When I checked my Yahoo e-mail and saw an article called “The No Kids Movement is Spreading” http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/parenting/the-no-kids-allowed-movement-is-spreading-2516110/, I once again got my oversized cotton-granny-left-over-from-maternity-days panties in a wad. Children banned from a resort I get, but from certain hours at a Missouri Whole Foods?! What the focaccia?
Before I had children I thought that the parents who couldn’t quiet their kids were complicit in the whining or screaming; that that particular parent/child unit had conspired to ruin my meal or trip. Now, as a parent, I know that 99% of the time, nothing could be further from the truth. No one, and I mean no one, is more desperate for that baby or child to be quiet than the parents are.
Now that I’m a parent, I also understand even more than before, that there are places that children simply do not belong, like nighttime screenings of non-kid movies or upscale restaurants. For a young child, who should be at home in familiar, quiet surroundings, i.e. his/her bed, it is sensory overload. Of course, the kid is misbehaving! I would act up too if someone kept me up way past my bedtime and took me to a loud, uncomfy place. Most of us know that either you hire a babysitter, or you stay home eating take-out and watching Netflix. For the folks who abide by unspoken rules, someone else’s crying kid at the theater or restaurant is nothing short of an outrage.
But, on a plane? Shopping? Really?
What are parents supposed to do? And babies, while they can be messy and loud, can also be ridiculously sweet and cute. In the best scenarios, children are a social lubricant, making people kinder to families and loosening the flow of child-related stories. While I get that a bratty, ill-behaved pre-schooler can give everyone fantasies of child abuse, banning all children under 6 is overkill. Furthermore, there are far, far more egregious public evils than obnoxious kids, crying babies included. I’d listen to a thousand babies crying as opposed to being privy to some adult behaviors that have become the norm these days. If you’re going to ban babies, then ban the folks below right along with them.
1. People who text at the movies or at a live performance.
2. People who bring fast food into enclosed public areas, forcing everyone to feel like Colonel Sanders and Ronald McDonald just sprayed down the place with fryer grease.
3. People who speak on their cell phones as if the connection is made of two Styrofoam cups and a string and they’ve called someone in Papua New Guinea.
4. Men who, on public transportation, insist upon sitting with their legs at a 135-degree angle while their seatmates are forced to attempt to squeeze back into the womb.
5. Women who never learned that sexy has little to do with sausage-casing style clothing and baring more skin that at one’s yearly OB-GYN visit.
6. Men who, without shame, check out the parts on nearly every female passerby.
7. Males who think everyone needs to see their boxers.
8. People who, upon seeing you holding the door open, breeze right through without a thank you.
9. People who never learned that chewing should be an inaudible activity.
10. People who think that cologne and perfume are for public enjoyment.