(Closed) NWR – Babies at fancy restaurants – yes or no?

posted 8 years ago in Parenting
  • poll: Would you take a young baby to a fancy restaurant?

    Yes

    No

    Depends on the situation (like if my babysitter canceled)

  • Post # 197
    Member
    444 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    @keesl:  Very good points, and I agree – I don’t expect the world to conform to my wishes all the time. I do my best to make sure my baby isn’t in high-end restaurants or the symphony (mostly because the kid can’t even hold his damn sippy cup yet, how is he going to play an instrument? It’s just silly). But that seems like it’s not enough for some – I see escalating annoyance through this thread, where it seems like people want to not be disturbed ANYWHERE by a kid.

    Sometimes you have to realize that we ALL share this world. Courtesy and compassion goes both ways.

    Post # 198
    Member
    4113 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    @mrsSonthebeach:  It would absolutely ruin mine. At a restaurant where my bill is going to be over $500 for 2 people, its completely unacceptable.. and the baby was not crying for 30 seconds. It was an asshole all evening.

    View original reply
    @letigre:  You’re so right, having children means your lifestyle changes, whether you like it or not. If you’re adamant about continuing to eat in fancy restaurants, hire more reliable sitters, don’t think because you made a reservation you’re entitled to bring a baby along.

    Post # 199
    Member
    5527 posts
    Bee Keeper

    @keesl:  No offence, but where are you eating?!

    I eat out a lot at a range of restaurants and can honestly say I have never been disturbed by a loud, drunk adult, and have never seen someone wet themselves… The times I’ve been disturbed it’s without exception been children. However, if I did feel someone was too loud/drunk, and they were disturbing my meal, I would complain, and it is very likely they would be spoken to. The same does not happen with children in my experience; people are hesitant to complain because of the inevitable sh*t storm that will ensue when the irresponsible, selfish parents allowing their child to misbehave in the first place are asked to actually (gasp!) parent.

    I get particularly frustrated when we are disturbed by children as we make an effort to eat at times when children should really not be there: for example, a week night at 9pm. Children should really not be up at that time full-stop in my opinion, and certainly not on a school night. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for me to expect that children would not be there at that time.

     

    View original reply
    @annifer:  I am extremely courteous, and I am not someone who expects to never encounter a child; but in my opinion, some places are simply not appropriate for small children, and parents should exercise courtesy and common sense.

    If I go to a water park, or theme park, or the zoo, or certain restaurants, or to a matinee performance at the theatre, I expect to see children. I go knowing that there might be children getting excitable, babies crying, etc.

    If however I go to a weeknight evening performance at the theatre, or a high-class restaurant, or am dining out at 9pm on a school night, no, I don’t expect to see children; and yes, I WILL get annoyed, and comment on their behaviour and the idiocy of their parents. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.

     

    Some parents these days seem to think they can have it all, and that they are somehow ‘owed’ something by society. Well here’s a wake up call: you can’t have it all. If you chose to have children, you should have been prepared to make some of the sacrifices that come with it.

    And let’s think about this rationally: it’s not like being a parent means you can never eat at certain restuarants again, or never go to the ballet or the opera; it just means that you have to organise a baby sitter, or choose restaurants that are family friendly, or go to the weekend matinee performance rather than the weeknight evening one. Those to my mind are pretty small sacrifices; yet it seems that increasingly parents are not prepared to make even those small allowances, instead believing that everyone else should bend over backwards to accommodate their children 24/7. As I said in my first post, it is, quite frankly, utterly ridiculous.

    Post # 200
    Member
    9168 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @Horseradish:  If a parent removes the child within 2 minutes of them crying and your evening is RUINIED by it at that point, that’s you’re issue and maybe you need to work on some patience and compassion.

    Post # 201
    Member
    9168 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @calendula:  We had a child free wedding and guess what “ruined” our vows? 30 seconds of a guests phone ringing, him not silencing the phone and answering it and talking on it all the way out of the room. I put ruined in quotes because while it was distasteful, it really didn’t ruin anything. My husband and I could still hear each other (sure, we can hear it in the video but oh well, nothing in life is perfect). It is what it is and certainly wasn’t the end of the world or anything to give second thought to or be upset about.

     

    Again, the comparison of bringing a child to a wedding ceremony, opera, ballet, movie, etc. cannot be made since EVERYONE in those circumstances are meant to be completely silent.  In restaurants, there is no requirement for complete silence.

