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August 25, 2008

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I don't see a problem at all with this unless the bartender had a problem or it inconvenienced patrons nearby. In reference to a few commenters who don't drink in front of their kids -- it is a BABY. They don't know what alcohol is yet (and personally, I believe that drinking responsibly in front of children isn't a problem, anyway).

This is so strange as I just visited this new site I got turned on to www.thedapperbaby.com and there was a hot topic article there about this exact topic- barroom babies
http://www.thedapperbaby.com/DailyDose/AllArticles.aspx?sid=16

Maybe it's a new trend?

Bravo for them! You never know...maybe it was their anniversary and their babysitter ditched them. Or maybe they do it all the time. Either way, I'm okay with it. Sounds like they were having a good time and not ruining anyone else's good time. That's my benchmark.

...my 2 cents.

Okay....so like....I don't know what the big deal is.... I mean, I grew up in a bar and I turned out all right!

hehehhehehehe

I can't stop laughing. Because seriously? My father owns a tavern and I grew up stocking coolers and later, when I was 18 began bartending.... But never in all nine years of my serving drinks did I ever see anyone bring in a baby nestled in a Peg Perego.

Sweet Home Alabama...that movie, is popping into my mind.

I'm okay with this, especially since they only had the baby up there on the bar while they were getting settled. I don't necessarily like having infants in carseats outside of the car, but if I did, I know I would not want him/her at people's feet at a bar, where she/he could get spilled on or even kicked. So I get why they put it on the bar. And I love that they took the baby out and had dinner with her on their laps. We've done that..and had a glass of wine to drink too, when our babies were infants. I definitely needed it! And my husband only drinks a couple of beers when we are out anyway, and that does not affect him at all. I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt, don't you, that they knew their limits?

I read this post a few days ago. It sort of bothered me. I wanted to think about it for a while. So I did. I don't think much of anything about what these parents did. But the fact that you wrote about it means that others do -- and that good etiquette demands that we think of others. If this does indeed bother others, I get that. So thanks for the heads up on not to bring my baby-in-the-carseat and place her on the bar. It is duly noted! Love the post and the million comments afterwards.

I'm not a great parent and I accept that. But I would hate to see what you would say about me taking my daughter to the local dance club/bar on family Night when she was only 4 months old. They aren't harming the baby, and the kid isn't old enough to know what alcohal is, or a BAR for that matter. Think of it this way....there are other people out that you could focus your "etiquette" on such as parents beat their kids or shake their babies.......There has to be a line somewhere and enjoying a meal and a drink at a resturant bar shouldn't be even close to that line.

As long as there is no smoke for the baby to breathe and it's not disturbing other customers by crying or with a fragrant diaper, who cares? They held the baby and the family had a pleasant evening meal together. Good for them!

My gripe wouldn't be so much about the baby on the bar (which isn't even legal in CA, I don't think) as it would be with bringing a baby (in a carrier, sling or whathaveyou) into a very nice restaurant. I don't think having young children has to = McDonald's or Chuck E Cheese. Olive Garden, TGI's, Outback, local Italian, etc are all fine for kids. But a fancy restaurant, at dinner time? No. I don't care how well behaved. There just *are* places where kids are not allowed.

The worst ever was about 13 years ago, before marriage and kids. My (now) DH and I were out to dinner, slightly nicer Mexican restaurant (kids would have been fine there!). The table next to us had a grandfather-ish man, what appeared to be his two grown children, one of whom had a pretty young baby. I remember being kind of surprised that she was nursing (way indiscreetly) at the table with her dad and brother there but got over it. However, when she moved their (full, still eating from them) plates and cups over *to change a poopy diaper right there on top of the wood table*, I about died. I've still never seen anything like it, or been so completely stunned by the whole scene.

I have a two boys (ages 1 & 4). Although they are adorable to us and assumingly their grandparents, I know that complete strangers probably don't find them as charming.

When we are dining with our kids we go to kid-friendly places....not bars, and when we go on dates we don't go to Chucky Cheese. Many times I feel like I need a drink after going out with my kids, but I respect my fellow martini drinking comrades too much to subject them to my adorable little monsters.

tsk tsk, judgey, judgey. I wonder if those parents maybe read your cock ring blog and decided to make a night of it.

I honestly don't know about this one. They recently passed a law of no smoking inside any venue here. So I don't see a big problem with this. Although they are visibly drinking before driving home (a baby). I can understand the uncomfortableness of those around them, but realistically what is really wrong with this? I just about died when I saw a pregnant lady smoking or if the kid cried all night (some people just don't know when not to being a baby out).

