The Crusade Against Playground Predators With Sugar-Filled Treats

The New York Times reports that "parents" (at least three!) are "irate" about ice cream trucks. Evidently they are not too fond of snow cone pushcarts either. Because her 3-year-old daughter once "had an inconsolable meltdown about not being able to have a treat," Brooklyn mother Vicki Sell has gone on a rampage against the guys selling fruit-flavored ices at the local playground, demanding that the city shut them down. "It's really predatory for them," she tells the Times, "to be right inside the playground like this." She'd go after nearby ice cream trucks as well, but "since they are licensed, there is not much she can do about them." 

Sell insists, "I'm not a health freak by any means." (Does anyone who is not a health freak ever say that?) "I notice what happens to my daughter when she eats these sugar-filled things with all these additives," she explains. If only there were some way to prevent little Katherine from eating "these sugar-filled things" without banning them altogether. Sell wants us to know she is not a mean person. "I feel kind of bad about having developed this attitude," she says. Probably not as bad as the men whose livelihoods she's trying to ruin because she's afraid to say no to a 3-year-old.

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  • Abdul||

    The NYT will always have it's finger on the pulse of the most neurotic yuppie parents.

  • ||

    First they came for the see-saws. Then they came for the merry-go-rounds. Then they came for helmet-free bike-riding. Now they're after the ice cream trucks. Why do these parents hate for their kids to have fun?

  • Franklin Harris||

    I swear to Cthulhu, 99 percent of this planet had better be glad I haven't learned how to kill people with my mind... yet.

  • Sean Healy||

    I love the folk legend that 'additives' and sugar cause hyperactivity. Unless your kid has diabetes or some other metabolic problem, excess sugar will not make them 'hyper'. It will be stored as glycogen for their next marathon. The body treats a baked potato the same way.

  • ||

    My ward here in Chicago (the 19th) bans ice cream trucks. I suppose when you've already banned guns, drugs, spray paint, little baggies, smoking in restaurants, booze (restaurants east of Western have to be dry) and aluminum bats (okay, that last one's just a proposal at this point), what's the big deal in adding one more to the list?

  • ||

    "Because her 3-year-old daughter once "had an inconsolable meltdown about not being able to have a treat," Brooklyn mother Vicki Sell has gone on a rampage against the guys selling fruit-flavored ices at the local playground,"

    Because God forbid she teach her three year old to act like anything but a poorly trained ape. And God forbid that anyone ever teach a child that sometimes life isn't fair. For these reasons all children and adults must be derpived of the pleasure that is an ice cream truck. I really hate some people.

  • T||

    This is going on in my neighborhood. The residents are arguing about ice cream trucks, with the more clever nannies arguing it violates the neighborhood "No Soliciting" policy. My favorite stupid argument? "Do you want a stranger giving food to your kids?" What, like you run a fucking background check on every restaurant employee that hands you food? Or the kitchen staff that prepared it? Please. A prepackaged frozen treat is probably 100x safer than Jack-In-the-Box.

    I'm growing to hate my neighbors. I'm finally accepting the fact I need to move to a bunker in the country where my disdain and general loathing of humanity can fester in peace.

  • <strike>strike through</strike||

    Sean Healy | August 20, 2009, 11:49am | #
    [E]xcess sugar will not make them 'hyper'. It will be stored as glycogen for their next marathon. The body treats a baked potato the same way.


    Stop clouding the issue with inconvenient facts, Sean. It's for The Children® goddammit!

  • Anonymous||

    Because her 3-year-old daughter once "had an inconsolable meltdown about not being able to have a treat,"



    I blame the ice-cream trucks, the MTV, and the video games for not having brought up my child correctly!

  • Anomalous||

    A child had a meltdown? Where is the government? Somebody must do something!

  • Invisible Finger||

    In other words "I'm too much of a dipshit to say NO to my child because I have a child fetish along with self-esteem issues from my fear that my child may hate me as much as I hate my own parents for not letting me get my way all the time. And those same self-esteem issues fuel my need to become a community activist to trample on the rights of adults who I view with the same hatred as I view my parents because I want to have my way all the time."

  • Invisible Finger||

    Seems to me the kid had a meltdown because it's a genetic trait from her mother.

  • ||

    "I notice what happens to my daughter when she eats these sugar-filled things with all these additives," she explains.



    How does she act? Hyper or happy? Could it be that she's provided so little happiness to her daughter that she can't even recognize the emotion in her child?

