My friend Jamie writes a blog called “Totally the Bomb”. She wrote a post about a subject that I debate frequently with my friends with kids and it has inspired me to post about it here.
(I know 3 posts in one day. It’s because I had a Monster)
I don’t have kids. My wife and I at one point wanted kids, we REALLY wanted to be parents; however some things just aren’t meant to be. After we exhausted all of our options, and a few years past we accepted our roles as a child-free couple. I get kind of sad sometimes when I see a dad introducing his kid to Star Wars or taking his kid to the comic book shop for the first time and I know that I will never get to do that; however then I see or hear the other things. The tantrums, the cleanings, the breaking of things, the crying, and the trips to talk to the school because little X did this today and that’s a thing that requires a discussion. I see the entire spectrum and I honestly feel like I dodged a snot covered bullet.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate kids. My friends have kids and I think that they are all great kids. My friend’s baby is so cute and she loves for me to hold her so she can play with my beard. His other two kids are awesome, and I love they way his wife and him are raising them. When my other friends that are thinking about having a kid decide to, I am sure I will love that little piece of crotch fruit as well. Also, I have nieces and a nephew and I love them each like they were my own. The thing is, I don’t like all kids. My old boss helped put this into perspective for me. Kids in general are not awesome. If they were so awesome, you would be calling up a 7 year-old and asking them to go hang out with you on a Saturday night, but you don’t because kids are not awesome (and it’s kind of creepy). YOUR kids are awesome to YOU, not to the world at large.
Which brings me to the subject of this post.
Should young children be banned from restaurants?
Who hasn’t been in the situation where you go to a restaurant and in comes a couple with a kid or two in tow. They sit a few tables down and after awhile the loud talking starts, the banging, the crying, the screaming and by the time your check ( or sometimes even your meal) has arrived you cannot wait to get the fuck out of the restaurant you just came to and get that nice meal you ordered “to go” (which makes the waitress/waiter oh so happy) and you get to go home and eat your reheated meal. It happens, and some places are starting to ban kids, usually under a certain age (mostly under 6 from what I have read) or ban strollers and high-chairs, or ban loud children. Now, like I said, I have had this discussion quite a few times and I have developed this opinion:
If you are in a franchise restaurant (Chilli’s, Applebees, TGIFriday’s, RedLobster …etc) that is more or less a family restaurant, you have to expect children to be there; however I expect the parents to at least make an effort to discipline or control their children if they are being a disturbance and not let them roam freely about the restaurant; however if I am going to a place where reservations are required, a jacket and tie are required, and the average price is $50 -$60 per plate, then there better not be anyone under the age of 25 within a 15 mile radius of my table.
Now, some friends agreed, some thought I was being an asshole and told me: ” I just didn’t understand because I wasn’t a parent”, but I do understand. We aren’t talking rocket surgery, here. I understand that as a parent, you should have found a babysitter to watch your little fuck trophies while mommy and daddy go out to a nice dinner and a movie. Don’t bring them with your to a 4 – 5 star restaurant and PLEASE don’t bring them to the fucking movie theater.
Now, to make sure I wasn’t being a complete asshole, and also “because I am not a parent and can’t POSSIBLY understand these things”. I read a few parenting websites and found that even parents are conflicted between this issue.
More and more places have decided they don’t want to have children as customers. This applies to restaurants, airlines, stores, movie theaters. Many parents are outraged. They blame intolerant childless people… I don’t find other people’s misbehaving children endearing at all. I am not childless. As a mother of seven children I fully support these type of bans.
Here is a newsflash, if people parented their kids there would be no reason for places to ban kids completely.
Exactly, I don’t blame the kids, kids are like blank canvases or a computer with a very basic OS. All they know is how to: sleep, eat, drink, piss & shit. They cry to alert you that they need to do or have done one of these basic functions. You teach your kid everything else and if that kid becomes a little snot nosed asshole that the entire world hates; then that is what you made him/her into. Garbage In, Garbage Out.
the whole thing could be cleared up instantly if everybody could just stop being dicks.
Let’s start with the parents.
Again, it’s on the parents to discipline and correct the behavior of their children and to respect the other people that are also trying to enjoy their meal (and their lives).
Now, there was a site here where the author posted an apology letter to the waiter after stating her position on kids being banned after a certain time (mainly the dinner rush, when they are at their busiest time) from restaurants. While the letter was humorous, I am sure that there was a lot of truth in it. Why, because I have seen the fucking horror show that has been left by a table that had a herd of crotch fruit and the hell that it took to clean it, but hey they left a “big tip” so that makes it OK. No, you should have done that anyway, if you really wanted to make good, you would have tipped the bus boy, too and apologized directly to the staff. Also, if you are just going to a restaurant for you to eat, get it to go or hit a drive through. There’s no reason to put people through all of that just if you are the only one that will be ordering.
the whole idea of banning children is as wrong as banning any person or group of people. It’s bigotry.
OK, no it isn’t.
intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.
Banning unruly children, or young children after a certain time or just banning young children is not bigotry. It’s not ageism, it does not violate any civil rights and this is nothing new.
No-child restaurant policies are nothing new, and they don’t appear to violate state or federal civil-rights laws, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out in 2011.
So, sorry, you aren’t going to see the million baby march. There will be no Occupy Sesame Street and apparently we child-free 1%’ers are going to win the day.
Seriously though, I believe that if some common sense were used by the parents that this wouldn’t be an issue. Businesses wouldn’t have to institute these policies to protect themselves and people wouldn’t have this almost newly found loathing for young children. I also believe that people need to have a reasonable expectation for when they go out to certain places, there will be families there with kids and that kids may get excited, and a little loud; however don’t be upset with the kid. Instead, look to see what is the parent doing to control that situation. If the parent is sitting on their ass doing nothing, then that’s the problem and not the kid.
Again: Garbage In, Garbage Out.