I swear some people just have no common sense sometimes. Was it that crowded that they couldn't just wait to be seated and enjoy a beverage from the privacy of their booth? Why would you put a car seat on top of a bar? So your infant can get knocked off by someone whose had one too many apple martinis. Not too smart!

omg...it totally reminds me of that Reese Witherspoon movie Sweet Home Alabama..."you have a baby...in a bar!" i love that line!

Our little one has been making the rounds with us in the sling back to our favorite pre-baby bars/restaurants. We make sure to bother no one. On the latest adventure, we stopped off at a new place where they didn't know us, and a bartender who obviously didn't want to deal with us (even though the place was completely empty - literally not another soul in the place) told us it was illegal to have the baby at the bar because "she was under 21". Maybe it is technically, but really...in this economy, you don't want our business?

I had to come back and read more comments. I definitely think there's a difference between IN and ON the bar. With so many restaurants being smoke free I have no issue with IN the bar area. But ON the actual bar? Come on people. I don't even like it when women set their hugeass purses ON the bar. It's just bad manners. And where I'm from it's illegal for anyone under 21 even with parents to be at the actual bar at any time, so if the LCB came in and wanted to be real dickheads, they could.

Mmm, when I think back to the mistakes I made with my first child I cringe. Maybe ON the bar wasn't the best choice but COME ON, in the world we live in now, this dosen't seem too bad. Love your honesty though.

It's my opinion that too many parents use those car seats as the child carryall. I've seen babies that never get a second free of that thing because of how easy it is to leave them trapped in it 24/7 (my personal rant)

I love the image of the child on the bar, you should have asked if you could have taken a picture, that would have for sure brought the parents to an awareness of how retarded they are.) (maybe the baby was the designated driver)

They put a baby on the bar and didn't even buy it a tequila layback? Bad mummy!

My first thought was what stupid people and then I remembered that my parents used to take me into a bar as a newborn following their softball games. It explains a lot.

I left you some bloggy love on my site!

Eh, this doesn't really bother me unless it was super crowded or super late at night. You made it sound like it was happening more towards dinner time? In that case as far as I'm concerned sitting at the bar is the same thing as sitting at a table. And it doesn't sound like the baby was fussing or anything.

Very Judgy McJudgerson and not in a good way... give them a break.

Wait wait WAAAAIT! You mean to tell me that most parents DON'T allow their children to start drinking at the tender age of 3 months?!?!

*shock*

G'Damn... I have this parenting thing all backwards again!

I brought my baby to the bar for a fundraiser I helped with. It was a pub-like place, but at dinner time. She never really sat ON the bar, but she was there, and she even wore my apron for a moment. It worked, we got lots of tips for our cause. =) I might not tell her that story when she has aspirations to grow up and be a bartender.

Etiquette Bitch indeed. Chalk me right up there with ya.

Of course when I saw Baby on A Bar I immediately flashed to Sweet Home Alabama, "You've got a baby... in a bar"

LMAO. Can't say that I've done that one.

I've done this.

My husband is infatuated with Olive Garden. It hurts my feelings. I'd just had a baby not too long ago and he'd been an absolute angel around the house. He wanted some crappy pasta. Correction, he "needed" some crappy pasta. We went and it was packed. All save for the bar area which was completely empty because they no longer allowed smoking in the restaurant. I took the carrier, grabbed his hand and dragged him to. Sat him down at the empty bar and we ordered pasta, pronto, with raspberry lemonaides.

Was it tacky? Hell yes. But I wasn't about to spend my entire postpartum evening in a damned Olive Garden.

Did the baby tip the bartender?

I'm inclined to say, unless it was that crowded, so what? Sounds like it was only there long enough for them to get settled, and then it was on the floor. As a bartender/server, if they'd left the baby in the seat on the bar and it was crowded, I might have asked them to get a table, and if they'd left the baby in the seat on the floor, again, I would have asked them to get a table because that's a safety issue, not only for a busy server but for the baby as well.

All three of my father's children, myself included, were taken to the favorite local pub on our way home from the hospital, and yeah, were most likely placed on the bar for everyone to see. So far we've all turned out just fine.

*hic*

Kidding. ;)

@Lisa - Smoking sections is restaurants still exist?

"But for the record, is putting a baby on a bar setting up said baby for a life of body shots at Mexican destinations during Spring Break?"

LOL! exactly.

I bet there's a mom out there blogging about the simultaneous guilt and relief she feels for taking her baby to that bar and setting her atop for a while - - she's probably questioning it today, getting tons of comments for better or worse. Interesting.

Getting her used to the view from atop a bar...bwahahaha!

