We played in the back yard after naptime today and we heard the ice cream man driving around. Jack’s eyes lit up and he got really excited about it. The last time we heard the ice cream truck, we were able to run out to the street and get some. This time, like most other times, the ice cream man was in the neighborhood behind us, on the other side of the trees. He doesn’t usually come into our neighborhood, just tortures us with his music and the hope that maybe today will be the day he comes to our street.
As Jack realized that he wasn’t coming to our house, his face just dropped. He stuck out his lower lip and sat down on the grass. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so sad. And then he laid down on the grass and stayed there for about 10 minutes. Just looking sad and looking at the grass.
But I know he wasn’t sad about the fact that he didn’t get his ice cream. Since we’ve heard the ice cream truck many times and not gotten ice cream, he realizes that he won’t always get it. There was more to it than that.
Last weekend when we got ice cream and he was finished with it, he gave me the stick. I cleaned it off, gave it back to him and told him it was a signal for his trains. You’d think Thomas himself had just pulled into our yard. He had his trains out in the sandbox and he was busy working on tracks, so he stuck it in the sand and was quite pleased with the new addition. Finally the tracks were safe from train on train and train on car collisions.
Tragically, the stick, I mean “signal” was broken a few days ago. So when Jack heard the ice cream man, he knew ice cream was the way to his heart’s desire. Ice cream would get him the signal to which his trains had become accustomed. Before last week, he didn’t even realize he needed a signal, but once he had it, he could no longer live without it.
Maybe I should just get some of those sticks at a craft store for him. But then I wouldn’t have such a dramatic story to tell. And he really does like the ice cream too. Have I mentioned that he’s pretty into his trains lately?