  • ||

    Jesus T. That is amazing. We still have ice cream trucks in my neighborhood. There is a collection of 4 to 7 year olds who line up on my street to wait for it every evening. It is pretty much as Norman Rockwell as you can possibly get. Only a seriously twisted fuck would have a problem with it.

  • Abdul||

    Because God forbid she teach her three year old to act like anything but a poorly trained ape.

    As the father of a three year old, I can say that they are essentially apes. the only known treatment is to wait two years.

    That said, anything is a stimulus for a 3 year old's meltdown, not just passing ice-cream trucks. My kid cries if he's in bed and he hears a siren because he can't see the fire truck.

    I've tried taking this case to the town council, but they won't consider a ban on fire trucks for some reason. Where's my NYT article?

  • Tomcat1066||

    "It's really predatory for them," she tells the Times, "to be right inside the playground like this."

    Yeah, it's awful. I mean, why on Earth would a business be at a place that might actually be good for their business? I mean, seriously?

    It's also predatory for there to be ice cream shops in malls, pharmacies near a large group of doctor's offices, restaurants in a business district, or anything else positioned to maximize it's chances of being seen by potential customers!

    I hate idiots like this bitch.

  • Michael||

    In other words "I'm too much of a dipshit to say NO to my child because I have a child fetish along with self-esteem issues from my fear that my child may hate me as much as I hate my own parents for not letting me get my way all the time will become the same kind of manipulative little brat that always gets her way that I was at her age. And those same self-esteem issues fuel my need to become a community activist to trample on the rights of adults who I view with the same hatred as I view my parents because I want to have my way all the time."

  • Xeones||

    Yo, fuck Vicki Sell.

  • Warty||

    Morbo: Morbo demands an answer to the following question: If you saw delicious candy in the hands of a small child would you seize and consume it?

    Johnson: Unthinkable.

    Jackson: I wouldn't think of it.

    Morbo: What about you, Mr. Nixon? I remind you, you are under a truth-o-scope.

    [The truth-o-scope hovers over Nixon's head and he starts to sweat.]

    Nixon: Uh, well, I, uh ... the question is-is vague. You don't say what kind of candy, whether anyone is watching or, uh... [He clears his throat.] At any rate, I certainly wouldn't harm the child.

    [The truth-o-scope beeps.]

  • Xeones||

    On the other hand, the dude who drives the ice cream truck in my neighborhood will sometimes park up the block in the evening when there are no kids around, and shortly fill the air with the smell of burning, uh, vegetation. I'm all like, who do you think you are, Big Worm?

  • ||

    Jim Conway, a vice president for Mister Softee, said the company encouraged vendors to be sensitive to customers' complaints. But parents, he said, are different from when he was young. Those who dislike the ice cream man, he said, tend to be "New Age parents whose kids can't seem to do anything without them."

    Ooh, snap!

  • Vocki||

    What, like you run a fucking background check on every restaurant employee that hands you food?

    You mean the FDA does *not* do this?!

  • Kevin||

    For those meltdowns, I recommend a book called "1-2-3 Magic." It's mostly about how to say NO to your kids and establish that you, as a parent, are in charge. I think in this case, the author would recommend putting the kid over your shoulder, driving home, and sending her to bed.

    That, or you could inconvenience everyone else and destroy a bunch of people's livelihoods.

  • Jeff P||

    It is unforgivable predatory for Jacob to post a story involving freedom to make a living and irresponsible parenting on a blog whose readers enjoy such stories. He knew full well this post would incite discussion, open mockery of a nanny-state apologist, and criticism of her parenting skills. Mr. Sullum should be ashamed of himself for giving H&R readers exactly what they crave, and benefiting from his reputation as a superior blogger.

  • ||

    I must place some blame on journalism for this. They're giving her a pulpit, enabling her whining, and helping her make contact with other sociopaths.

  • Vocki||

    That's Vicki! Vicki! Don't know why I'm so hyper!

  • ||

    I agree fuck that bitch, maybe thats her problem, lack of dick

  • ||

    "As the father of a three year old, I can say that they are essentially apes. the only known treatment is to wait two years."


    That is true. Having childen can be broken down into the following stages.

    Birth to about 18 months - fun with baby

    18 months to about 4 years depending on the kid, life becomes a living hell as you are forced to live with an emotional tyrant who cannot be reasoned with or fully communicate their needs and desires or in any way control them.

