Most Mommies and Daddies need a drink now and then. If Mad Men has taught us anything it’s good little boys and girls know how to mix dear old dad a good Bloody Mary. Whether you’re a drinker or a teetotaler, everyone has different rules when it comes to the combination of alcohol and kids. Some people are okay with having a couple glasses of wine while the kids are about; other won’t touch the stuff until the kids are snug in bed.
Then there’s going out. Would you take your toddler to a bar? Two bloggers butt heads in this Smackdown.
Blogger Julieanne Smolinski took the con route, arguing:
- Ask yourself, “is this a place where food is secondary?” If you’re there just for drinks, it’s probably not appropriate.
- Servers are accustomed to dealing with kids; bartenders are not and will likely get pissed.
- You come off as one of those parents who want desperately to hang onto your hip, insouciantly youthful ways.
- Bars are full of profanity and possibly smoke.
- The childless come to bars to have a good time; your screaming kids don’t factor into that.
- Your kid demanding to go pee really kills libido when flirting with a guy.
- Let’s not forget the safety issue. Not just driving; think about your drunken butt tripping over the kid’s stroller.
(Full disclosure, Julieanne is a single woman and thus has great self interest in keeping all you breeders and your brood out of her Happy Hour good times.)
Now here comes Tom Henderson with the reasons why he should be allowed to bring his kids to the pub.
- If state law allows you to take your kids in the bar, the case should be closed right there.
- Twenty-somethings who don’t want to listen to your kids scream can go elsewhere.
- “Who the heck cares if there’s an infant around” (um, everybody)
- There are far more objectionable people in a bar than your kid.
- People who complain they can’t hear themselves over your babies cries should realize no one wants to hear what they’re “blubbering about” either.
- If the kid makes a fuss, the parents can always escort the kid outside.
My Take: Though I have kids, I have to side with the not-bringing-them-to-the-bar contingent. When I was childless I wanted a law that prohibited parents from bringing their kids to restaurants, bars, movie theaters (I.E. anywhere people go to have a good time) for the first 5 years of said child’s life. Since having kids, I’ve relaxed my position a little, but I still try to keep my kids from situations in which they will encroach on strangers trying to enjoy themselves.
Something about Tom’s “whiny twenty-somethings can take a hike” stance reeks of the sense of entitlement many parents adopt. The message, “hey, I’m keeping the human race going by procreating, therefore my wants and needs come before you lowly non-breeders.”
Also, the legal argument doesn’t hold water. Just because it’s legal to do something doesn’t mean it’s a cool thing to do. It’s not illegal for me to run around a restaurant bellowing “Frere Jacque” and butting into strangers’ conversations with “That’s what she said!” but it would still be a douche maneuver.
(Full disclosure: I live in a state where kids aren’t legally allowed to go into bars, so it’s kind of a non-issue for me.)
What about you? Do you take your kids out for a drink? Do you recoil in horror when you see post-hipster parents scuttle their brood into the bar when you’re just trying to have a drink?