Thursday, July 14, 2011

Closing Doors, Closed Hearts and Minds

So a restaurant is banning children under 6 (
That doesn’t appall me nearly the degree to which the reaction I’ve heard regarding it does. Parents of multiple children have told me they think it should be the beginnings of a trend because “it’s not too much to ask that on date night with my husband I not have children near me”. One place is one place. A population of fans is something more.

I feel for their children, seeing how they really feel about them. I also feel for anyone subjected to these children because I can only imagine they have no discipline since the parents don’t believe the kids are capable so why bother.

We are one of those ‘inappropriate’ people who take our four year old son to fine dining establishments. We are one of those people who’ve taken him to special events at those same fine dining establishments where you tour a cuisine of a region and it’s wines (of course, he doesn’t get any wine) over several hours with many courses. We have since he was very small. But then, we ascribe to a concept that seems foreign to so many these days—we parent and love our child.
We tend to stick to Mediterranean or Caribbean food because it matches what he is familiar with. Sasha is a hearty eater and truly enjoys mealtime and eating and *likes* going to these. It’s something different, but not too different. The food is good. And he feels it’s very special. A child knowing how to appreciate such an experience is key to helping them behave properly. And allowing them to experience better in life than is usually given to children—good quality fresh food and comfortable and beautiful settings where people behave with decorum and manners—is key to helping them appreciate the experience.
Since we’ve taken the time and effort to introduce him to the finer things, we now have a child who is not only tolerated, but WELCOME at places we’ve gone. We don’t have to get a babysitter to enjoy a night out without chicken fingers and toy surprises—only without extraneous bathroom trips (he is, after all, only four and still needs help in reaching the sink). He knows how to behave and needs only occasional reminders about volume.
To say it’s not appropriate for ANYONE to be there who appreciates the food and atmosphere and who can behave accordingly while having someone to pay his/her bill is just wrong. It’s not a crime to be small. People need to stop treating little ones that way.

1 comment:

caramama said...

"It’s not a crime to be small. People need to stop treating little ones that way."

LOVE that line!

I think everyone should learn to behave appropriately given the setting. I generally MUCH more annoyed by adults in restaurants than by kids.