Parents Gone Wild: Babies in Bars

Here’s what I want to know: when did parenting become entitlement to impose young children on people around you in places which were, not long ago, understood to be adult spaces?

A mom recently posted on a local listserv, called Park Slope Parents, that she’s offended by a neighborhood pub with a sign on its door that bans children after 5 p.m.

She goes on to explain that regardless of the ban’s legality, she doesn’t plan on going back, and adds, in what seems to be a huffy tone, “There are many other places where my business would be welcome.” Hesitant though I am to step into something that might get me flamed on this listerv, to which thousands of people subscribe, I just had to respond.

I posted:

Truth is, lately my neighborhood, which borders Park Slope, has been turning into a place just as overrun with rug rats (which the author of another local blog unfelicitously calls “crotch fruit”), and it feels kind of annoying, even though I’m just a few years out of stroller pushing myself.

As I posted on Park Slope Parents:

I got a few private, and a couple of publicly posted, notes of support from other moms who evidently share my retrograde feelings.

I’m just perplexed by what seems to me to be a new sense of entitlement among some young parents, who evidently don’t think that having an infant (with them) should get in the way of a late supper at a nice restaurant or a night cap at a local bar. They seem utterly unaware that their stroller and its occupant might be in the way of other patrons.

It’s the kind of thing that makes Park Slope an easy mark. Well, that and the 40-ish dad I saw today wearing a Snuggli full of baby. A note to you, sir: only men under the age of 22 should wear those colorful, hand-knit Nepalese hats with the ear flaps.

I managed to do plenty when my kids were babies - I was taking an evening class on Jewish theology when my oldest was just a few weeks old - but I didn’t expect to take my babies every single place I went. There were, and still are, places and parties I couldn’t attend because it’s not appropriate to bring young children.

I’ve survived, and so would the rest of you.

I’m just sick of trying to ignore preschoolers talk loudly in PG-13 and R-rated movies when all I’d like to have is the privilege of enjoying the movie I’ve just overpaid to see.

I fear I may be sounding a little like hoary curmudgeon Andy Rooney.

But perhaps I have more company than I know. So weigh in: what do you think?

And for those of you who write to back me up, here’s a bonus tidbit for your viewing pleasure, featuring Rooney and Ali G.

Ali G. is of course is played by the inimitably hunky Sacha Baron Cohen, who I’m sure doesn’t take the baby he has with actress Isla Fisher (Hate her. Kidding. Sort of.) to bars.

He probably leaves her with family members he’s brought in from Kazakhtan.

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Parents Gone Wild: Babies in Bars

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