So annoyed by all the talk about not allowing babies in “fine dining restaurants”:
1. Respect others and their desire to eat in peace. If your baby/child is disturbing folks, just leave.
2. Folks without children…shut up!! Everyone can’t get a babysitter and shouldn’t have to stay home or go to Pizza Hut because you don’t want children in your atmosphere…you were a child once.
3. Know your baby. We took our infant son to nice places and no one even knew he was there until we walked out with a baby carrier (yes…he was perhaps an exceptional baby)
4. Last I checked, “fine dining” establishments still allow a**holes to sit at the table next to you. I’ll take baby over: cell phone user/jerk/drunk person/you’re-clearly-a-hooker/guy who spits when he talks/loud talker/you-laugh-like-a-hyenea/ewww-you-stink ETC.,
Additionally, I don’t want to be segregated to a “children/family” area of a restaurant (or separate dining room altogether) just because I have a child with me. I wouldn’t mind being offered a choice. Sometimes it is important for me to show my son how to be a “big boy” when he is at a restaurant. He is usually very well behaved, often pointing out the other children who are not. But sometimes he sees other children and takes that as a cue to start his own 21″ and over happy hour.
It is the responsibility of parents to raise civilized children who know how to behave in public. And all kinds of public are not the same. We whisper in libraries, run like banshees in parks, dress up for the opera, wear jeans to the movie theatre. In McDonald’s it is ok to eat with your hands…also in Ethiopian restaurants…not necessarily a good idea at that white tablecloth restaurant where we waited weeks to get a reservation. If parents (grandparents, aunties, uncles, etc.) don’t take children out and show them how to behave, they may never learn. That said, the learning shouldn’t happen at the expense of spoiling others’ good time. Raising good people is about finding the balance.
Some restaurants are called “family restaurants”. This is a cloy term for casual or inexpensive. I don’t want to be pigeon-holed into just going to these places. And by the way, this does not mean parents should allow their kids to act like newly released zoo animals there either! I used to check to see if a restaurant had a policy posted about infants/children. If they did not, I rolled the dice. If it meant I was regulated to a corner near the kitchen, oh well. But I don’t want the host/hostess to sigh or roll her eyes when I walk in with a child or three. (I only have one and will likely stop here, since he is so well behaved.)
If people don’t want to eat in the vicinity of children then maybe they should stay home. Or there could be a room for them. Let’s call it the Haters Lounge.
And don’t get me started on the whole dogs/no dogs at restaurants. At least babies/children are actually people.