    4 years to 10 years fun with cute elementary school kid

    10 years to 13 years - life with an annoying middle schooler whom the law makes it illegal to give the beatings they show richly diserve

    13 to 18 - life with a know it all teenager who keeps raiding your bank account.

    People always swear their 2 year old is normally a sweat wonderful kid. No they are not. They are two years old. There is nothing sweet or wonderful about them at that age.

  • phalkor||

    My understanding was that a Vicki was like a whore, except they give it up for free.

  • <strike>strike through</strike||

    We had ice cream trucks when I was a kid, and my parents taught me a valuable lesson about them: you can't get ice cream if you don't have money, and you don't get money unless you mow the lawns. It was a simpler time.

  • kc||

    Dontcha just love the parents who try to reason with a toddler in the middle of a meltdown? "Now, now, you know that sugar is bad for you, stop crying for Mommy,it's not good to have a treat before dinner, now listen to Mommy, blah, blah, blah"
    All you have to do to stop the meltdown (I speak as a parent who's been there/done that) is remove the kid from the playground/restaurant/store; the benefit is 2-fold - the kid gets distracted and forgets all about the cause of the meltdown, and no one else has to suffer through the ear-piercing screams.
    Do this a few times and the kid will stop screaming the minute you start to pack up the toys to go home.
    But I guess people who don't understand basic economic theory also don't understand cause & effect in children's behavior.

  • ||

    John, in your professional opinion, is it wrong to mock the shite out of your kid during a meltdown? I find it quite therapeutic.

  • bend||

    Sugar does cause hyperactivity and anyone who says differently hasn't got kids (or hasn't got my kids). Of course, the hyperactivity is not the result of sugar's metabolism but of the excitement associated with candy, cake and sweetness in general. If you give your kids enough sugar that it becomes no longer a treat, but an entitlement, they no longer get that sugar high-they get diabetes. Do you see the parallel here with government programs.

  • ||

    They can have my tasty frozen sugary treat when they pry it out of my cold, dead, sticky fingers.

    O, and one thing I have noticed - the average 3 year old can outwit the average 33 year old parent. Or maybe the 3 year olds have more gumption.

  • alan||

    Franklin Harris | August 20, 2009, 11:49am | #
    I swear to Cthulhu, 99 percent of this planet had better be glad I haven't learned how to kill people with my mind... yet.


    I'm still working on the ability to flick quarters into people's skulls, but the telekinesis is coming along nicely.

    For those who doubt the Powers of the Mind! watch carefully the tape of Paddy Harrington the other week on the 16th hole, and Tiger behind him breaking a sweat and trembling as he knocks Paddy's chip shot ball from the green into the water hazard with his mind. Damn near killed Woods pulling that one off.

  • JB||

    Vicki Sell is definitely a fetus in need of a medical procedure.

    Not only should she not have any children, she should have been aborted long ago.

  • ||

    "No. Because I said so. Because of the long, rich Western tradition that gives me patria potestas over you and your siblings."

    Or, as Bill Cosby's dad put it: "You know, I brought you into this world, I'll take you out. And it don't make no difference to me, I'll make another one look just like you."

  • creech||

    Nothing new under the sun. I remember reading about a woman in Phila. circa 1900 who actually got the city fathers to hold hearings to stop the spread of electric streetcars because the one going by her house sent a jolt of electricity into her bedroom that (in the venacular of the day) "violated her person."

  • ||

    Because God forbid she teach her three year old to act like anything but a poorly trained ape. And God forbid that anyone ever teach a child that sometimes life isn't fair. For these reasons all children and adults must be derpived of the pleasure that is an ice cream truck. I really hate some people.

    My Gawd. I agree with every thing you said John.

  • ||

    You can't have no ice cream 'cause you on da welfare...and his father's a alcoholic!

  • ||

    I feel kind of bad about having developed this attitude

    Bullshit.

  • Tomcat1066||

    "We had ice cream trucks when I was a kid, and my parents taught me a valuable lesson about them: you can't get ice cream if you don't have money, and you don't get money unless you mow the lawns. It was a simpler time."

    Today, many parents teach a different lesson: you can't get ice cream because the greedy ice cream truck owner doesn't recognize your right to ice cream. As such, you should agitate for legislation requiring universal ice cream. Fuck those chumps who cut grass to buy their ice cream!

  • Dello||

    Abdul,
    "As the father of a three year old, I can say that they are essentially apes. the only known treatment is to wait two years."

    As the father of a newly five year old, I can say that two years isn't enough. It's better, but still happens. Worse is that she's old enough to tell her mom when I smack her now...

