Post # 92
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
@Ruby-Redshoes: I was responing to a statement that if you can afford to eat out, you can afford a sitter. That’s not true at all. I was in no way advocating taking a child to a fancy restaurant if your child can’t handle it.
I know it might sound incredible to some people, but some of us do in fact have children who can go to a nicer restaurant (and I’m not talking about one that costs hundreds of dollars just to get a reservation) and enjoy themselves without making a fuss. My child is not bored at dinner nor do I have to wrangle her. She is also not noisy. A few weeks ago, we went to a pretty nice local restaurant with my parents and she ate some of the polenta, my chilean sea bass, the cheese plate of manchego, gorganzola, and taleggio, a housemade mustard, and the broccolini. It was quite a lovely time for her. She didn’t make a mess and she didn’t fuss. I’ve seen plenty of adults behave worse at a table in a nice restaurant than my one year old does.
ETA: as I’ve said in other posts, if my child couldn’t handle it, I would leave. I also wouldn’t bring a child who didn’t have the appropriate disposition into a place like that.
Post # 93
@mrsSonthebeach: It’s awesome that your child can handle this kind of atmosphere – and that you are giving her the opportunity to develop such a lovely palate!
However, if you read OPs update, “the baby wasn’t just fussing, it was “having a fit the entire time””.
This ^ is unacceptable, entitled behavior on the part of the parents. I don’t mind if one has their child there and they can be seen and not heard. But when it gets to the situation in question, I don’t really care if their night is ruined – they certainly don’t have a right to ruin mine – or that of the other patrons…
Post # 94
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
@codysgirl16: Right, but the topic is also should babies be allowed at fancy restaurants… not just fussy babies. Babies.
Post # 95
@codysgirl16: That is unacceptable, yes! But people are making blanket statements about how kids just don’t belong.
So the kid should be seen and not heard? Do I have to listen to you? Do you mind if you can hear me? Do you REALLY mean you just don’t want to hear anyone screaming and crying (understandable), or do you mean that you cannot bear to be reminded that a small human is within earshot?
@LoggerHead91207: I don’t like the parents who ignore a crying kid, either – poor baby! It makes me sad.
But the problem is, people are more and more willing to paint EVERY parent with this brush, and say, ‘Oh, it happens ALL THE TIME that I see these awful parents who can’t control their kids, so therefore I hate seeing kids in restaurants.’
Are there really that many lousy parents out there? Or does everyone just love a hate-fest, where we can all get together and say “OHMYGOD, RIGHT? Everyone else is a stupid, terrible person, and I would NEVER behave in a way that would be offensive or inconveniencing to others!”
Post # 96
Not everyone wants children and I resent it when people let their children act like raging assholes because they don’t want to actually be responsible for the life they created. You squeezed it out, don’t make the rest of us sit there and listen to your kid scream!
The parents AND the restaurant were in the wrong. The parents should have taken their child away when it threw a tantrum at such an upscale restaurant (or anywhere, really- I don’t care to listen to a screaming baby no matter where I am). The restaurant should have been more mindful of their other patrons and asked the parents to take their child out until he/she calmed down.
Taking a child there in the first place was probably not a good decision. Sitting there while the child screamed was definitely not a good decision.
Post # 97
It would be more appropriate if a restaurant excluded *any* loud patron, be it infant or adult.
It is unfair to exclude all babies, when many babies behave fine. I voted yes, I would take my child. Not that I would go somewhere that expensive anyway, but we went to a “standard” restaurant a few times with a baby.
I have never had a night at a restaurant spoiled by a crying baby. But a few times, I have had it spoiled by loud adult patrons.
Post # 98
It’s really interesting to read everyone’s point of view.
As I said in one of my previous posts, the fact that the parents just let the baby be disruptive the entire time reflects more on the parents than the baby. At the age of 8 months, the baby isn’t old enough to behave and not cry, so I hold the responsibility solely on the parents in this case.
I talked to my Fiance a little bit more to get his opinion since he runs a restaurant. He said there’s only been a handful of times where he’s actually had to talk to parents about their kids acting out or being disruptive – and it’s not usually infants, it’s kids that are a little older that get out of their seats or think it’s OK to throw food around. Then it becomes a safety issue when the waiters/waitresses are coming out with hot plates of food. He had one kid slip on a cloth napkin and the parents threatened to sue the restaurant. (they did not)
In his experience, most parents are quick to hush their kids or take them outside to scold them. He’s also had many instances where he’s had to wrap up entire meals because the family has to make a quick get away because their child won’t calm down.