     

    Post # 202
    Member
    5229 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

    @KC-2722:  I’m talking about babies in nice restaurants in general, not this baby in this restaurant. I wasn’t at all saying that the baby in the story posted was only crying for 30 seconds. I was responding to someone who was making a blanket statement that babies ruin evening for other people pretty much no matter what.

    Post # 203
    Member
    6606 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    @MrsWBS:  If part of what I am paying a premium price for is the overall ambience and experience, your crying baby is basically depriving me of that.   If you paid for the $300/person once-in-a-lifetime dining experience, you’d be well within your rights to say I had ruined it if I was sitting at the next table playing YouTube videos at top volume on my phone. What makes it any different? Your disrepsectful, selfish behavior can ruin my experience. My disrespectful, selfish behavior can ruin your experience. The fact that you’re ruining my night with a screaming toddler rather than a noisy cellphone doesn’t change things. It’s rude. Period. And I don’t have to get more patience with rude people.

    Now, if I wore a $5000 mink coat to a splash park– a place where there is a reasonable expectation of people of all ages running around and splashing water, etc– I would be absolutely unreasonable to get upset that my coat got splashed.  And if I went around telling all the kids to shut up, I’d be incredibly rude and obnoxious. It’s all about reasonable expectations based on the event and setting. No one is saying no baby is allowed in any restaurant. What people are saying is when you go to certain types of restaurants (or business/first class on an airplane, for that matter), there is a reasonable expectation of the whole experience, and anyone whose behavior takes away from that is  being rude and obnoxious. 

    Should also be noted, it’s not the baby being rude in these scenarios. Babies are going to do what babies do, and they can’t control their behavior. It’s the parents who are being incredibly rude, by thinking that they’re allowed to completely disregard the expected standards of behavior in a given setting just because they’ve got a baby.  A baby does not give you permission to start screaming in the middle of a restaurant yourself, so why you think it’s okay to allow a scream to interrupt anyone’s dinner is beyond me, regardless of if it is a scream coming from a baby or a grown up.

     

    Post # 204
    Member
    536 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I expect that I would never take a baby to a restaurant as nice as that, and would be very upset if this happened to me. 

    If I were the parents, I would be so SO embarassed, and would probably leave, or have someone stay outside with the baby and then switch so that we could eat. It doesn’t sound like they were embarassed at all. As another diner at the restaurant, I would asked to be moved to a different table. I’m sure management would do something to help, even if they couldn’t do much- a couple of glasses of wine would surely be appropriate. I used to manage a restaurant in NYC, and we did this kind of thing there. 

     

    Post # 205
    Member
    1742 posts
    Bumble bee

    @barbie86:  +1 to all this.  I am also curious as to where people are running into loads of ill-behaved adults at fine restaurants.  I have never seen such.  I enjoy dining at restaurants like this because they tend to be very respectful of solo diners and because they cultivate an atmosphere of courtesy.  I have met a number of lovely people and even established some correspondences (my favorite is with an older German psychoanalyst–such fascinating work) based off of conversations that were struck up after dinner or at a restaurant’s bar. 

    I also think this insistence on bringing children everywhere could be taken as an indication of what some people have identified as an unhealthy child-centered culture in the USA (and elsewhere, but the USA is under discussion here). 

    Post # 206
    Member
    5486 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: July 2012

    Hell. Frigin. No. 

    Babies don’t belong in certain places. I’d be livid if I had to listen to a baby cry while I’m trying to enjoy my evening. 

    Post # 207
    Member
    5527 posts
    Bee Keeper

    @Horseradish:  Exactly. I am genuinely quite astounded that people are actually defending the actions of these parents, and parents in general who do things like this.

    I am not the one with the issue: I am conducting myself in an appropriate manner. I am not being unreasonable if I expect people to behave with a certain level of decorum in certain places. I have every right to be impatient with people who lack good manners and common sense and decency by bringing their small children/babies to places that are not child friendly.

    Also totally agree with your last paragraph: it is not the baby I have an issue with in situations like this, but the parents. Babies cry; small children get excitable, or lack a long attention span, and fidget. That is what they do. But it is up to the parents to recognise that, and to exercise common sense and refrain from bringing them to certain places, including expensive restaurants.

