rush at him screaming, “Noooooooooo!” and then whisk off all his clothing to go soak it in the bathtub. Mud all over your shirt? Yes. Smoothie and dog hair all over your shirt? No. These are complex distinctions.

So we convinced Hank to hold his cone the way we convince him to do anything scary. Outright bribery. As you may recall, Hank will only be bribed with chocolate. Perhaps you think this is a no-brainer, because ice cream conveniently comes in chocolate form. Perhaps you have forgotten that ice cream remains on one’s face, long after one has requested that it be removed?

And apparently ice cream drips?

And this chocolate is cold? Which is unexpected when we’re talking about chocolate. And why aren’t you holding it, as any idiot can see that your manual dexterity far exceeds that of a toddler?

Why are you making him do this? It is disgusting. Are you not aware that he has teeth and can scream?

Eventually, through our laughter, we convinced him that ice cream on a cone would not grab his ankles when he walked by the bed, or secret away his security blanket while he was distracted by ice tongs. So Hank warmed to the idea of holding it himself.

He took about two bites and then thrust it at me, “You hold it?” Fair enough. He pointed at my napkin and held his hands out questioningly. So I obliged.

Then he ran back and forth on the sidewalk screeching happily while we finished our cones.

It was a good day.

38 Responses to “Mighty Life List: Watch Hank eat his first ice cream cone.”

  • ChrisC. Says:

    Cute! And your dress is freakin’ adorable!

  • Allison Says:

    Good Lord he is a cutie! Honestly, your life with a child makes me think maybe I could do it one day. Thanks for sharing these little peeks! :)

  • smallstatic Says:

    Yeah, your dress, well, whole outfit, is so fabulous it almost eclipses the wonderment of the moment and your painfully cute child. Almost.

  • Amanda Says:

    Wasn’t he but an infant last week? I’m sure you were setting him on the floor and he was toddling away…

  • Rebecca Says:

    Haha, you didn’t even need the text for this. His adorable face told it all. And I echo the other commenters – fabulous outfit.

  • Puanani Says:


  • JP Says:

    That really is adorable.

  • lani Says:

    How cute are you guys? Seriously.

  • norm Says:

    Seriously awesome. I have great memories of my kids’ first cones.

  • laura Says:

    Please! Tell us where to find that dress- it’s AMAZING! I am so proud that your toddler lunges for napkins. So proud.

  • mme_m Says:

    awww. We filmed our daughter’s first ice cream (1st birthday cake was an ice cream cake–make that 2 cakes–from Ici). She made the cutest “GAWD it’s COLD!” face.

    and you look AMAZING in that dress. Envy.

  • elise Says:

    bi-rite! oh god. so good. there is nothing in this world more sacred than honey lavender ice cream.

  • Maggeh Says:

    Laura, like everything covetable I own apparently, it’s vintage. I got it on eBay for like $10.

  • Jordan Says:

    You just put this post up so you could show a picture of yourself in that cute dress.

  • Bec Says:

    Can I have your legs?

  • kate Says:

    Great post, great photos. That kid? Adorable. Especially dipped in chocolate.

  • Lady M Says:

    So adorable!

    I was a bit obsessive with the wiping up too, with the result that my toddler would pick up his food, take a bite, and hold his hands out and demand, “Wipe! Wipe!”

  • elsie Says:

    this post is a triumph – your gorgeous little one WILL survive you!! just lovely fun – ditto on the dress and the legs please…

  • Sara Says:

    Lovely account, sweet faces.

  • wheezer345 Says:

    How cute! Looks like fun was had by all!

  • Candice Says:

    Cutest entry ever.

  • Lyz Says:

    Those cones, they can be confusing. Personally, I’m with all the fastiduous toddlers out there and prefer my ice cream in a nice, tidy bowl. My kids probably wouldn’t know what a cone WAS if not for the baby ones at McDonald’s.

  • Funkidivagirl Says:

    Too cute! I have the opposite kid…from the moment she tasted sugar, she was hooked on anything sweet.

    As for the cone, I rarely let her have one (too messy) and instead put ice cream in a cup.

    By the way, I love your dress!

  • Auntie Says:

    Finally! Overdue in my opinion. Now, take him camping. Last weekend in July. Call me for details. Grandpa will be there and it will be his 84th birthday!

  • W Says:

    what a happy looking guy :)

    lordie I am so glad I am not the only mom out there who obsessively wipes at her child’s face. My 8 month old’s snotty daycare cold nose drives me crazy. In contrast, my husband is the parent who doesn’t give a crap if his kid’s face is smeared with goo. God help me when we go camping this summer, let alone when he first gets ice cream!

  • sabrina Says:

    Hey! You straightened your hair!

  • pixie sticks Says:

    maybe he’s more of an ice cream in a cup kinda guy! sincerely hoping one of the adult cones was salted caramel. **swoon**

  • Maggie Says:

    I have always had an extreme food mess aversion. I pile up my plates immediately after finishing a meal at a restaurant and demand that they be taken right away. After having my daughter, I also became the mommy chasing her child around with baby wipes.

    So what did I get? Not the wonderfully clean child that Hank apparently is. Instead I got the “I think a better place for this bowl of noodles with marinara sauce would be on my head, don’t you think I look better as a redhead?” child.

    I think it’s some sort of punishment.

  • samantha Says:

    i LOVE this post! it makes me think about my husband, who is also very “clean” and tells me stories about avoiding sticky or messy things as a child. i wonder if that’s inherited? or learned?

  • Shannon Says:

    I am a face and hand wiper as well to my almost 3 year old. He won’t touch a banana and always holds his hands out to be wiped off after a meal. Loved this post.

  • lindsay Says:

    Can we talk about how cute it is in that picture of your son crossing his fingers!?

  • Dayna Says:

    Oh I heart wet wipes! I don’t really know how we survived without them. I was an obsessive hand/face wiper, not so much because my daughter being messy bothered me, I just always figured being that sticky/gooey/grimy can’t feel good. My daughter is now 5 and my compulsive use of wipes on her has translated into her being as appalled as Hank when she gets dirty. She likes to get dirty at least, she just wants to be cleaned up very quickly after. I was also very quick to change her clothes whenever she spilled or drooled alot and soaked her shirt. Result, two drops of water on her shirt and she’s ripping it off. Could be worse I suppose, she could be wiping boogers on everything.

  • Dawn Says:

    I adore your blog, but I think that you all need to head to Calistoga or your cabin in the woods, and play in some mud. It will be therapeutic for you all.

    Also, a ‘dry bag’ full of damp baby wash cloths is a great alternative to all those wipes going in the landfill.

  • Andrea Says:

    How did your little baby become such a big boy?! I love these photos!

  • m Says:

    I like having my ice cream in a cup with a cone on top, like a hat! :D Best of both worlds.

  • fiona Says:

    Geez. They grow up so fast. Even watching yours get bigger is a little painful. Mine is turning four in June. I haven’t figured out a way to slow it down.

  • Megan Says:

    Thanks for coming out as a mom who wipes and a formerly childfree woman who didn’t find messy faces cute. I feel more secure in the fact that I am the childless Aunt Who Always Has A Tissue.

    How long did he stay covered in chocolate once it was all over? :-)

  • Anticelebrity Says:

    Thanks for sharing!! This is way cute. Really made me smile!