It’s a shame that a few selfish parents ruin it for everyone.
Post # 99
@musical-lady: I know that restaurants always want to cater to clientele of all ages, but if people are paying a pretty penny to dine in a fancy atmosphere, that atmosphere should be maintained. Most opera companies do not allow babies or children at all, and here the Toronto Symphony does not allow babies under 2 and discourages children under 10 unless it’s a special children’s program. Why can’t restaurants do that without people throwing their hands up in the air?
Unfortunately, there are those people who would through a fit, crying discrimination and unfairness.
Post # 100
@mrsSonthebeach: Yes, you are right.
But I suspect the question is – are there more young children who would behave the way yours does – or who may be inclined to cry or fuss? Because there is no guarantee of the former, I think it should be treated more like an opera or symphony. I think it is an inappropriate setting to risk ruining an elegant evening for other patrons. Having a no children policy would eliminate the possibility of this happening – and having to depend on the parents to have the common courtesy and gracefulness to not let the situation become what it did…
Post # 101
@annifer: Actually, I see an awful lot of lousy parenting – even in just my day to day ramblings throughout life.
I grew up being taught that there is a place and a time for children to be heard – and particularly in this instance I think it applies. I’m sorry if this offends you.
Post # 102
Babies stay out. A baby isn’t at fault for crying, or for being unpredictable. Babies cry. Not because they’re bad or babies are terrible but because they have limited forms of communication. There are places babies don’t belong, and if you want to go there, then suck it up and wait a year for them to stop being babies.
These parents were unbelievably self centered. Not only did they take the baby, they stayed there with the baby working up a full squall. They made people who had put in reservations a month ago, people who were splurging on the experience, travelers who may not have the opportunity return again sit through theor dreadful squalling baby so that the parents could have… A dinner ruined by their screaming child!
I use dreadful in the literal sense. The sound of an infant in distress is disturbing to humans on a primal instinctive level. You could decorate each table with three live snakes that diners are expected to eat around and it would be less disturbing to others.
Post # 103
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
@codysgirl16: I find it very depressing that because a small minority of parents don’t handle these situations as they should, you would blanketly ban all children from nicer restaurants. What a lack of trust in your fellow human being.
The thing is, how often does a well-behaved child draw your attention? If you were eating in the same restaurant as my daughter, you might not even know she’s there. I know other parents with babies and toddlers like mine and in fact seeing their success I was determined to take my daughter out from the very beginning so that she would learn how to behave out. Never taking a child to anywhere but McDonalds, Panera, and Applebees until their 3 or something is a recipe for disaster. The children you notice are the small portion acting out and not being dealt with properly. You’re only noticing the outliers.
In fact, if such things weren’t rare, this news story would not be a newsworthy.
What is different about the opera or symphony is that the noise in such a place is highly likely to disturb a baby or toddler and getting up to deal with an upset baby is disruptive by itself.
Post # 104
Darling Husband and I have already had this conversation ahead of having kids. There are some places that are just not appropriate for infants or kids. If we can’t get a babysitter we won’t go out. I’m not going to subject other people to my child who I expect to be a child. I expect my kid to run, play, scream, cry and make noise. There are just some environments that’s is not acceptable, as adults we should recognize and respect that.
Post # 105
@ButterflyButterfly: The way I see it is this: when you decide to have a child, you need to accept that there will be huge inconveniences in your life, and you need to deal with them.
Do I feel bad their babysitter cancelled, and the plans they had for months were in jeopardy? Yes. But you know what? They, in deciding to take their child, decided that their evening going well was more important than dozens of others people’s.
They decided that the two of them are more valuable humans than everyone else. Period. The same is true of every set of parents that takes their kids someplace where their crying will ruin everyone else’s experience, and don’t do anything about it.
Post # 106
@mrsSonthebeach: Sure, but “nice” restaurants are one thing. Alinea is entirely different. With wine flights and tip, the meal for TWO costs in the ~$700 range. Dinner there lasts 3-4 hours. There are twenty-something courses. There is no place within the restaurant to briefly retreat with a fussy baby in order to calm it. There is no “out of the way” table where other diners will not notice your baby fussing.
Above all, the entire meal is something of a performance, with different servers for each course, each with a presentation and “personality” that seems to match the particular course. Taking a baby to this restaurant is like taking a baby to a gala performance at the Metropolitan Opera: beyond rude. Just disturbingly clueless.
The couple should have sold their tickets, given them to friends, or called Alinea in advance to explain their predicament. I can’t believe there’s even a hint of dissent about this!