Friday, January 11, 2013

Boundaries with Children

You were probably thinking that I was going to talk about setting boundaries for my kids, but NOPE!  I am going to discuss adults setting boundaries on where they take their children.  I am not super funny about this stuff, exactly.  I just think that there are times that children aren't welcome regardless of age.  Why am I bringing this up?  Because over the holidays, my husband and I had the pleasure of attending various events where we were surprised to see very small children.

There are the obvious places, like invitations with NO KIDS listed.  But apparently other places need guidelines as well.  It makes me think of Sweet Home Alabama when Reese Witherspoon says,"Look at you… you have a baby… in a bar."

One was a formal Christmas party.  The event was held in a big hall - think prom.  Some of the women even wear gowns, though the men stick with suits and ties.  The invite doesn't specifically say no kids, but I am certain that the planners didn't think it had to.  Part way through the evening, in walks a couple with their very obviously, new baby.  Babies at this age - 4-6 weeks, max - don't usually cause too much ruckus wherever they are.  Nonetheless, I just found it wrong, rude, odd.  Most people there have kids, but we all found sitters or maybe they are old enough to stay alone.  Perhaps, I am too harsh you say.  What if they don't have family nearby to help out, you say... Pish Posh.  Neither do I, but you have to compromise sometimes.  Now that you have a child, you better start lining up sitters if you want to get out of the house (www.care.com, just saying!).  Or one of the adults misses the party, or both.  It won't be the last one, and since you work there... you are pretty much guaranteed the invite.

That one honestly wasn't near as bad as the next example.  Hubs and I went to see The Hobbit one very snowy afternoon.  We were lucky to arrange for a sitter so that we could run out for a few hours of adult time.  EXCEPT - someone brought a B-A-B-Y into the theater.  Throughout the entire first 30 minutes, the baby cried.  Yep - cried, until FINALLY, one of the brilliant parental figures decided to take the baby outside of the movie.  I seriously wanted to throttle someone.  Do you know how much a movie and a sitter cost?  Yes, I do, but obviously, they did not!  It was so distracting!  And it wasn't just us either.  With each whimper, you could see the heads swivel toward the noise.  After the brief hiatus, the culprit was brought back in, I assume sleeping.  But dark theater and loud noises do not make for the best setting to sleep.  It wasn't long until the little one was at it again.  It was the equivalent of a cell phone ringing throughout the movie, and the theaters make a HUGE deal about that.  Guess no one thought to say, don't take a baby to a movie. 

Now, I can't say the thought hasn't crossed my mind.  Both of my children were/are excellent nappers.  However, I would have been MORTIFIED if they were noisy and I had to walk out with them.  It just wasn't the right movie or venue.  And yes, I get that you want to see it.  And I get that you couldn't find a sitter.  But guess what, then you just don't get to go.  Sorry!

11 comments:

  1. Baby...in a movie? Ummmm yeah, NO! Last time that happened to me I walked out and demanded a refund from the manager. Got it too-along with 4 free movie passes.

    If I'm going somewhere that doesn't specify whether or not kids can come, I either ask the host(ess) or just leave H at home. Period.

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    1. I didn't even think to do that. I did really want to jump on the parents though :)

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  2. OMG I am a huge bitch (pardon the language) when it comes to people bringing babies/young children into theaters! It is so inappropriate. I am also extremely vocal about it. There is no way I could have not said something!

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    1. I have never encountered this ever. I think I was so in shock, that I didn't act like I might have.

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  3. I'm the same as you...only maybe a little harsher. However, I don't have children...so maybe I don't understand well enough. I get IRATE when I'm somewhere and a kid is screaming/crying. Especially if they're old enough to know better than to behave like that. And if they're too young? They shouldn't be out. Like at restuarants--when I get to go out, I don't expect to have to listen to someone's child scream for an hour, then pay for the shitty experience I just had, and then call it a night.

    My mom says I'm too harsh. That maybe those parents were desparate to get out of the house and not have to prepare their own food, etc etc. I still don't see why someone else's child gets to disrupt an entire restuarant's guests with its screaming.
    off my soap box. great post. valid post.

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    1. Honestly, I was a little more harsh prior to having kids. I guess you either ease up a bit or just lose your everloving mind LOL! But there are places that are fine with children - Friendly's for example :). Actually, we have always taken ours to a few different sushi places, but they were/are family oriented. If it is upscale and the dinners are more pricey - the kids should be left home. Most of the other clientele is not out to hear children.

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    2. There are Red box machines and pay per view for this exact reason. No sitter, no movie. Here is another point...the theater can ask you to leave if you are talking or on phone but why not if you are crying?
      Why is it rude for you to say something to a parent because their child is being disruptive but not rude of them for bringing the child? Oh the weird social world we live in.

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  4. I was shocked to hear that there were young kids in the theater for the midnight showing the night Mr. Lochner shot up the theater a few months ago. Really? Midnight showing??? There are many theaters that are now offering "kids" shows on some Saturday mornings and the $1 (or so) movies in the summer where kids are expected. The lights are left up a bit and the sound is turned down. Ok, most are designed for those on the autism spectrum, but they aren't restricted, and many are open to the public.

    I'm all for including children in the "real world" rather than sheltering them, but were is the common sense? Ok, off my rant now too.

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    1. I remember hearing that too, Jill! And you are right, they make kid friendly movies and environments for a reason.

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  5. A children's movie....maybe....but The Hobbit?? Um...no! As for dinner, well...I'm the guilty one who brings all four of my children into a restaurant...I'm not talking formal, black tie restaurant, I'm talking Applebee's, Chili's or something along that line. I don;t expect my 2 year old to sit through a 4 course meal, but he'll sit just long enough to inhale some food and get the bill! I don't let them run around the restaurant, but then I do also ask to be seated away from others in case they get impatient. Oh, and I also nurse my 4 month old in restaurants...but that is another story! Back to the movie theater...I just think it would be rude to bring a baby into the theater...especially for a very inappropriate movie! We have "children friendly" showings here, the theater is slightly lit, they allow strollers and bring in changing tables to accommodate babies! Oh, and they EXPECT the kids to run around and be noisy. :)

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Thanks for leaving a comment! Look forward to more :) ~ Susan