Edgy Mama: childfree: places NOT to take your kids

I usually write something around this time of year about all the fun child-friendly stuff to do with your kids in summer. This year, however, I’ve decided to dish about places that are not appropriate spots to take your infant or small child.

Yes, here in Asheville, people seem to think it’s OK to take their babies (and their dogs) wherever they want. Just know that some people (OK, me) might get feisty when your baby, whom you thought was going to sleep for another hour, wakes up and starts screaming during the climax of an R-rated movie.

So here’s my list of places I don’t want to see either your kids or mine:

1. As I said: the movie theater (unless it’s a G-rated movie). Actually, most kids under the age of two can’t focus and sit still for the length of even a G movie. And no matter how quickly you run out with your wailing baby, it’s disruptive and may cause theater goers to miss a key piece of dialogue that they’ve just paid $10 to hear.

2. Fancy restaurants. I don’t eat out often at swanky joints, but when I do, I prefer, as with the movie theater, not to have my dinner interrupted by a crying baby or a food-throwing toddler. At some point, kids can be trained to suffer through fancy dinners, but until they can appreciate fine dining, leave them at home. My cousins and I weren’t allowed to eat at my grandparents’ dinner table on holidays until we were practically in college. We preferred sitting at the kids’ table in the kitchen anyway because we could act up and throw our peas in the trash without getting in trouble.

3. Bathroom stalls. I’m not saying don’t take your kids to the potty in public places, but please control them once they’re there. If one more toddler crawls under a bathroom stall to ask me if I’m peeing or pooping, I’m going to call the etiquette police to arrest the mommy.

4. Work. “Take your kid to work day” really should be called “Let’s all babysit each other’s kids while stressing out about the work we aren’t doing days.” Unless your child is old enough to actually work and/or keep herself occupied for long stretches of time, keep your children’s visits to your place of employment short. There are always times when you have to take a child to work with you — I’ve taught classes with a baby on my back and have dragged kids to meetings — but having everyone’s kids at the office on the same day is a recipe for stomach ulcers.

5. Bars. I write about beer as well as about parenting, so my kids have spent a good bit of time in bars. But let me qualify that to say that it’s usually around suppertime and my kids are sitting at the bar eating with me — after which time, we go home and they go to sleep. If that’s you and your kid, that’s fine (provided you’re also controlling your alcohol intake so you can successfully get the kid home). On the other hand, it’s not appropriate for your kid to be hanging out at the bar acting cute and ordering shots for his adult “friends” at midnight.

6. Adults-only parties. Respect your friends’ desire to have a kid-free event now and again (or you’re not going to be invited back). One recent party invitation I received read: “We love your children, but we want to spend time just with our adult friends on this night.” Even so, someone always brings a baby whom they claim will sleep through the party but eventually wakes up and ends up being passed around while the babe’s parents try to pretend it doesn’t belong to them. If you can’t get a baby sitter, don’t go. Guess what? When you have a baby, you can’t do everything you want to do. It’s called being a responsible adult.

A friend wonders which area businesses actually make the claim not to be kid friendly or specifically say, “No kids allowed.” Pisgah Brewing requests no kids under 12 after 9 p.m., but that’s one of the few businesses I know of that’s so specific. Know of any others? Got more places you don’t want to see my or your kids? Let us know in the comments section at http://www.mountainx.com.



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17 thoughts on “Edgy Mama: childfree: places NOT to take your kids

  1. boatrocker

    (Other peoples’ kids can be so darned cute, if you know what I mean). Hopefully this article might be a wake up call to parents who think the world revolves around them and their children.

    As a note of interest, Time magazine (hey, I read it in a Chinese restaurant while waiting for take out-gimme a break) contained a recent article explaining how a Maylasian airline banned children under a certain age from first class.

    The author of the article also suggests a kid section for American airlines where all the crying kids from popping ears are placed together in a crying ghetto so to speak on a plane. I’m all for it.

  2. Betheny

    Anne, amen amen amen!!! I think you summed it up when you wrote, “Guess what? When you have a baby, you can’t do everything you want to do. It’s called being a responsible adult.” I’m glad YOU know this. But so many parents do not, and they resent being reminded that the rest of us feel this way. Often, parents’ viewpoint is that once they have a child, they have just as much of a right do go where they want with that child, whenever they want.

