Photo: Natalia Deriabina (Shutterstock)
Imagine sitting on a bar stool and kindergarten and younger kids running across the floor, screaming for their parents, and generally liable for any drunk adult unfortunate enough to bump into one of these tiny people. Suffice it to say, I have an ax against parents who take their young children to bars.
This is one facet of pre-COVID life that I don’t want to see again. The pandemic is on the decline here in the US which is fantastic news for parents, kids, and 31 year old hipsters like me. Since we are more often at water points where the legal entry restriction is 21 years and no other food than French fries can be found, I ask young parents to leave their children elsewhere.
Your kid is not cute in a bar
Don’t get me wrong, I love children – absolutely adore them – and I look forward to being a father one day. Your cherub-faced kid is likely adorable – just in a setting other than a bar. If you step into an adult-only establishment to relax and unwind from the bullshit of adult life, your child becomes a threat .
In the rare case a kid is well behaved in a bar, most people don’t mind, but such well behaved guys are rare. In my experience, at least, parents usually let their kids loose on a bar room floor as if you were a dog in a sprawling meadow. The fact that the adults are in a social setting means that the need for parenting takes a back seat, whatever is on the menu.
Or think of it this way: when your child sprints behind my bar stool and screams and laughs like they’re in Disneyland, they’re no longer cute. They are a nuisance and frolic in the kind of abandonment you would expect from a child in a safe environment. The thing is, however, that they are not in a safe environment.
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Is it legal to have kids in bars?
One of the most annoying aspects of this situation is how legal it is for your child to be in a bar. The thing is, it’s technically legal to bring Your baby in a bar in some states (others require the facility to serve food to those under the age of 21). I will continue to rail against the legality of this burden for the rest of my life, but unfortunately the law is on your side, yuppie parents.
Children create a strange atmosphere for everyone at the bar
My behavior towards children is different from my antics in a bar, which is true for most people. I try not to curse in the company of young children (contrary to what you may think after reading this far, I’m not a monster). Having a group of young children in a bar, especially when the kids run around relatively unaccompanied while their parents relax, creates a confusing atmosphere for people like me.
What is the etiquette of cursing or yelling at a basketball game while sitting next to a four year old? I don’t think we need to revive Emily Post to find out. If I leave your child at home with a babysitter or in-laws, I don’t have to think about how my behavior might be internalized by a two-year-old.
Additionally, with the pandemic ending, after over a year of isolation, adults without children are hornier than ever. If you take your child with you, they may be evidence of adult behavior. Is that a scar that you are ready to let rest on your consciousness?
How to tell if a bar welcomes children
Here’s a good rule of thumb: does the place you visit with your kids have a kids menu? Are there any other groceries besides nuts, pretzels or French fries? To avoid the frustration of the dissatisfied like me, find a few places with a festive, bar-like atmosphere that also have a kids’ menu. In most states, you can even sit at the bar with your child, especially when ordering food.
I understand that you chose to stay in town so that you can keep some semblance of the social life that you lost when you decided to become a parent. But please don’t ruin other people’s bar experiences.