Did anyone catch the segment this morning on the Today Show, ‘More Adults say ‘Yes’ to ‘No Kids Allowed’? Parents of young children beware – you may not be welcome at your favorite restaurant from now on. I can definitely understand the frustration, screaming toddlers can put a damper on anyone’s date night. But is it fair? Should children be banned from restaurants, theaters and first class?
As the mother of a 14 month-old, I honestly feel drawn to both sides of the argument. Take for example, our last trip to Oscar’s, our favorite local Mexican restaurant. It’s not a swanky place by any means, but the food is amazing. Typically packed with kids, last Friday night was no exception.
We are doing our best to teach C how to use an ‘indoor voice’ when out in public, but at her age I don’t think that concept has sunk in just yet. Despite our best efforts, she’s still discovering her voice, along with the cause and effect of dropping utensils and thumping a sippy cup on the table. We know she can sometimes get a little loud, so we obviously try to avoid places where her high-pitched squeals might not be welcome.
Last Friday night, as we sat finishing our meal, C started to get a little squirmy. After one of her cries for attention I heard an older man yell ‘shut up!’ from two tables down. Excuse me?
The polite and mannered person in me wanted to pick up my child and run out of the restaurant in embarrassment. Maybe post a public letter of apology in the local newspaper? On the other hand, the mama in me was ready to walk over, pour salsa on his hot-tempered head and teach him a lesson for using that kind of language around a baby! What in the world? I’m not excusing my child, but I’ve seen other toddlers do much worse, and this was nothing compared to that. Ugh.
I’m not sure. I would hate to be sequestered in our house for the first few years of my child’s life, but what to do? Now, a six year ban? That might be a little excessive. This should definitely serve as a wake up call to parents. If we don’t teach our children better manners, we probably deserve the ban. But should all kids suffer under it, even if they don’t fit the mold of a tiny, two year old tyrant?
– Ana, Mama Moderne