The Huffington Post told the story yesterday of a restaurant in Georgia where the owners "respectfully ask that parents tend to their crying tots outside." Essentially the place is banning crying babies. They pointed to unfavorable comments from other guests concerning loud children as their reason.
Take note, they're not banning children all together, just crying children.
What strikes me as odd is that they have to ask people to take their crying kids outside. Shouldn't that be a given?
Lately the issue of unruly kids has been more prevalent. I've noticed a lot of signs like the one in the photo above. The passive and comedic tone does little to mask the frustration most everyone shares.
The obvious objection here is that parents should be able to take their kids wherever they want because it's important to expose kids to social settings and good food. Couldn't agree more. Families shouldn't be chained to their house. Unless, of course, their kids are loud and crazy and the parents are either in denial or choose oblivion.
I have kids and can't count on all 10 toes and fingers the times that either myself or my husband have had to get up and leave with one of our kids, with an untouched slice of cold pepperoni left on our plate to mark our departure. We've spent countless hours in parking lots or random patches of grass waiting for the others to finish. If we go out to eat, we know that's a burden we may have to bear. Fortunately it's been a while.
We're hypersensitive about it, because the last thing we want to do is burden others with our upset kids. We're strategic about where we sit; we pick the far corner, maybe near an exit. And we tend to gravitate to places that are loud, so the kids chitchat and banter is drowned out by TV, music or other patrons. Otherwise, it's act right or we leave.
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I'd appreciate the same courtesy.
My kids have gone bonkers and lost it in places before. That happens. The key is to bolt ASAP and handle the negotiations outside. People understand that, and I don't think that's really the issue. The biggest issue is ignoring unruly children and assuming that everyone else in the place thinks that your kids are as darling as you do.
And it goes without saying the rules change at places geared toward kids. If the pizza buffet is $3, there's a game room in the back and the TVs are set to Boomerang, then I expect hoopla. Although, for my crew, crying and screaming still isn't allowed.
It's just about common courtesy. If kids cry or act crazy, then handle your business. Outside.