In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, Puritan character Hester Prynne is forced to wear a letter ‘A’ on her chest identifying her as an adulterer.
Likewise today, those who may disrupt dinner at a restaurant are identified with? Children.
A North Carolina restaurant owner recently banned “screaming children.” Brenda Armes told WECT-6 News her business is now booming, “It has been a good thing for us. It has brought us in more customers than it has ever kept away.”
I can’t say I’m surprised. Children are an unpredictable work-in-progress.
I, too, would like to enjoy a peaceful dinner out, but with kids that’s hard to do. Try as I might to keep them entertained, they don’t always sit still or keep quiet and explaining to a 13-month-old that she has to “ask politely, don’t screech” is next to impossible, although she’s learned sign language for “milk,” “more” and “eat” which limits her frustration.
The dirty looks from the childless patrons are really uncalled for. My husband and I are well aware when our kids have crossed the line and we will handle it.
Nonetheless, we are always ready to pack up dinner in a to-go box and head for the hills.
“Ban kids from restaurants” is a Facebook page which states “If you’re tired of going out to eat only to be subjected to children’s tantrums and their parents’ indifference to the feelings of other customers, this is your group.”
Do you honestly think we want to be in a restaurant while our child has a meltdown because his macaroni is cold? I assure you, we don’t. But, it happens.
I’m not so sure parental indifference is the problem in all cases, perhaps society is becoming less tolerant of children in general (children should be seen and not heard, right?)
But, what about the adults who behave like children? Shouldn’t they be banned, too?
I don’t mean just the drunk-and-disorderlies, but your everyday “big people” who snap.
For example, Rants From Mommyland blogger and mom, Lydia, recently wrote of her experience with a “stroller kicker.”
Lydia’s baby stroller momentarily blocked a store aisle. When she failed to maneuver out of the way fast enough; a frenzied and rushed woman had the audacity to kick the stroller!
And we think kids only learn bad things on television.
A childless (but “child friendly”) colleague of mine sums it up well: “I’m not scared to shush people’s kids, but I’ve also shushed adults who were using profanity or being too loud in a public place. You can be well-behaved (or not) at any age!”
Email this contributing writer at Motherhoodcolumn@yahoo.com.Tweet