  3. Absolutely, mat. Especially because that kid’s cuter than me. Move over, buster, there’s only so much room for cute at the bar.

  4. dpewen

    The main reason I don’t go to Asheville Pizza and Brew for a flick is because of the kids running around and raising heck … and the flick is R rated … not that that makes any difference to irresponsible parents!

  5. Having been a parent of a screaming baby on an airplane with no way to escape, I must say I feel now for parents on planes. Unless you could block off the special crying section with noise-proof panels, I don’t imagine it would do much good.

  6. Reinkster

    Great article and I appreciate the boldness to include dogs. Much like kids, people feel it’s appopriate to bring their dog to every public place. So much the Wedge had to create a dog policy!

    Leave the dog at home!

  7. Voltro

    It does seem that some parents are oblivious to the inappropriateness of kids at the bar. Case in point; July 3rd, Mo Daddy’s at 11 pm. 5 kids under the age of 10 literally running amok while the parents (I assume) were outside smoking. One was continually skating around the joint, in and out the front door. Even if your kids ARE well-behaved (these were not), a bar after 9 pm is in no way an appropriate place for kids! Why don’t more proprieters call people on this type of behavior, for fear that they might insult someone?

  8. Ken Hanke

    I know some adults who shouldn’t go to the movies either. And you’d be surprised (maybe) that they’re not necessarily younger folks.

  9. Susan Andrew

    Sheesh, I know plenty of so-called ADULTS who don’t belong in our nice, responsible bars. You can see them stumbling about after dark most any weekend, reeling into traffic and barfing on the sidewalk. My kids would rather die than engage in such behavior.

  10. boatrocker

    Weighing in again- high five to Pisgah for their ‘curfew’ policy for kids- but just the same you’d be surprised how many toddlers can raise holy Hell before 9pm if they put their minds to it.

    I don’t blame the kids, I blame the parents who subscribe to the hippie-parent mentality of not telling a child “NO” as it may damage their oh so precious self esteem. The apple don’t fall far from the tree and all.

    Remember, these little dirty diaper factories will someday be making important decisions about how the world is run. Which is why all future parenting posts should be written from a bomb shelter stocked with non-Monsanto brand food stuffs and a list of hippie names not to name your kids.

  11. Marie

    I don’t care if you bring them to APBC but harness your minions, folks.. At ABC Coxe Ave, parents seem to assume that the patio and servers = free child care. They’ve started keeping cornhole bags behind the bar because kids throw them into the rafters and then run amok while the parents enjoy their pitchers and conversation. I’ve heard there’s a time limit of when you can’t have kids in the place anymore but it never seems to be reinforced..

  12. Not my kid!

    “You can see them stumbling about after dark most any weekend, reeling into traffic and barfing on the sidewalk. My kids would rather die than engage in such behavior.”

    Spoken like the mothers of the aforementioned, ma.

  13. Voltro

    ‘Sheesh, I know plenty of so-called ADULTS who don’t belong in our nice, responsible bar’

    That’s kind of the point I was making; if I was that much out of control, I’d be asked to leave. Why is it any different for parents with unruly kids?

  14. mom of many

    What is it about your parenting or writing that makes you “edgy”?

    I feel like i should love to read a column called edgy mama, and yet i am constantly turned off by it.

    I wish the mountain express had found a writer who opens up discussions and thoughts about parenting rater than one who uses her printed space to vent and judge others.

  15. juliewashere88

    Mom Of Many,
    You say that you wish for a writer “who opens up discussions and thoughts about parenting.” Dear, that’s exactly what this article did. That you didn’t happen to like it doesn’t change that fact. Does it bother you that Edgy Mama didn’t feel a need to put parents and kids on a pedestal, exempting them from the basic rules of social etiquette as a privileged class? Do please grow up.

  16. kay10

    ‘Sheesh, I know plenty of so-called ADULTS who don’t belong in our nice, responsible bar’

    Has anyone thought that perhaps these “adults” were once those same children whose parents never bothered to teach them how to behave appropriately in public?

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