Saturday, July 05, 2008

Bringin' the Kids

As many of you know, Craig and I do not have kids. But many of our friends do. And here is something I've noticed (Those of you with kids of your own, feel free to chime in here.) Today's parents bring their kids everywhere!

We have a 10 game Milwaukee Brewer ticket pack and there is a family behind us that brings their young boy to every game. He is around 3 years old I would guess. And he cannot sit still. Those people are in the middle of a row and they are up and down over a dozen times in a game between trying to watch the game they paid for and trying to keep the kid happy. He's knocked over beers. He's kicked people (including me) in the head. I have no idea why they can't leave him with a baby sitter.

When I was a young kid my parents went out very little. When they did go out they often left us with family who would babysit myself and my sister. I didn't get to go to athletic events or Summer Fest or the Arts Festival or to dinner at nice restaurants. I remember a few trips to the zoo and one trip to the public museum; a few camping trips to the Dells where we'd stay in a relative's camper we'd borrow; a couple of weddings; two kids films with my mom. Until my sister and I were old enough to sit for a couple of hours and quietly behave I do not remember us going out to do much.

These days it seems like parents bring their children everywhere. What ever happened to babysitters? Is it that teen age girls, the typical babysitters, aren't mature enough to watch people's kids any more? Is it that parents leave their kids in schools and day care all day and feel guilty not being with them the rest of the day? Do parents now feel that their kids are good enough or deserve to be able to go to these places that parents didn't used to bring the kids to? Do parents feel that they have the right to infringe on the peace of others at that restaurant or movie or Brewer Game, where the parents of the past didn't want to inconvenience others at such places?

I am all for families being together. However I do not think that every event or public place is appropriate for parents to bring their children along. You love your kids - but don't expect everyone else to love them too.

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Ben from Arizona said...

Since we had our little girls, our social lives have diminished a great deal. When we do go out and take our girls, it's to places that (we think) are acceptable. We'll go out to Applebees for dinner because that place is usually fulla screaming kids anyhow.

Most of the time, if we don't wanna cook, I'll call in the order and go pick it up. It's a lot more relaxing that way.

Back when I still lived in Wisconsin, we went to a movie at Marcus Westown and there was some lady who stood up the whole time rocking a screaming toddler back and forth. It took patrons screaming at the lady and a complaint to theater management to get her outta there. I was so pissed off! In fact I can't even remember what movie we saw because of how inconsiderate that woman was.

There are some places I think its OK to take kids to - but they have to be appropriate. I can't see taking a 3 year old to a Brewers game - that's just not a good idea.

Little kids have so much energy in 'em and they're not gonna sit still for more than five minutes unless they're watching Oswald or Little Bill right before bedtime.

Like I said, we rarely get to go out and do stuff - like see a movie, but if I can get a hold of a babysitter for a couple hours - oh hellz yeah, I'm gonna take advantage of it.

On the other hand - you wouldn't believe how much you gotta shell out for babysitters these days! Holy Crap! One night we were out from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. and I think we paid the sitter $60+ - and the kids slept for a majority of the time! GAH!!!!

What's worse is plane rides. All our family is either in WI or the east coast. We've taken the girls on plenty of plane rides - all of which have shortened my lifespan by years. The baby is one thing - babies are gonna cry and scream and cause a ruckus, but our saving grace for our toddler has been the portable DVD player and Dora the Explorer movies. You've never seen a kid go from tantrum to quiet and happy so fast in your life! My trick for plane rides - I bring $100 in cash with me and buy everyone around us drinks. Even if the kids screamed the entire trip, if you get your neighbors hammered enough they'll walk off the flight saying how good they behaved!

I think I've said too much, but in short... yeah... leave the kids at home if you can help it.

Sea_of_Green said...

Well, I've only been a mommy for a few months, but I've traveled with Mighty Mite quite a bit, including flying cross-country (between California and Indiana) when she was only two weeks old(!). I think the reasons for taking kids out varies (parental guilt, trouble finding or trusting a sitter, total unconcern for others, etc., etc.). Mr. Sea and I take Mighty Mite out quite a bit, but that's mainly because she's a VERY good baby in public. When we flew with her, other (relieved) passengers on the plane commented to us that they couldn't believe how quiet she was. We've taken her all over the place (Hard Rock cafe, Dave & Buster's, other various restaurants, stores, etc.), primarily because she IS such a good, easy baby. If she weren't such a good baby, we'd probably stay home a lot more often.

When I was a little kid (4 years and older), my Dad used to take me EVERYWHERE, especially to sporting events or the movies. Generally, he did this because HE needed to get out of the house, and Mom needed a break. There were rules, though. I HAD to stay in my seat and I HAD to be quiet until the game/movie was over -- otherwise, I lost privileges. If I acted up, Dad immediately hauled me outside until I agreed to behave. Usually, I did behave, and I now look back on those times with my Dad with great fondness. I wouldn't have traded those experiences with anything else in the world. :-)

Lisa said...

Infants aren't as bad because they don't run around and are often quiet. But sometimes those young children just seem like they are not meant to be out in public.

Thanks to both of you for your feedback! I was hoping to hear from some parents.

I think if parents take well behaved children out it's not so bad, but when the children act out and the parents just don't care about it or about those effected by it, well that's a whole nother story.