    If I lived where Sell does, I'd follow her to the park with my kid, and give my kid yummy sugar treats right in front of her kid, and say "NO! Your mommy said you can't have any!"

    I figure that will cause far less of a melt down for her kid than an ice cream truck will..

  • silvermine||

    Oh my goodness. If you can't say "no ice cream" to a 3-year old, you are in so much more trouble than you know, lady...

  • ||

    Having worked in preschools with exactly this demographic, I can tell you that there are more where Vicki came from. The concept of disciplining a child is completely foreign to them.

    I was scared to give time-outs, for fear of parents thinking I was irrevocably damaging lil' Jayden's self esteem. These parents will have a lot of fun when they have adolescents with no concept of consequences.

  • ||

    This is a girl with a future on that sweet sixteen birthday show on the teevee.

  • ||

    If I lived where Sell does, I'd follow her to the park with my kid, and give my kid yummy sugar treats right in front of her kid, and say "NO! Your mommy said you can't have any!"

    This is fantastic. While you're there, tell Vicki, "The World called and it's unanimous. Everyone hates you." Thanks.

  • ||

    Yo, fuck Vicki Sell.

    Just what I was going to say. But I must hasten to add that it's meant purely in a figurative sense. I have no doubt that Vicki Sell is a lousy lay.

  • ||

    It's mostly about how to say NO to your kids and establish that you, as a parent, are in charge.

    I don't think my mom never read that book, but she was able to establish that she is in charge.

    It usually involved the back of her hand and the phrase "I said "NO!", now stop crying, or you'll get another one."

    Worked like a fucking charm.

    Oh and I hardly ever got Ice Cream when the Ice Cream truck came down our block, even though most my friends did. My mom was quite "frugal". And I knew better than to embarrass her with a tantrum for not getting what I want.

    Good Times.

  • ||

    I was scared to give time-outs, for fear of parents thinking I was irrevocably damaging lil' Jayden's self esteem.

    I guess spanking the little yard ape was out of the question?

  • Dello||

    John,
    "People always swear their 2 year old is normally a sweat wonderful kid. No they are not. They are two years old. There is nothing sweet or wonderful about them at that age."

    I am the luckiest guy in the world. We never actually went through the terrible two's. We have friends who hate us because they did.

    HA!

  • 15% of the GDP and Everybody\'||

    "Dontcha just love the parents who try to reason with a toddler in the middle of a meltdown? "Now, now, you know that sugar is bad for you, stop crying for Mommy,it's not good to have a treat before dinner, now listen to Mommy, blah, blah, blah""

    The best example of this I have ever seen was on an airplane. Next to me was a 3-year-old and next to him was his father.

    The plane landed, the father took the kid's toy truck and then put it into a napsack. The kid started to cry.

    Well the (stupid) father was under the impression that the reason the kid was crying was due to the fact that we were stuck on the tarmac waiting for an open gate. This went on for a good ten minutes and the whole time the dad is trying to explain to this screaming kid that everything was okay and that we wouldn't have too long to wait. And I'm thinking (with my internal screaming voice) JUST GIVE THE KID HIS FUCKING TRUCK BACK, MORON!!!

  • ||

    I guess spanking the little yard ape was out of the question?

    Um, the enlightened, progressive parents of today have done away with such discipline brutish child abuse.

  • ||

    I love the folk legend that 'additives' and sugar cause hyperactivity. Unless your kid has diabetes or some other metabolic problem, excess sugar will not make them 'hyper'.

    Tell that to all the drink makers who make "energy drinks" by loading them up with sugar rather than baked potato extract. Just because something is counterintuitive and smart-sounding does not make it true!

  • ||

    I thought they loaded em with sugar to keep em from tasting like the liquid that bear grylls squeazed from the elephant dung?

  • ||

    Maybe the 3-year-old needs to play the final match against Sweet Tooth in Twisted Metal 2. That will take care of any affection for ice cream trucks.

  • T||

    Tell that to all the drink makers who make "energy drinks" by loading them up with sugar rather than baked potato extract.

    Mix caffeine and tuarine together with some water and take a big swig, Tulpa. That'll clue you in as to why those things have so much sugar.

  • ||

    I don't think Vickie Sell is a heath freak at all. She's a rent seeking business owner. Why not use the government to take out the competition?

    Crony capitalism: It's not just for mustache twirling conservatives anymore!

