Kiddie galore

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Had a wonderful anniversary dinner last night. I’m one of the lucky ones. Couldn’t ask for a better mate. (And, yes, when you have a mate as wonderful as mine, you can’t help but think what great DNA he’d have passed along … ah well, not to be.)

Our anniversary falls smack dab in the middle of winter break. And you know what that means, don’t you? Kiddie galore in the restaurants or any winter getaway where adults may want to escape for some quiet time.  I don’t know about you but growing up my parents wanted a night out without their children. They happily left us with a babysitter and some frozen Swanson chicken. And nice restaurants, as a rule, frowned upon noisy rambunctious children tearing about. Those days are history…

More often than not we find today’s indulgent parents could give a rat’s behind about whether their over-tired and usually ill-behaved children irritate the couple sitting one table over looking for a romantic dinner.  Two years ago we had to leave the country — literally — to find a place where we could be assured that the upscale resort we had in mind wouldn’t be over-run with out-of-control kids whose parents were content to let them run wild. (Resorts in the U.S. are legally barred from discriminating against children, whereas Mexican, Caribbean or European resorts are free to advertise that children under 18 are not welcome).

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I’m all for including kids at dinners or resorts where they understand that standing on their chairs or yelling or chasing their siblings is not cool in restaurants that offer linen napkins and table cloths or around pools where adults are charged exorbitant rates for their rooms.  Imagine for a moment if a childfree couple turned up in a Chuck E Cheese restaurant or a Holiday Inn and demanded that everyone be quiet and stay put. There are some behaviors that don’t make sense in certain environments. 

But let me add that common courtesy and good behavior are always in style no matter what time of year and where you go.
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