Hands down, the absolute best time to eat ice cream is 3 seconds after you walk in the door with it from the supermarket. It's had time to get properly and evenly soft: it's fluffy around the edges of the container. Because you've been busy getting it home, it has been made perfect by the waiting: something you almost never achieve with ice cream. How many of us sit around and wait for our ice cream to get soft? And even if you do, it never seems to reach quite the same level of perfection it does on the way home in the car.
The small things make the rhythms and traditions of life, and one of the rituals Conor and I have is to dive into the new ice cream with a couple of spoons. He sits on the freezer, I lean up against it and together we set about making a dent in it.
We're both well aware it's not the best of manners, and we're both well aware we couldn't care less. I can see in his face how much there is to be said for sharing these moments of pure pleasure with my small boy. I hope we're still doing it when he's a teenager. I hope we're still doing it when I'm old.