Oh, come on. She's got to learn someday the best way to get kicked out is by dancing on the bar.

(Still shaking my head at the visual of a massive baby carrier perched on top of a bar.)

Jonas has eaten escargot because I had no problem taking him to a fancy restaurant (where they serve alcohol, gasp!) when he was small enough to stay well-behaved. Why not? He wasn't disturbing anybody. DH worked in fine dining when Jonas was small and we'd be there all the time for meals.

Now that he's a toddler and we're not allowed to get through a meal without him shrieking, not so much. I don't want to bother people who are paying $40 for a piece of salmon. But I say "Get while the gettin's good!" to these parents.

I should mention that Illinois is smoke-free, which is why I had no problem taking my son into bars/restaurants. If people were smoking near this couple, that would be a different story.

Don Mills Diva -

It was more than a moment -- I'd say a good long 15 minutes of moments. In fact, I think they would have left her up there but she started to fuss.

And for the record, I'm actually perfectly fine with folks bringing their babies to bars, although smoky bars? That doesn't seem like the wisest choice.

But I have to think that a baby ON a bar isn't the safest choice. I'd say take them out, and hold them or put them in a sling or something like that.

Don't really think this is that big a deal. Smart folks to get out while they can. Imagine the looks you would get if you bellied up to the bar with your 18-month-old...

I won't even plop my purse down on the bar, much less a ginormous baby carrier with a child inside! I've seen too many accidents as the results of elbow-jostling.

Chicky was going to wine tastings by the time she was five months. But she was in a Bjorn and we only spilled a few drops on the top of her head. SO much better than throwing her up on the bar.

But for the record, is putting a baby on a bar setting up said baby for a life of body shots at Mexican destinations during Spring Break?

I just had to add - you did say the carrier was just on the bar for a moment while they got settled right? Then they put it on the floor and held the baby? Who was perfectly content?

If that's the case - yup - still cool with it. I love that you wrote about this - it's interesting to read people's reactions - thanks.

The big question is...did they take the baby to the movie afterward? Cause that is just wrong.

Wow. My baby gets his top-up nursies in a martini glass ALL THE TIME. You know, to give my titties a break. We hold the olive, of course. And we put his car seat on his own bar stool - way up high, so he can see the bartender. Is that wrong? Am so confused.

I did find this pretty judegmental - it doesn't bother me a bit.

As long as they're prepared to leave if the baby starts screaming then I say good for any parents who can get out and enjoy themselves when their baby is still portable.

I'm pretty sure the kid is more likely to be damaged by parents who are stressed and frazzled and badly in need of me time than they are by the "view from atop the bar".

My immediate reaction was disapproval. But, I cannot judge. I don't think I'd choose to sit at the bar at the fancy place, but then again, who knows. If the baby was quiet and Mom and Dad weren't acting like they were at the local sports pub, what's the harm? I miss the days when my baby would sleep or sit quietly in the carrier! A few weeks ago I had to take a walk out of a restaurant when she wouldn't stop yelping in excitement. My God, do 10 month olds have lungs!

FYI Deidre - in France restaurants are not kid friendly AT ALL, they don't even supply high chairs for children. Actually, when at home children are to eat dinner first and parents eat when children are finished.

Maybe it's the lack of sleep induced haze I am in, but I don't get it, sorry. How long was baby on the bar? And is that better or worse than the floor? Were they spending the whole night at the bar or waiting for a table? I am a total sling fan btw.

We just don't take our kids to fancy places at all, maybe that's just us. I mean why spend the money if I have to take care of 4 little mouths instead of my own? I am a fan of hot food.

Baby at a bar = awesome!
Baby in a stroller between your bar seat and your husband's = superb!
Baby in your lap at the bar = fabulous!
Baby in a sling while you do shots at the bar = glorious!

Baby actually on the bar? Where a bartender has to work around her and could potentially break a glass in her general direction? I'll chalk that up to a bad decision made by sleep deprivation.

"I've nursed at more than one bar while eating tapas!"

I love you, Diedre, whoever you are.

The only problem I see with the scenario you described is that it's probably dangerous to put your child up on a slippery surface that high up because the carrier could easily fall off. Some of you have assumed your swanky versus non-swanky, adult versus non-adult, appropriate versus inappropriate criteria/rules are universal, but I find nothing offensive about what these parents did. Is it because they were gonna drive the child home after drinking? Please expand.

