Monday, May 10, 2010

Where the wild things are...

I have nothing against people bringing kids into sports bars. Places like Buffalo Wild Wings or other places like that. Wings, beer, burgers, 50 TV's all playing various sporting events, etc. If you're going to bring your kid in there, fucking pay attention to them, though. Hell, Buffalo Wild Wings has awesome video game things you can give your kids to keep them amused. $5 will keep them playing and amused for an hour or more.

I've seen this plenty of times. People bring their young kids in and then let them run around the place. Which is annoying and isn't safe. A few months ago, when the Boyfriend and I went to watch the Stars game and eat, there was a lady and her husband sitting at the bar. They were eating and downing beers. Their daughter who looked to be 3 or 4? She was running all over the bar area, trying to chatter at random customers. Then when she would go back to mom and dad, they would toss her a large bouncy ball. Seriously. One of them would toss the ball, the little girl would chase it, play with it for a while and then take it back. They would either toss it again or hold on to it. If they held on to it, she would jump around to get their attention. They pretty much ignored her and kept drinking more beer and talking. She would run around, dancing goofy little dances or hopping up on bar stools. At times, she would try to talk to random people. At one point, she went out the door to the patio dining area and her parents didn't even notice. One of the waitresses led her back inside then her parents looked perplexed for a moment before ordering more drinks. They tossed the ball for her to chase a bit more frequently after that but ultimately, they weren't paying much attention to her.

I don't get that. She could have wandered off outside on the patio. Someone could have kidnapped her. She could have easily gone through the patio gate and wandered out into the parking lot and gotten hit by a car. It's right by the freeway, she could have wandered out there. It's in a huge shopping center. There is plenty of stuff she could have wandered off to and gotten hurt or worse.

I can get, as parents, you don't get a lot of time to go out to eat and drink beer on a Sunday afternoon. I can get that you might not have anyone to leave your kid with or you might not have been able to find anyone for the day. Maybe they did have someone but that fell through so now they have their kiddo with them while they have lunch and drinks. I don't have a problem with that. I do think it's wrong to ignore your child that way though. It's also irresponsible to not pay attention to what your kid is doing, where they're going and who they're wandering up and talking to. The ball thing irked me too. They literally would take it and toss it, not really watching where it was going and not even paying attention to if she was going to go get it or not. It was like playing fetch with a dog except most dog owners are more involved in their game of fetch with their pets.

Another thing that irked me was that they both drank a shitload of beer. I don't know if they were drunk or not. They might have high alcohol tolerances. I don't care if you're drunk or just tipsy, don't fucking drive after you've been drinking. Especially when you're going to have your child in the car with you. I CANNOT STAND people who drink and drive. It fucking pisses me off. You want to drink yourself stupid, fine, go ahead. I do it from time to time myself. Getting behind the wheel and driving after you've been drinking is stupid, irresponsible and reckless. You put yourself and other people at risk. Even if you're tipsy, it's still wrong and you're still impaired. I don't give a fuck how "good" you think you drive after you've been drinking. I don't care that you're "only tipsy" and can "drive just fine" or that you're "only going a few miles" so it's okay. You probably think you sing like a rock star or can dance better than a professional too. That doesn't mean it's true and it's not okay. And yes, it's something that is very personal to me and don't EVEN try to argue or reason with me about it because I believe to my core that it's something you do NOT do. I was in an accident caused by a drunk driver who was "only driving a few miles down the road" too. I was 5 when it happened. I'll be 25 this June. Almost 20 years later, I STILL have issues and things physically wrong with me from the damage that was done to me the night that asshole thought he was okay to drive and rear ended my mom's car. I have scars I'll look at for the rest of my life and I have medical issues I'll deal with for the rest of my life because some dumb fuck thought he was "fine" to drive "a few miles down the road" after he had been drinking. I got off track though....

I just don't understand why people go out with their kids and then allow them to run all over the place and not pay attention to them. This isn't the first, second, third or twentieth time I've seen it before. I have friends with kids. Those same kids come out to dinner with us sometimes, too. My friends never let their kids wander off or run around like they're at home. They enjoy their adult time and they pay attention to their kids as well without letting them run all over the place, screaming and yelling, etc. It can be done.

I know it happens in other establishments too. Grocery stores, the mall, etc. It seems like in sports bars, it's worse. It's like they're in a sort of contained environment and they know their kids can't go far so they let them run around while they eat, drink and socialize. Plus, unlike other restaurants, sports bars are loud and noisy so no big deal if their kids are loud, noisy and running around. And trust me, as a waitress, you can be fucked if you say something about it. Chances are, you're going to piss the parents off if you can find a way to tell them their kids have no business running around in there. It's not fucking Chuck-E-Cheese but say something about it and you're going to get bitched at, possibly have them want to bitch at your boss and definitely not getting a tip. So, as long as they're not hurting anyone, themselves or damaging property, you deal with the annoyance. Though, guaranteed in most cases if the kid gets hurt, the parents are gonna act like the blame should fall on someone else. Of course, it couldn't be their own fault for not making their kids behave.