  • dhex||

    chip shop is so much more deadly than ice cream it's not even funny. (the fried mac n' cheese is pretty damn good, however)

  • spelling Nazi||

    the father took the kid's toy truck and then put it into a napsack

    I'd cry too if I had to take a nap in a sack.

  • ||

    I'd cry too if I had to take a nap in a sack.

    I sleep in a drawer! [/Simpsons]

  • ||

    I sleep in a drawer! /toddler age

  • Anomalous||

    Xeones,

    Not even with your junk.

  • Joe M||

    Agree with what everyone said. But to be fair to the Times (I know), they do end the article with someone basically saying it's ridiculous.

  • Xeones||

    Not even with your junk.

    That's not the meaning i was going for, but she probably could use a good grudgefuck up the poop chute.

  • NY Ice Cream||

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/emohen/2087267667/

  • pediatric dentist who needs a ||

    Agree with what everyone said.

  • Robert||

    livelihoods she's trying to ruin because she's afraid to say no to a 3-year-old.


    I realized some years ago that a great amount of the trouble in the world stems from that tendency, i.e. the desire to use 3rd party methods (usu. governmental) to avoid saying no to someone (not necessarily a child, sometimes even oneself). We tax people to pay beggars so we can avoid saying no to them personally, we prohibit various offerings so we can avoid saying no them or to the offerer, and so on.

  • ||

    Vicki needs to grow a pair. If she doesn't learn how to say no to her child, they're going to end up on Jerry Springer, even if she does get the city to put a bunch of innocent ice cream vendors out of business.

    -jcr

  • ||

    These parents will have a lot of fun when they have adolescents with no concept of consequences.

    I once dated a woman whose parents were pioneers in the field of raising a kid with no concept of consequences. I warned her several times that some day, she wouldn't be hot enough to get away with her bullshit.

    Last time I ran into her, she was considerably past her "sell by" date, and clearly hadn't yet realized it. It was hilarious to watch her try to interact with people in that condition.

    Revenge is a dish best served cold, even years later.

    -jcr

  • Every Fucking Liberal in the W||

    But I guess people who don't understand basic economic theory also don't understand cause & effect in children's behavior.

    WAAAAAAAAH! I want free healthcare! I want the government to take everybody else's toys and give them to me! I want the government to stop anyone else from doing anything I'm too goddamned lazy to accomplish!

  • ||

    I love the folk legend that 'additives' and sugar cause hyperactivity.

    Well, people like Vicki love that legend, because it lets her off the hook for being a piss-poor parent.

    -jcr

  • ||

    I really hate the noise pollution that Ice Cream trucks bring into a park setting. Some of them are really loud. I don't having my kid marketed to in a park but haven't having to ask those jerks to turn the christmas tunes is a bit much.

  • elderly dj||

    turn the christmas tunes

    Ice-cream trucks play vinyl? Whoah.

  • Sean Healy||

    Sugar does cause hyperactivity and anyone who says differently hasn't got kids (or hasn't got my kids)

    Um, I do have kids. I don't know your kids, but I suspect you may be primed by the hyper myth to ascribe their bad behavior to sugar without any evidence to back it up. Do your kids freak out when they eat bananas? Because bananas are loaded with delicious, easily digestible sugars. That's why they are one of the preferred fuels for marathon runners - along with hard candy. Pretty much the same input.

  • ||

    I am the person quoted in the Times story and my point of view was not accurately reflected. I'm very upset to have been misquoted as hating Mister Softee and all ice cream vendors. I have absolutely NOT started a campaign against them. My complaint was about the ice vendors within the playground that are unlicensed and illegally selling to children in a place they are not allowed. I called 311 once (not multiple times by any stretch of the imagination) to inquire about their legal standing. They do not have sanction from any health authority to handle food and there's no telling where their product comes from. I had hoped that would be played up in the article. And yes, I do feel that bringing these carts into the playground is predatory. They are run out over and over by the police or parks people but come back time and time again. I don't have any problem with legal vendors outside the playground in areas they are licensed for -- despite what the article says. I'm all for people making a living and for people to choose the time and the place to buy treats for their children. I did discuss these points for the article but I don't see them there. In fact while I was being interviewed we bought ice pops for our children from a licensed vendor outside the park.

  • anarch||

    How do you feel about newspaper vendors these days?

  • MattXIV||

    Tupla, the sugar in energy drinks is necessary to cover the bitterness of the caffeine. Chew a No-Doz and you'll see why they need a lot of it.

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