Thursday, June 9, 2011

I've Had it with Kids in Restaurants!

For years, I have read the screeds on Chowhound and other sites about kids in restaurants (just do a Google search on "Kids in Restaurants"). I always thought the writers of these pieces were just old Scrooges who didn't remember what it was like to be young or have young children. How could anyone get so worked up, I thought, about kids in restaurants? Well, recently, I had an experience that made me sympathize.

About a week ago I was staying at one of the better hotels in Anaheim. I was shocked to find that nearly all of the hotel's restaurants (and nearly every restaurant within several miles) were just swarming with children. They were everywhere, often several to a table! And they were loud, gregarious, all of the things those people on-line complain about. I couldn't understand what kind of parents would bring these brats to a house of fine dining.

One of the restaurants we visited was very sophisticated and even featured some performance art. In what was undoubtedly a nod to Spanish surrealism, performers dressed as anthropomorphized rodents, fowl and dogs enacted a sort of wordless dance/mime as they moved from table to table. I was eager to see what sort of social commentary the artists were making, but children kept interrupting the performance with all sorts of inappropriate behavior, including actually hugging the performers. Instead of removing their offspring, parents actually encouraged the behavior by taking photographs.

This really is a sign of the death of fine, elegant dining. One ruined meal is enough! I will never again criticize those who are constantly complaining about children in restaurants; they are on a righteous mission to rid the world of unruly rugrats!

Goofy's Kitchen
Disneyland Hotel
1150 Magic Way
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 778-6600


David D said...

AWESOME. Say no to kids. My wife and I are! And we are both former elementary school teachers who love working with kids.

NP said...

I don't have a specific problem with kids at restaurants as long as their parents are actually parenting. Prob is they are often taking some time off while lil Kevin is under somebody else's table, screaming of excitation cause he is playing hide&seeck with his 12 years old brother.

The real issue is letting parents who lack the basics of education such as showing consideration for the others around them get a reservation.

You have kids, you have a high tolerance for them, that's normal they are YOUR kids; other people have high tolerance for THEIR own kids.
Now he sad reality is that one has very little to zero tolerance for other people's kids .
And because it wouldn't be very PC to say something, one lets one's experience beeing ruined by the lazy parents at the table near-by.

You got kids and want to take them to a nice restaurants: either you watch them and teach them/show them how to behave in that type of environment. If you dont want to do it, cant do it or your kids are too young to understand, save on the second round of extra-dirty, 10 bluecheese-filled-olives martini, it ll pay for the nanny.

I would add, since am taking a plane 30 to 40 times a year: same applies to aircrafts. It is not ok for Kevin not to use headphones and play for 5 hours straight on his DS while kicking the back of the seat in front of him (cause that's my seat).

Your kids are great, I am truly very happy for you. Now you wanted them, not me, so do your job of parent when not in the privacy of your living room.

sam k said...

I've said it before...Sku, you are one funny sumbitch!

David D said...

Even at Disneyland, I should have added.

sku said...

David D., I hope you won't take this the wrong way, but I think K&L could be a lot more kid-friendly. You may want to consider tying balloons to the registers, giving out lollypops, stocking more wine coolers and maybe even having one of those pools of balls in the back. I'm sure your customers would appreciate it.

David D said...

All joking aside, I am the babysitter in Redwood City. We have gold stickers that we use for gift wrapping and I hand them out to the kids and keep them occupied. One customer actually said to me yesterday, "Wow, you must have kids. You know exactly what to do." The irony....