Toddler Nation

The war is over and those on the side of glamor, sophistication and adulthood have lost.  You may, dear readers, have varied reactions to this news.  The first being, "How do you know?"    Secondly, "Is this such a bad thing?" or thirdly "Viva the revolution!  Down with the ageist separation between adults and children.  Elmo for everyone - put the sippy cup next to the Macallen 17.   Let's push on through til' midnight listening to senseless toddler prattle and the Velvet Underground. "

As for the how do you know - this is a most indelicate story and those of you prone to squeamishness might want to skip to the next paragraph.  The facts, as unbelievable as they are, are these: the modern mother had taken the modern father out to a very nice wood-paneled steak restaurant in Boston for his birthday dinner.   So, the tone  was festive - jacket no tie, dress and heels, linger over each course, make the most of a nice evening out.  Around 9pm the lady of the couple excused herself to freshen her lipstick in the ladies' room.   You can imagine her shock upon entering the lounge to hear a screaming toddler and a mother loudly and repeatedly urging the young person to "push those poopies out."  This diatribe went on for all to hear for the short time the modern mother was there and possibly long into the night.  (!!!!!!) Now, obviously biology is venue indifferent and when you have to go you have to go.  But if the young person was home in bed where she belonged it might have been a much better evening for parent, child and innocent victims alike.  Needless to say, this episode was something of a "buzz kill" for the modern mother.  She has sadly come to expect such behavior in many, many places (library, aquarium, playgroup, coffee houses) but somehow in such an elegant setting this was all so very wrong. 

Now the true libertarian will say, if these parents want to to take their child out for a $100 meal on a Saturday night at 9pm that is their right.  After all we wouldn't want to children to think they are second-class citizens.  Brilliant.  In that case let's give them licenses, voting rights, draft cards and firearms.

Forget the smoking and trans-fats bans in public restaurants, this author wants a toddler ban or at a minimum a 7pm  curfew for all people under 13.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Back before school dictated our schedule, we allowed our night owl toddler to stay up late and sleep late because it provided more family time for us. We also took her to nice places, as long as she could live up to the standard of behavior expected in the venue. On the few occasions that she could not, we left in a hurry.

Anonymous said...

OMG! I have so been there. Going out for a nice date night only to be seated next to a family with a baby smearing food all over the table linens, while her older sister loudly begged to play with an iphone and refused to eat. While I might be sympathetic to the parents (been there), it is still the most amazingly deflating buzz kill for a parents night out.

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