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Kids Not Allowed: it my be hard to believe, but sometimes your precious spawn should just stay home

October 26, 2011

When we first had The Boy, getting back to normal was a priority.  It was a new normal, of course, but we needed to find it.  This meant sleeping, keeping a relatively clean house, and getting out of the house regularly.

As soon as I could, I took The Boy for walks in Surrey Center and out to lunch with friends.  There was always careful consideration of feeding and nap times, trying to time the outing so we would be relaxed and wouldn’t bother everyone else with a crying baby.

Because both kids were taken to restaurants and shopping from the very beginning, they are very well behaved.  They know to sit in their seats (very few exceptions) and mind their manners.

*PSA for the parents out there who don’t enforce this with your children:  you make it much harder for the rest of us.

There was that one time.  We had The Kids at a separate table.  Usually, it’s a brilliant plan.  We sit in the very back of the restaurant, with the adults at one table and the kids in the big booth across the aisle (Vallarta, Washington Road, if you’d like a visual).  This night, though, The Boy got a little big for his britches.  We looked over to find him swinging from the overhead light.  Well, ok, his feet weren’t completely off the ground, but he was standing in the booth swinging the dangling light so hard that it quickly started to feel like a disco in there.  I’m pretty sure that he regretted his decision, considering how quickly The Man got him out of there and to the car.

So fine, my kids are mostly well behaved, and we like taking them out to dinner, to the movies, and to plays.  But, and this is an important BUT, I also really like when they’re not there.

Here are a couple of basic guidelines for determining whether to bring your precious cherubs or get a sitter.

If their name isn’t on the invitation they’re not invited.  No, it’s not ok to call and see if the host minds.  They’re not invited.  That’s all.

If the restaurant doesn’t have high chairs or kids menus, there’s a good chance the owners don’t want your kids to eat there.  Oh, don’t be offended.  I’m sure that your kids are fancy and well-mannered and whatnot, but those of us planning on a nice night out don’t want to hear the crunch of goldfish under our feet.  If you decide to ignore this one, be prepared for the angry stares.

If I don’t specifically mention your child in an invite, i.e. “Hey, I’m planning a camping trip and would love for you and your children to come,” they’re not welcome.   Notice I didn’t say “not invited, but check with me to see what I really mean.”  I don’t want them there.  I don’t care how much fun they’d have going to the bars in Athens with us girls.  It doesn’t matter that you think your boy can hang with the men.  If it’s a grown up event or trip, please, get a sitter.  If you can’t, you might have to sit this one out.

I’ve tried to figure out why parents would want to bring their kids places that aren’t kid-friendly.  Are they braggarts who want to show off their perfect angels?  Are they deaf to the constant “MommyMommy?”

Either way, heed the warning.  Everyone, including parents and especially those without kids, likes a quiet meal sans diapers, spankings, and chicken nuggets.  Please plan ahead and get a sitter.  Your kids will be happier for it.  You will be happier for it, and your friends won’t think you’re a selfish idiot.

Besides, unless they’re willing to match me shot for shot, it’s going to be an awfully long night.  I hope they can hold their liquor.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2011 1:47 pm

    Good points indeed. I definitely know the limits of my little ones. If the restaurant doesn’t have kids meals, we don’t go. Must be kid friendly, otherwise I sit uncomfortable the whole night panicked that my kids might tick someone off. Not worth it for me.

  2. Billy Mathews permalink
    October 26, 2011 7:58 pm

    LOVE IT!!!I have 3 Children n 110% agree that there are times kids should be at home with a sitter,,After all we (I do) something special for them as a reminder that they got theirs also…

  3. Lynn Reed permalink
    November 18, 2011 12:50 pm

    We took our children with us & it was never a problem because we made sure their needs were being met (not ours) and that they were not tired or this made us limit what we did, but when they were very little I carried in slings and breastfed on demand. So most the time other people did not even know there was a baby nearby.
    I nursed my children ( as recommended now by the AAP (American Academy of Pediatricians) for AT LEAST 1 year so it would be ludicrous to assume we would/could pen up our kiddos for 2 years so they would not BOTHER someone (YOU)! They need to learn socialization skills and frankly that is hard to do if they never leave home or daycare. .
    But if we wanted to go out later of course we made other arrangements, but I feel our society needs to be more accepting as well because we are HUMAN BEINGS &not robots.
    We need to maybe pitch in and be kind to new parents and mirror being a generous and loving. Just my opinion.

    • Jenny permalink*
      November 18, 2011 3:58 pm

      Lynn, I think it’s interesting that you only left my column with the points that pertain to your argument. Please note that I do have two children. I take them a LOT of places. I just don’t want them everywhere, that’s all. Enjoy your rainbows.

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