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Sit Down, You're Rockin' The Boat

2010-07-08 - 11:58 a.m.

The school next door - which has been closed for retrofitting - is laying out manure in preparation for lawn planting.

So my whole apartment smells. But manure is actually somewhat more pleasant than, say, cat litter.


A restaurant in Ottawa turned away a family that had a three-month-old baby. The owner said that it was because they didn't have facilities for children, like a changing table. The parents have filed a discrimination complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

While I can understand the frustration of the parents, there have been times where I wished I could go to a restaurant that was adults only. I remember one dinner at El Torito where there were three children at the table behind my ex and me. I think the kids stayed in their seats for a grand total of ten minutes. They were running around the restaurant, crawling under OUR table, and so on. The parents, to their credit, tried very hard to keep their children under control, but it was a lost cause.

The laws are likely different here in California - they always are. But in Ottawa, public opinion is heavily in the restaurant's favor, saying that a private business should have the right to say who they can serve. One commenter: "Not every business has to cater to children." Another: "You want a kid-friendly environment, go to Montana's or the McDonald's play room."

If a restaurant decides not to allow children, they should be permitted to make that decision. Let their customers decide whether it's a good patronizing or not patronizing. Who knows, maybe there's a niche market for folks who don't want to eat with a screaming child in the room. After all, some of those folks leave theirs at home...with the babysitter.


Today I'm going to Disneyland.

Now, after the above commentary, you may be wondering why I'm going to a place where there will be LOTS of children.

Well, I know what I'm getting into. I EXPECT there to be children. And if I feel like it, I can go home.

So there.

Be seeing you.


3 comments so far

artgnome - 2010-07-08 22:35:13 -
I for one would pay EXTRA to not have to listen to other people's screaming children while trying to eat out in peace or watch a movie at the theatre. I wish some places would have a no children under a certain age rule in place or a "children's section", preferably with sound proof glass around them, so I can actually get my money's worth when out. When my kid was little, I did what was best for HIM, I stayed home!


Mel - 2010-07-10 19:23:46 -
I am constantly amazed at how hostile people and society have become towards children. Of course children are sometimes difficult and there are places and situations where they don't belong, but --- we were ALL children once. It's like people want to forget that, push it as far away from themselves as possible and pretend that children aren't people, too. The hostility extends to parents without whom none of us would be here.


Dave - 2010-07-10 23:11:51 -
Mel - you make a good point. Let me try to explain it a bit better. Sometimes you want to go out to a nice restaurant with your Significant Other. So you dress up a little, go out...and the evening gets ruined because a non-behaving child has the run of the place and the parents are doing nothing about it. That's what drives me nuts...and I'm sorry, but if the parents say "my child never acted this way before" they are lying through their teeth. Parents should know what their children can handle and what their children can't handle, and dining out in a "nice" place is one of them. If, based on prior experience, the parents know the children will misbehave...then shouldn't they respect the other diners' wish for quiet by not schlepping the child along? Also, part of the equation is removing the child if the child misbehaves. Occasional cries are one thing - they happen. Children DO make noise and yes, that's part of life. But constantly wailing/misbehaving children need to be removed from the restaurant, again out of respect for the other diners. I once watched my sister pull my then-three-year-old niece out of a restaurant and take her to the car because she was acting out. Some parents pull the "he's only a child" card, but it's the CHILD making a disturbance, not the other diners. If the child doesn't "know better", then they need to be taught "better". It's when the parents let it all slide because "he's only a child" that it really can become a problem because it kinda seems to me that at that point the parent isn't parenting - as in, teaching a child what is appropriate and what isn't. I still think there's a market for restaurants who want to be grown-ups only. Again, if a restaurant chooses to do that, let them - and let the customers (or lack thereof) decide if it's a good business practice.


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