We're at an interesting time in the Bean's development when he's becoming less gullible, which threatens to make this whole parenting thing more challenging. So far, we've been lucky enough to have a kid who doesn't question the world around him. He was a typical toddler, who would point to things and ask, "This?" But once that subsided, he stopped asking questions.
This lack of inquisitiveness has offered us some freedom--mostly financial. He has never wanted to go into a gift shop at a museum, even though his friends could not pass one by without needing to visit. Trips to the mall have been more about the play area than the Disney store. In the Bean's world, all beverages that are not water or juice are "coffee" even though they may look nothing like coffee. But the biggest misconception he has is that ice cream trucks are "music trucks." He coined this phrase early in his life and we've happily never corrected him. He's never stopped to ask why there are always kids hanging out around the music truck, nor has he asked to join them. Thus I've avoided having to be the bad guy by constantly saying "no" every time we see one. (Seriously, ice cream trucks stake out the kids in a park like a panther hunting a deer.) Amazingly, the Bean has never noticed the numerous pictures of icey treats pasted on the side of the trucks. It's like having an infant who has not developed the notion of object permanence.
But this is all coming to an end. Soon.
The Bean is learning. He's asking questions. He now knows that sometimes Daddy drinks wine or soda. In stores, he asks if we can take things home. He's learned about souvenirs. And the ice cream man isn't helping, either.
At approximately 3:00 every day, the ice cream truck arrives. You can hear it long before it appears on our street, its chimes playing the obnoxiously peppy "Turkey in the Straw" over and over. The Bean's ears prick up like a dog and he presses his face against the window, frosting it with his breath. The truck comes down the road, and the nefarious driver, knowing that there is a ice-cream deprived kid inside, slows down and practically hovers in front of our house. From my vantage point, I can clearly see his assortment of bomb pops, strawberry shortcakes and the irresistible Spongebob bar (with gumball eyes). I stare into the evil ice cream man's eyes with a look that says, "Move along mister. We don't take kindly to your kind 'round these parts." As the truck sluggishly passes by, he stares back. A tumbleweed blows by. Soon he is gone.
For the time being, the Bean remains gullible, continuing to believe that there is such thing as a music truck. But it's just a matter of time before he really studies the side of that truck. And on that day, my job as a parent will become that much harder and the ice cream man will have won.