An open letter to the mum who shouldn’t worry about drippy ice creams

August 8, 2019



An open letter to the mum who shouldn’t worry about drippy ice creams



Dear fellow mum,


Our paths crossed on a London Underground platform. You with buggy and an older child in tow. Me – with a skipping Little Button.


It was excitingly late for my 6 year old. Almost 5 pm and we were still riding the tube after a glorious day out.


She was hopping from foot to foot with joy. Disheveled. Shattered. But still beaming from ear to ear.


You were walking head on towards us.


I saw you.


You made a funny loud kkksssstttttt!!! noise aimed at my Little Button. You gave a nasty look up and down at her. Then turning to your (much older) son, to make sure he was listening (I guess?), stared and said in a loud voice aimed at us ‘THAT……Is disgusting!’


Right away I knew what you were flapping about. It was the giant chocolate ice cream splurge down Little Buttons dress wasn’t it?


You didn’t like it.


I must have blushed the whole rainbow. Burning red. Feeling a bit mum-shamed. Embarrassed.


But then….


What have I got to be embarrassed of?!


My Little Button and her chocolate ice cream splurge down her dress? *A little mishap with a very drippy but super tasty ice cream in the dark theatre.


The fact that it was the end of the day and she looked like she’d been having the best summer holiday fun ever?


Did you think I was THAT stupid mummy who didn’t lug around spare clothes…. a quick change – to wipe away the traces of a marvellous day of playing, theatre watching and accidental ice cream dropping?


You see. Yes. She was a chocolate ice cream mess. But. It was the end of the day. Not the beginning.


Fun isn’t always squeaky clean.


There shouldn’t be robotic children not making a peep, trotting along like freshly pressed puppets in the summer holidays. *Any day really.


Fun can be messy.








It could mean crazy hair (that suddenly looks like it’s never seen a brush) after hanging upside down in an adventure playground.


It could mean squelching back home, soaked through, after an impromptu dip in some unexpected water fountains.


And it could certainly be a ketchup / slushy / ice cream splurged dress on the way home from… FUN.


Dear fellow mum. I’m not saying this to send ALL the embarrassment back to you. *Though perhaps I should be?!


I’m just here to say… don’t sweat the little things. Live a little.


And stop worrying about drippy ice creams… especially when the evidence of fun is on MY child, not yours.





Pin me for later 😉


An open letter to the mum who shouldn’t worry about drippy ice creams



28 responses to “An open letter to the mum who shouldn’t worry about drippy ice creams”

  1. Claire says:

    Brilliant! I hope she reads this and joins the real world!

    She’d never want to clap eyes on my children who look feral 5 minutes after being made immaculate!

  2. I can’t stand judgey people, who for that instant make you feel ashamed. I agree, it is the sign of a good day out when your child comes home a little bit grubbier!

  3. Wow. I can’t believe people sometimes. She’d have a field day with how Erin looks when we’re out sometimes.

  4. Mel says:

    I couldn’t agree more: fun is messy, grubby even, and chocolate stains means nothing more than a happy (if not sticky hehe) child who’s had a lovely treat.

  5. Sabina Green says:

    Wow! Just wow! That is so rude of her, kids make a mess sometimes, that is just part of being a kid!

  6. Zoe says:

    Love this! A messy child is a happy one, especially when a parent is in tow. What an awful woman.

  7. Jennifer says:

    I cannot understand fellow mums being so judgemental. Surely their own kids have been covered in ice-cream at some point! It’s a childhood rite of passage!

  8. Stephanie says:

    How rude! Why do people have to bother themselves with others business. Hope she reads this!

  9. Well said, Annette. But to the commenter who said “What an awful woman,” I’d say, you don’t know what sort of day that woman had, what sort of life she has, what memory might have been triggered. Sure, she shouldn’t be “judgey,” but let’s not get all “judgey” back at her! I can’t tell you how many times a kind word and a smile has defused a situation that would have been made a lot worse by retaliating.

