My favorite summertime treat as a child was also my mom’s biggest annoyance.
Growing up, my brother and I tore through 500-count Otter Pop cardboard boxes like nobody’s business. Known by other names as well, the concept of flavored ice in long and skinny plastic sleeves has proven to be a kid-favorite for generations. Cheap and low in calories, you would think it would please parents just as much as it does youngsters. But for my mom, the mess canceled the economic and fat free advantages of Otter Pops.
You see, my brother and I basically centered our summer diet on Otter Pops. We ate them starting in the morning and continued eating them throughout the long, hot nights. Although we tried to pick up after ourselves, we probably only made good on our intentions around 60% of the time. So, when you are consuming at least 10 Otter Pops each per day, that leaves around eight plastic wrappers lined with a sugary colored juicy film not properly disposed of. Nothing ruins a clean house more than colorful discarded oozing wrappers. Oh, how much my mom hated them!
And that doesn’t even mention the freezer space taken up or the sticky state our scissors were constantly in from cutting the top of the pops.
As with a lot of things, I grew out of my Otter Pop dependency as I grew older. My preferred treat during the summer changed from frozen ice pops to premium ice cream. But now that I have a young daughter, my past has caught up to me. In the ultimate “payback” gesture, my parents bought Sloan freezer pops when they were here last week. She has quickly taken a liking to them.
At this point, I don’t deal with the problems my mom faced. Sloan is too young to storm through large quantities of the pops so I can easily keep up with the plastic sleeve trash she produces. Also, I humanely cut the treats open for her so we don’t deal with sticky scissors. However, I do deal with a couple of issues that are unique to a 2-year-old. I hold my breath as she clumsily pushes the pop up through the plastic, many times ejecting full pieces of ice onto the floor. I also cringe just a bit when she tips her head back to slurp the juice residue and majority of the liquid escapes past her open mouth and onto her shirt.
But inconvenient or not, this much is true: She seems to have the same passion for freezer pops that I did when I was younger.
Inconvenient or not from a dad’s perspective, considering what I put my mom through, all I can do is embrace it. Don’t Blink.