I just really don't understand why you would take a child into a place like that and then not pay attention to what they're doing, let them run around, etc. Though, I don't understand why you would take your child anywhere and not pay attention to what they're doing but that's not the point I'm on right now, lol. So, I'm curious, do any of you ever take your young children into places like that? Are you more willing to let them run around or pay less attention to what they're doing/how they're acting because of the environment they're in?

Happy Monday!

18 comments:

Vanilla Kinks said...

I have two boys who are now 6 and 8.

My husband and I have never done this. Ever! When my oldest was just a few months old, we went to The Cheesecake Factory during off hours to enjoy a nice meal. The other customers were horrified that we were there with a baby. They asked to be moved away from us because, "What if that baby starts crying?"

My hubby and I pretty much swore off taking the kids to restaurants after that, and still we rarely take them because they can't sit still and be quiet. I hate it when other people's kids can't behave at an eating establishment. I assume those same people would be annoyed with my kids misbehaving, so we just don't go.

It's a sacrifice you make when you become a parent, and those parents who say they should still be able to enjoy a meal out (with kids in tow), especially with drinks involved, are just irresponsible. Plain and simple.

Another Suburban Mom said...

I have a 9 year old and a 4 year old. Hubman and I occasionally take the kids to real restaurants as a treat.

However, anyplace we go has to be a place where you are in and out in an hour, so unless my MIL inflicts fanciness on me, the nicest place my kids have seen is The Outback Steak House and Bertucci's

I am a big believer in babysitters. If you can't afford a sitter, then I suggest doing a babysitting co-op where you trade off with another set of parents.

And drinking and driving? Totally frosts me. One of my cousins died that way.

Just A. Girl said...

Playing fetch with your kid in a bar? Wow!

KendallJaye said...

Mini-Me is now 13. I'm pretty lucky to have a kiddo that I can take in public. And she's always been good in social settings. At home? Hell, totally different story. :) But then again, I was constantly armed with a sketch pad and crayons, so there were plenty of ways to entertain.
Although, that fetch idea may catch on......
-KJC

Tragic™ said...

My girls are 17, 16, and 14 now but they were very well behaved when small, though I didn't take them anywhere like that (although I'd have taken me, that sounds like an awesome place) however my boy is four now and so hyper that he makes that little girl sound comatose. Because he is naturally hyper, we have special ways of doing things, one is not taking him into places where he's likely to be overstimulated thus causing him to act out.

When he does have one of his periods, we take him outside and try to calm him down. If that fails then generally we'll head for home because in MY mind, as a parent, its not up to you or any other patron to be forced to accept my child's behavior, also it won't help him any if I let him continue to act out, he does need to learn self control and other actual life skills. My wording is shit but you know what I'm saying..

All too often I've seen other parents take wild children into touchy environments and just let them loose, expecting everyone else to just accept and understand, but: its NOT their job to do that, it is MY job to teach my son to behave properly, otherwise what the hell kind of parent am I?

Drinking with the kids? No. I have been known to have a few drinks and I do have a high alcohol tolerance but I never drink copiously around the kids and even when I have a few, my partner doesn't have any /vice-versa.

And I wouldn't ever get behind the wheel even if "I've only had a few officer.." because its just wrong. DUI deaths have touched my family, it sucked, its a selfish thing to do, I wouldn't ever want another family or person to feel that pain because of my asshole decisions.

yes, I am Tragic and I approve of this post.

viemoira said...

I have taken my kids out to a local pub for pizza while having a few drinks with friends. I would never be ok with them out of my reach. A pub is a place for adults and therefore I feel if you take a child you should respect other customers by keeping your child well behaved. If my kids were to act up, I'd simply leave and if I were to drink I would have someone picking me and my kids up or be walking.

Charlene said...

Those people with the kid and the bouncy ball should trade their child in for a lab. At a younger age I would have made the trade FOR the child.

Anything I might further say would be mean spirited.

BTExpress said...

Parents should teach their children how to behave in public. If they can't behave, then get a sitter or don't take them out, period.

My son was one of the most well behaved children you'd ever meet when he was growing up. That behavior carried over all the way through elementary & high school. Not one teacher or his friends parents ever complained about he behavior. He may not have been the best student academically, but he was never a behavior problem.

