The Vexed Question Of Children In Restaurants
MY response to this appalling worry of modern life is that I’m just fine with children in restaurants although I will admit to preferring them boiled rather than fried. This isn’t quite how a Guardian writer called Ben Pobji sees things of course: he is insisting that he should be able to inflict his snotnoses on you:
Fine, say the kiddie-banners. Then hire a babysitter. Go out without the kids. Excellent. But guess what? Sometimes you can’t get a babysitter. Sometimes life happens and you’re stuck holding the nappies. But more than this – sometimes, believe it or not, we want to take our children to a nice restaurant. We all know that in general parenthood is a lifelong struggle to avoid spending time with the kids, but every now and then, incredibly, mum and dad might enjoy their children’s company and would rather have them around than dump them and run.
And perhaps most importantly, if you don’t allow kids in restaurants because of how they behave, what you’re doing is raising a whole bunch of kids who’ll never know how to behave in restaurants. I consider taking my kids out to eat an educational moment: teaching them while they gorge.
Typical Guardian whining in fact: insisting on making compulsory what ought to be voluntary.
For we’ve a very simple answer to this sort of thing: allow restauranteurs to decide whether to let the anklebiters in or not. It is, after all, their business. And some people do indeed make them most welcome: Pizza Hut isn’t going to ban the only group of people that are responsible for its existence, after all: that reason being that kids are too stupid to know what decent pizza is.
Other restaurants will choose to keep them out, as is their right. And we, the potential customers of those restaurants can decide where we’d like to spend out money. Among the tantrums and smells of the kiddies or free from them.
We don’t demand that an Indian place serve Chinese nor vice versa: why is it so difficult for people to understand that it is exactly this market thing that allows us all to rub along together so happily?