Everyone’s got their feathers ruffled this week about where children do (and do not) belong. Breastfeeding mothers got kicked out of a Bad Moms movie showing and it went viral. Donald Trump made headlines today by publicly heckling the mother of a crying baby at one of his rallies. Sanctimommies be pissed!
Yeahhhhhh, I’m not going to be joining them. My kids are rad and I love love LOVE hanging out with them, but I am not so delusional to think that the general public feels the same way. And while there are times when the GP can be unrealistic dicks about kids being up in their space (like, say, AIRPLANES), here are some places where they’re really-sorta-kinda-totally right:
Read your Emily Post & weep, y’all: unless the invitation is addressed to “The Smith Family” or specifically states your children’s names alongside yours, your children are not invited. Period. They don’t have to say “Adults Only” or “No Children.” (Could you imagine having to put that on your beautiful engraved invitations?)
I once attended the wedding of a couple who’d specifically requested an adults-only wedding and their family just straight up ignored them. The aisles between the dinner tables were choked with (I kid you not) multiple strollers and some parents even changed their babies into jammies mid-reception. It was a horror show of rudeness.
Dude, hire a babysitter, pump breastmilk, do whatever you need to do, and if that’s not an option then maybe sit this one out. I’ve cancelled all kinds of plans because my infant daughter refused to take a bottle. (For seven months.) Having children is immensely rewarding, but those rewards come at a price — in this case, missing out on free cake and seeing Uncle Mort do the Macarena. You’ll live.
2. R-Rated movies.
WTF you guys? Have you so thoroughly forgotten what it’s like to be a non-parent that you think people want to hear a crying baby at an R-rated Friday night movie?! Get over yourselves. Go to a mommy matinee (there are tons of them), pump and get a babysitter for the night, or maybe just wait for it to come out on OnDemand because who are you kidding you can’t stay up past 9:30 PM anyway!
3. Fancy restaurants.
If I’m ordering a $40 entree, the only wine I want it to come with is French vintage, not fresh toddler. By all means dine with your kids at casual restaurants, even pretty nice restaurants, both of which we do often following certain rules: dine early; leave a nice tip if the staff was especially accommodating or your kids made a huge mess; and keep yo’ clowns in check. (Serious Eats has some terrific guidelines for dining out with small children.)
But for the love of PETE, get a babysitter if you’re dining somewhere elegant and expensive. Going out to dinner is so much more than just the food. It’s the whole experience of being in a beautiful, interesting space, being stimulated by the chef’s creativity, and enjoying your dining companions’ company, none of which are enhanced by your precious snowflake’s singing and utensil banging.
Look, I’m not trying to piss in your Wheaties, but parents who routinely flout these rules ruin it for EVERYONE. Could American society be more family-friendly? Yes. Could non-breeders dial their judginess back from the “10” it’s currently set at? Heck, yes! But we’ll get nowhere fast if parents insist on pushing the boundaries of polite behavior.
PS, I repeat: Airplanes do not count. I’m not buying you a drink or passing out earplugs just because I dared bring a child on YOUR airplane. Put on your noise cancelling headphones and quit your whining or I’m telling every kid on this plane that there’s a Pokemon in your row.