    Post # 208
    Member
    1875 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I love kids and have a pretty high tolerance for fussing/crying/loud noise making, but the truth of the matter is that are some adult only venues and events that children are not welcome at.  A fancy (as in black-tie fancy) restaurant is one of them.  It is very easy for a baby/toddler to ruin the atmosphere.  Even if the baby isn’t fussing, the occasionaly happy screech can easily annoy people who just want is a quiet night out.  And quiet night out is key!  People go to certain places because they don’t want to hear ANY fussing, crying, or otherwise loud kids.  They want adult quiet time.  30 seconds of crying doesn’t sound like a long time on paper and probably isn’t on your average day out, but (when you want that quiet) it actually is a long time to listen a baby cry.  And while it wouldn’t necessarily ruin your entire night, it can easily ruin a moment.   

    This leads me to my next point: peoples’ definition of fussy varies.  As a parent, you might have a higher tolerance or skewed bais as to what fussy actually is.  So while you might not think it’s a big deal or that the child is annoying, others might feel differently.

    Now, yes, there are children that can behave appropriately and yes, there are parents who would immediately remove their child if he/she got fussy.  But unfortunately there are enough parents with ill-behaved kids that do not.  It’s one of those cases where you do have to make a blanket rule.  Otherwise you’ll end up with a situation where a child fusses, the manager askes the parents to leave/remove the child, and the parents start arguing that other children are allowed to stay or that their child isn’t that fussy or that the kid will calm down soon or something along those lines.  And it’s just more headache then it’s worth.

    Post # 209
    Member
    5527 posts
    Bee Keeper

    @MarriedToMyWork:  “I also think this insistence on bringing children everywhere could be taken as an indication of what some people have identified as an unhealthy child-centered culture in the USA (and elsewhere, but the USA is under discussion here).”

    I can’t speak for the USA, but I have certainly noticed this in the UK.

    As I said in an earlier post, just a decade ago it would have been unheard of for someone to bring their child to something like an evening ballet performance; it just would not have been done. Parents exercised common sense and would only bring children old enough to sit through the entire performance without crying/talking/fidgeting/etc.

    Now, things are different; it seems that an increasing number of parents believe they are entitled to bring their children everywhere, and that if anyone dares to criticise, THEY are the ones with the issue (there have been a few examples of this mentality on this very thread).

    I think that children are molly-coddled far too much in today’s society, and I feel it’s unhealthy, and leads to adults who have the same entitled attitude. I see this all the time in the school I work at; the teenagers there are used to having everything handed to them, to not being disciplined, etc etc, and then they come in for a huge shock when they leave school and try to enter the work force, because, shock horror, people don’t pander to their every want and whim.

    There is a time and a place for children, and people really need to recognise that. I’m just thankful that where I live there are a whole host of 18+ pubs so I can easily escape being bothered by children.

    Post # 210
    Member
    7439 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    This topic has taken a bit of a twist off the original concept of where Parents who couldn’t find a sitter brought their infant to a fancy restaurant in Chicago ($ 300 ish a head)

    The replies in this topic have covered examples of not only Restaurants, but the Theatre, First Class on Planes etc.

    I am going to create a new topic that discusses this tangent…

    — — —

    You can find it here = http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/spin-off-is-money-the-determining-factor-should-it-make-a-difference?replies=1#post-


    Post # 211
    Member
    5527 posts
    Bee Keeper

    @RunsWithBears:  “Now, yes, there are children that can behave appropriately and yes, there are parents who would immediately remove their child if he/she got fussy.  But unfortunately there are enough parents with ill-behaved kids that do not.  It’s one of those cases where you do have to make a blanket rule.  Otherwise you’ll end up with a situation where a child fusses, the manager askes the parents to leave/remove the child, and the parents start arguing that other children are allowed to stay or that their child isn’t that fussy or that the kid will calm down soon or something along those lines.  And it’s just more headache then it’s worth.”

    Totally nailed it; this is exactly the problem. Parents these days apparently cannot employ common sense in a lot of cases, so, instead of thinking to themselves ‘Well, little Freddy gets tired and fussy by 8pm, and can’t sit still for the duration of a three course meal, so, we’ll hire a sitter/stay home/go to a family-friendly restaurant’ they think ‘Well WE want to go out. He isn’t THAT bad, and if people get annoyed, that’s their problem; I mean, how intolerant do you have to be to be annoyed by a crying child?’

    Because those parents exist, in seemingly inreasing numbers, places like theatres and restaurants are starting to have to implement blanket bans just in case, because they simply cannot trust that people will use common sense and only bring a child old enough to behave/sit quietly.

    The topic ‘NWR – Babies at fancy restaurants – yes or no?’ is closed to new replies.

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