  10. I absolutely love this. I feel sad for her child who will never get the chance to get mucky… I always think that the dirtier my child is at the end of the day, the morefun they must have had! Stains wash out, memories last forever #dreamteam

  11. I totally agree with you. In fact, I think there’s a direct correlation between dirt and fun for kids. How in the world can they have a great time and worry about staying clean?? And for that matter, how can we??

  12. Kids should definitely be allowed to get dirty. There’s been many times when we’ve had an impromptu visit to the beach and my kids have had to travel home in just their pants…but so what they had loads of fun. #DreamTeam

  13. A wonderful retort! What a dull life that woman must lead. Don’t me wrong, I’m a tidy person but kids get messy. End of. X #DreamTeam

  14. Alex Newton says:

    It’s quite possible the lady has some deep seated issues and this is how it manifests itself or she was just having a bad day. Either way I suppose you’ll never know.
    Personally, my little girls hair is curly wild and hard to tame and it’s impossible to keep her clean for more than two minutes so I give up trying and just go with it. At least I know she’s having fun and not constantly being told to not do this or that, in case she gets messy. Life’s far too short.

  15. Kate Holmes says:

    Well said! We need to ease up on each other methinks. And always fun over clean freak. My OH once told me off for letting my son jump in muddy puddles in case he ruined his shoes. Shoes can be replaced – moments and memories can’t #DreamTeam

  16. There is a lot to be said for embrasing mess and letting kids be kids, drippy ice cream included. #DreamTeam

  17. Hmmm … public parenting and mum shaming all in one go. Classy! I know who had the better day — and it wasn’t her — or her brood! #DreamTeam

  18. Can’t believe other parents at time absolutely no need #dreamteam

  19. Neil says:

    I can almost guarantee had I been that parent walking towards you I would be smiling at how much she was enjoying herself and probably wouldn’t have even noticed any ice cream stains. Some people! #DreamTeam

  20. We went to York on one of the hottest days this year and our 4 year old had a chocolate ice cream with a flake outside in the burning hot sun, so I have first hand experience of severe chocolate ice cream mess! But surely enjoying ice cream in the summer (and making a mess with it!) is all part and parcel of being a child! And as you say, fun is often messy! #dreamteam

  21. Tracey Carr says:

    Well said Annette! You are absolutely right – fun is often messy and there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes I think we adults could take a leaf out of a child’s book and learn to be a bit more free and absent-minded. My 3 year old daughter only yesterday had an ice-cream in her Nanna’s house and spilled chocolate sauce all down her white t-shirt. I had to soak it in Vanish once we got home and put it in the machine. Big deal! It’s a child’s prerogative to have fun and be messy. I’m just sorry that she made you feel embarrassed, even temporarily. Grrrr! #dreamteam

  22. She’s missing out in life, who hasn’t had a chocolate stain on them! Some people need to have more to worry about in life #dreamteam

  23. Kirsty Hall says:

    Erm… she sounds like a dick!! that is all 😉 #DreamTeam

  24. Heather Keet says:

    I LOVE THIS!!! When I ran my daycare, parents would always get a reminder that the only clothes their child should come in would be ones that could return home dirty. Life is too short to stop a child from playing! #DreamTeam

  25. Emma says:

    Oh my gosh, she’d have a field day if she saw me with my tribe! They’re never clean! I can meticulously plan their outfits, dress them and within 5 secs of leaving the house ‘life’ will have flung itself all over them! From strawberry stains to grubby fingernails it’s all good! #DreamTeam

  26. Crummy Mummy says:

    Some people! I can’t believe she did that! #DreamTeam

  27. Everyone knows that the best days end with twigs in your hair, dirt on your hands and food stains on your clothes…. these stains nd dirt will wash away but the memories will last a lifetime x #DreamTeam

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

#Blogtober19 linky party





Blog charts

TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs

Currently ranked in the top 200

Brand Ballot

Blogging with

3 Little Buttons

Part of


Part of

Part of


Looking for something?

%d bloggers like this: