(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 # 242
    Member
    308 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    @annifer:  I don’t see people defending the notion that babies should be allowed to scream in restaurants. But I do see some people insisting that to restrict young children from “fine dining” venues is wrong because it is tantamount to discrimination or to restricting the parents’ rights to lead “adult” lives (as though people who have children should not have to make accommodations appropriate to their new status as parents; as though the social norms of fine dining should alter to allow these people to continue to lead the same kinds of social lives they did before they became responsible for tiny new human beings. To this line of reasoning, I say: poor kids! I’m glad my parents didn’t drag me along to adult-oriented activities, but instead left me at home with awesome books and movies and a really great babysitter, Tracy. Tracy, you rocked! Thanks for playing She-Ra with me!).

    Some Bees also have argued that it is unjust to keep young children from these venues because lo, behold yon unicorn toddler in the corner, who can conduct a civilized, witty, composed conversation while daintily eating his first course from an egg cup! I mean, how can you say ALL toddlers should be disallowed from fancy places, when unicorn toddler exists?!? Think of unicorn toddler, why dontcha?!

    Anyway, this has been a spirited and eye-opening debate for me. I give mad props to the stamina and optimism of the Bees who would take their toddlers to the fancy restaurant down the way — even as I earnestly hope that they and their children will not be there on the nights that I and my FH decide to dine out!

    Post # 243
    Member
    858 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    @annifer:  Yes, it’s the danger in it that upsets me the most.  If you haven’t worked in a restaurant, you really don’t fully appreciate how what seems like a small thing (letting your kid get their energy out around your table) can turn into a super dangerous situation really quickly.

    Nah, if I ever have kids, you bet they’ll be going to breweries and taprooms with Fiance and I!  We also homebrew 🙂

    Back on topic though – super fancy places plus kids that don’t behave?  No bueno.  Kids that are comfortable with it and you’d never notice them?  Sure.

    Post # 244
    Member
    6375 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

    @Horseradish: 

    View original reply
    @FauxPas2012:  You can still control the child. You can take them outside when they scream. You can teach them how they can and cannot behave. When is making a fuss in public acceptable? The answer is never. I mean, go back a few generations in my family and the kids came to work with the parents sometimes, because they couldn’t afford childcare. They would never have dared to fuss!

    Or why not go to Italy, where children dine out with their parents constantly, and you almost never see a badly behaved child, because there are clear expectations set for their behaviour in public from day one. I mean… your dog anology is good. Kids are like dogs and need training!

    View original reply
    @ebarnes0:  Kids go to UK pubs all the time. They only get kicked out at 9pm… it says so in the standard liquor license!

    View original reply
    @Atalanta:  Everything is more expensive in Europe… but trust me, the kids are all there, especially in places like Italy, where nobody would dream of dining out without the bambinos.

    View original reply
    @calendula:  I should also say that it is technically illegal in the UK for anyone to watch a child unrelated to them unless they are a professionally registered childminder. Some people still do it, but it is technically against the law for a local teenager to watch children, for example. This means that childcare costs £££££, and is in extremely short supply. Tracy and She-Ra would have to wait…

    Post # 245
    Member
    6609 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    @Rachel631:  you seem to miss the point. Once the child has screamed, the atmosphere has been disturbed. You can’t undo that. The extent of the disturbance depends on the extent of the screaming and the circumstance, but once it’s done, it’s done.

    And I highly doubt anyone is taking their kid to The Rules. Or anywhere like that.

    Show me an 8-month-old that knows when it is and isn’t appropriate to scream. I’m just dying to meet the magical child that’s developed reasoning ability, communication skills and self-control so early! What a prodigy!

    Post # 246
    Member
    1781 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

     Oh hell no. I’ve eaten at several Michelin star restaurants, and if someone had the nerve to bring in their screaming little monster, I would be having a highly unpleasant chat with the manager.  And I assure you, either the screaming child would be immediately removed, or my meal would be comped, and I would NOT return. I’ll be damned if I’m going to drop several hundred dollars on a meal to have it ruined by someone’s child. They do NOT belong anywhere more upscale than an Applebees.

    Post # 247
    Member
    6375 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

    @Horseradish:  I think that’s over-sensitive on the part of the listener. A single cry followed by a hasty retreat from the room does not a ruined evening make. But hey, if you think it does then maybe restuarants should also ban people with tourettes, et cetera. Or maybe very ugly people, or people with obnoxious voices. The list goes on…

    Post # 248
    Member
    5995 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @MariContrary:  Would you do the same for a loud adult guest? Because I’ve had restaurant meals basically ruined by loud boisterous tables of adults. Not a $300/head place I admit, but way more upscale than an Applebees.

    Post # 249
    Member
    6609 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    @Rachel631:  you’re totally missing the point. Sigh.

    It is not reasonable to expect there will be no ugly people when you go to a $300/person restaurant. It *is* reasonable to expect a relaxing, luxurious environment. That includes a comfortable chair, appropriate lighting, and appropriate levels of background noise. It is also reasonable to expect that other diners have come to the restaurant in search of the same experience you have, and that they appreciate that the environment is a very large factor in the overall experience, and that they will not disturb the environment, for their own enjoyment and for that of others.

    if you cannot preserve the environment, then there are plenty of other places with less restrictive environments that would be happy to have you. I don’t care if you have a kid, a cell phone, a harmonica, or if you just won the lottery and you’re really really happy. If I can hear you from across the room, you’re being an ass. Period. 

    And unless you have surgically removed your 8-month-old’s vocal cords, you run a real and forseeable risk of your child disturbing the environment , which is incredibly selfish and disrespectful to others. 

     

     

    Post # 250
    Member
    6375 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

    @Horseradish:  Well in that case, you would also have to ban Tourettes sufferers, right? After all, they can involuntarily disturb your evening.

    Post # 251
    Member
    1781 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @paula1248:  Without hesitation.  If I can’t enjoy my meal and have a discussion with the person I’m having dinner with, I will be chatting with the manager. Obviously, if I go somewhere ‘family friendly’, I assume I’ll be hearing the lovely shrieks of a child.  Or if I’m at a bar, I assume I’ll hear a drunken idiot. But I don’t complain when that happens, because that’s expected.  Once a restaurant hits about $50 per person (without drinks), that’s when I start expecting civilized behavior. 

    Post # 252
    Member
    6375 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

    @MariContrary:  I think the key difference between the two sides in this debate lies here:

    “Obviously, if I go somewhere ‘family friendly’, I assume I’ll be hearing the lovely shrieks of a child…. Once a restaurant hits about $50 per person (without drinks), that’s when I start expecting civilized behavior.”

    Let’s call this side side A (aka American side). Side A debators assume that children will behave badly, and that some bad behaviour is to be expected. The only way to manage this inevitable bad behaviour is to confine it within certain physical spaces. Therefore, children should be contained within the aforementioned spaces.

    Side B (aka European side) says… we never expect to hear shrieking children, or see uncivilised behaviour. It needs to be nipped in the bud immediately. Because we never expect to see it, we do not try to confine it spatially or permit it within limits. Therefore, children can go pretty much anywhere and everywhere. I can honestly say that I don’t think I have ever seen an Italian child throwing a fit in public. Never ever.

    Post # 253
    Member
    1781 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @Rachel631:  I think that’s why my tolerance level is so low for monster children. I spent a lot of time in Europe, and my Mom is Japanese. This whole concept of allowing misbehaving children in public is NOT ok anywhere but the States (or at least that’s what it seems like). Since I’m I’m in the US, I assume that American children will act like the average child. So all I ask is that people contain their entitled monsters to places where they are tolerated.

    Post # 254
    Member
    6609 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    @Rachel631:  if the Tourette’s symptoms are so extreme then it would probably not be a welcoming environment for them. Much like how some movies and live music events are not appropriate for a person with epilepsy, or how a hoarder may be required to keep their shared office space clean or seek employment elsewhere. There are limits to reasonable accommodations. Otherwise, all you would be allowed to sit in the exit row with your broken leg or all those pesky historic hotels in the UK would be forced to install lifts.

    Post # 255
    Member
    6375 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

    @Horseradish:  My point was that everyone should be able to make reasonable accommodations for everyone else. Case in point: I went to a wedding where bride and groom had an activity area for children. Several kids attended. I didn’t even notice most of them… I was later told that a baby on the table next to ours started sniffling at one stage, but Mum took it right out and I didn’t notice.

    Problem: during the speeches, a different baby started crying and Mum did nothing. After a few seconds, evil looks were being directed her way. The problem was not that she brought baby… but that she just let the child cry so that nobody could hear the wedding speeches. It was really inconsiderate. But to conclude that children don’t belong at public events in general because of one selfish parent would be completely premature. If I was the host, I would simply not invite that woman to any of my other events. The other children were fine… as were the kids at my own wedding. The kids were OK because the parents were OK.

    Like I said before though… there is a huge cultural difference here. And a huge difference of opinion over what “entitled” means. For example, I think a child who asks for a child’s meal because they don’t like the salmon Mummy and Daddy are having is being an entitled, spoilt brat. Kids eat the same food as their parents. Likewise, if they don’t want to sit down and have a civilised dinner, whether it’s at home or out with friends, that’s tough. They will sit down and act like grown ups. I’m also not sure what these “family friendly” places are (as mentioned by PPs) where children are allowed to scream… but they sound ghastly!

    PS Take this as read, but I think Gordon Ramsey is dead wrong, obviously. Children are not just children… they are adults in training, and that’s how I intend to raise mine, if I have them.

    Post # 256
    Member
    5995 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @MariContrary:  Exactly – the problem is behaviour, not age. I assume you wouldn’t advocate denying entry to an adult because they look like the sort who might make noise. I simply advocate the same rules for everyone: if you’re quiet, you can stay. If you’re not, you will be asked to leave.

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

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