There is much discussion around at the minute about letting the kiddies in to venues that serve booze.
Frankly, I am all for it. I have been out and about of late with some small adults that belong to my very lovely partner. The young uns in question are very well behaved and do enjoy eating at restaurants (anything with a table and chairs is called a restaurant in our house). And I have many friends and colleagues who are adding to their broods, or whose broods are at that age where they no longer just sleep, poop and eat, and so kids seem to be everywhere.
I think it is reasonable to acknowledge that if I wandered in to a bar at 9pm at night, and some people had their kids there, I would be on to child services toot suite. Bars are not the places for kids to be hanging around in, unless they come with a fake ID or are the designated drivers.
But for restaurants and cafes and other venues that do serve me a shicker of whiskey whilst the small adults are slurping on a milk shake, I take no umbrage. As mentioned just now, our small adults are well behaved (of course they are!!) But it is usually other’s kids that get up my goat when I am trying to have a serious epicurean experience.
I don’t approve of and will probably give the eye of the devil to children (or their parents) who engage in, allow or encourage any of the following:
Squealing – there is no place that a child’s squeal is welcome unless it is under the festive tree at the happy end of the year. Squealing is tantamount to a weapon of mass destruction. It does not go well in public places.
Running – children, and waitstaff for that matter, should not be seen or heard running in a restaurant or cafe. It is a no-no and deserves those found guilty to be banished. It also makes hard work for the waitstaff.
Shouting – this is mostly addressed at parents and carers who shout at their children in a cafe or restaurant. It is you folk I want to punch. If you wish for your child to sit down, and behave, perhaps you can lead by example hmm? I understand that we all get a bit frazzled with kids about – but shouting is just counter productive.
Snot – snotty noses are my pet hate. I don’t want to be forced to look at a kids snotty nose while I am eating. If the child is sick, it doesn’t belong in a cafe. If there is an issue with hygiene because you are too engrossed in something else to wipe the small persons nose, then you don’t belong there either.
Huge strollers and prams – Now I don’t want to start an argument here but if the pram is that big that you cant fit it in an average sized front door, then perhaps it doesn’t belong with the other five between the tables in the cafe or the restaurant. If the little one/s must be in the pram, perhaps a stroller might be a better option – and not a stroller that looks like it has been manufactured by Jeep! If possible, perhaps leave it outside and walk the toddlers in hmm? You are excused of course if your progeny are of the multiple birth kind.
I know dads and mums need to escape the home zone for some sanity, and a restaurant or cafe is a great place to get together with other young parents and determine which of the kids you have collectively produced is smarter/more musically gifted/most likely to win the Nobel prize for something. However, social norms still must be understood even if you are demented from a lack of sleep from the antics of little miss/master two!
I think we can all get along here… pocket sized people can still enjoy their babycinos and all that jazz, while mum or dad have a nice glass of verdelho to wash down the valium. There are many venues that cater specifically for people with kids or have kids spaces, and many have menus that don’t require a deep fryer to satisfy your child’s hunger.
And if it all gets too much, there is no law to say you cant pop a neat little nip of negroni in to the fanta is there? Oh, there is… Ooops.