The secret is to insist on good behavior from day one. Because if you don't, they act up and control you. Sure, we had our share of difficulties like all parents do, we just never let him control us.

When he left his toys all over the place, I'd warn him. If he didn't listen, then I tossed them in the garbage or take them away. He got the point very quickly.

I reinforced that one day when he refused to pick up his room. He back talked me once too many times, so I stomped on and crushed his plastic guitar. he was devastated and my wife was pissed. But you know what? He cleaned up his room. You know what else? He's always had one of the neatest kids rooms you'll ever see. He still does.

nitebyrd said...

Parents like this are why people should actually have to be given a test to pass before they are allowed to reproduce.

In a few years, they'll be wondering why she isn't ever home, why she's doing drugs and worse and/or why she wants nothing to do with them.

Hubman said...

Some days I wonder if it's not such a bad idea to require a license to become a parent- couples like the one you describe here reinforce that idea!

Also, what my wife said ;-)

Tim said...

I am surprised that the establishment did nothing in this case. . . The parents are obviously there, and obviously imbibing a ton of alcohol. . .

I might have called the Child Protective Services or at very least the police. . .

Things like this make me really PISSED.

FiremanPat said...

OK, this is a touchy subject for me, because I have a 3 year old and a 10 month old. We go out to eat (too regularly) and take them with us. Now we don't go to "Fancy" restaurants with them, but we do go to Carrabbas, Macaroni Grill, TGI Fridays, Ninety Nine, etc. I feel bad for people like Vanilla Kinks who posted earlier that they swore off dining out with the kids for fear of offending people. If my kid starts fussing, tough shit. They are kids! Now I won't let my kids throw full out tantrums. We will correct that right away calmly, but directly, and not over react like some parents do. But if someone gets upset that my kids are crying, I say tough shit. Stay home if you don't want to deal with something like a kid crying. It is a public restaurant/establishment, and I am allowed to bring my family when I want to. God forbid someone dare say something to me if my kids get upset. What we demonstrate and practice is called responsible parenting. We expect good behavior, and we get good behavior. Obviously a work in progress for the 10 month old, but the 3 year old knows what is allowed, and what will get him punished. We bring his toys with us in case he starts getting bored, so he is entertained. Now we don't go to bars as it is, and sure don't go with our kids. Just not that into them. But they are not appropriate for kids. I think there are some places to bring them, and others you don't. Bars are a no no. Now a Bar/restaurant, that is a different story, but I think you see my point there.

I refuse to live a life dictated by others when it comes to my kids. I will raise them to behave, like any good parent should. But don't think I will never bring them out until they turn 10 or something like that. I will bring out my kids when I want to, and you'll love them anyway, cause they are so damn cute and well behaved.

*climbing off my soapbox*

Bella said...

It stresses me the fuck out to take my 2 year old to a restaurant. Mainly because I'm afraid she is going to have a meltdown or tantrum and ruin the meal for me and others around me. We do go out with her (not to bars) but are always prepared to make a speedy escape should she become unruly.

I would NEVER do what the couple you describe did! Ugh. Really? That is first of all, irresponsible parenting, and second of all, inconsiderate to the patrons of the bar. Some places are kid appropriate and some are not. Regardless, the child is the parent's responsibility and ignoring the child like that is unsafe and just stupid.

And don't get me started on the drinking and driving thing....

玄雨 said...

thank you for you to make me learn more,thank you∩0∩

southerngirl said...

Self-indulgent laziness dear... with a healthy dose of stupidity.

KendallJaye said...

Also... would like to add:
My hubs is a 2nd grade teacher. I feel he deserves a badge or shield the same as a police officer/detective. That way when little shits run wild, he can flip open the leather wallet for his badge, throw on his shades, and say "Back off Ma'am. I'm a certified TEACHER. I'll handle this situation."
-KJC

Bruce said...

In a nutshell, society does not hold them to a higher standard, and most parents that have children are still children in their own right....they have never grown up and become responsible.

In the 'old' days (say 1950), there was a police man on every corner that whacked you on the head for spitting on the sidewalk. Thanks to shrinking budgets and the ACLU....we now hat parents that can get drunk all day while their kids play in traffic. Somehow, a more liberal society doesn't always seem to be a good thing.

Maggie said...

I was at Buffalo Wild Wings not long ago to pick up some takeout and I watched a kid running around unsupervised. A server was carrying a tray of drinks and stopped short because the kid ran straight at him, the tray tipped, he tried to grab everything, but it spilled everywhere and one of the glass mugs broke. The kid just ran off. If he had been hurt, the parents would've flipped out at the server but why weren't they watching him? It's a restaurant, not a daycare!