I dont really see the big deal. Is smoking allowed in Atlanta bars? That would be an issue to me because smoke really freaks me out- especially around children- but I live somewhere that is smoke free and I dont see why you cant take your baby to a bar. Obviously you shouldnt be getting wasted and driving your baby home but you need to get out of the house and enjoy good food and wine and why cant that be a family thing? We take our 9 month old to all kinds of restaurants and always have. She is a part of the family and we go to dinner together no matter how much it costs. Why do we suddenly have to eat at crappy restaurants just because our daughter is with us? if she starts throwing her O's across the room we're leaving- we're leaving if its $100 a plate or $10 because we dont behave like that in restaurants.

If there are no tables we'll happily sit at the bar. I've nursed at more than one bar while eating tapas!

When you go to Europe or really any other part of the world, fmailies do things together, including go out to restaurants and bars. I still dont think you should get wasted and be driving around or caring for an infant while youre hammered but why the great division of time together? Cant kids enjoy a good meal? Cant parents still have a life and not have to eat at TGIF or some other place like that?

At least they didn't buy the baby a drink. Right?

I'm betting the incidence of one-night stands would plummet in any bar featuring an infant on the bar.

I would totally do it. Sometimes you're out and you need to feed and water yourself. If the baby is being quiet and not disturbing anyone - who cares? Oh wait.... some people do.

That sounded bitchy. Sorry. Everyone has their pet peeve. I'd react the same way you did if someone walked into the restaurant wearing peg legged jeans and sporting a mullet - MUCH MORE OF A TRAVESTY TO ME.

Screw that, at least have the decency to get a table. No babies on the bar period. I don't care if you're young parents or toting the baby Jesus. You can enjoy yourself over there where there will be no drink spillage or accidental quaffage.

I have no trouble speaking straight out about that stuff either. Beware self-centered parents...

I have nothing against people taking babies to restaurants, but at the bar seems a bit much. On the bar is even worse. Personally when I go out to drink, I prefer to leave mine at home. Cause really, they are kind of a buzz kill.

As long as the baby was quiet and not disturbing the other patrons, I really don't see the problem... but I guess I'm no Miss Manners either. :)

I still can't get over the fact that the baby let her parents eat.

I'm really, truly scratching my head over that one.

I can't say that good sense kept me out of nice restaurants and/or bars so much as an unwilling participant.

But when I recovered from my shock about point A, yours would have been my point B.

I still can't get over the fact that the baby let her parents eat.

I'm really, truly scratching my head over that one.

I can't say that good sense kept me out of nice restaurants and/or bars so much as an unwilling participant.

But when I recovered from my shock about point A, yours would have been my point B.

Well I have to disagree with you on some level.

I live in a very young parent Brooklyn neighborhood where it is very common to see parents and their children/babies at the bar enjoying drinks. It is really nice to be able to go to happy hour and not have to get a sitter. I mean I'm still pregnant for another month but it is just the norm here and I'm pretty happy with it.

Children are very social here and that includes a little bit of a bar life here.

In Oregon, you can't even have the baby in the bar at all, much less ON it.

Up on top of the bar - eh. That's inconsiderate, IMO. It's not like those things are compact. Bringing the baby - that's not as big a deal to me. We brought the kids in their infant carriers to restaurants regularly, and as soon as they got fussy, we stepped out. We would use the high chairs turned upside down, or with Boy, they had the car seat slings at most restaurants.

Yes, but those gold sequined shoes aren't staring at me at eye level while I drink my martini.

Well, at least I hope they're not.

LOL

Hmmm, if that baby asks his parents for his/her milk to be shake not stirred, I bet we would know why lol.

I'm a judgmental bitch about such things as well. I probably would have been piercing your baby sling with my fierce evil gaze if I were to witness that scene in the Mississippi bar! ;)

A carseat on the table at TGI Fridays is one thing. A car seat on top of the bar at a swanky restaurant is another.

The baby carrier on the bar with baby in it was a bit tacky. However I don't see anything wrong with it. I wouldn't do it, but I also wouldn't wear my grandma's gold sequin tennis shoes and carry her matching purse. It, too, is tacky!
I am curious with all the ones who are thinking this is sooo horrible what about kids/babies at a wine tasting? beer tent(like you see at fairs) These are places parents could go to unwind, usually they only happen once a year. Is it ok to have your kids with you or do you just miss out?

I wouldn't have set a car seat on the bar, but I wouldn't have thought twice about bringing a quiet baby or child to a restaurant. I have brought my kids, since they were new babies, to all sorts of pubs and restaurants. If one of my kids started being loud or disruptive, I would leave, out of consideration for other diners, but mostly because I wouldn't be enjoying myself any longer.

I prefer to go out sans kids, but sometimes the siren song of prepared food and a nice drink is too much to resist, even if I'm going to have to shell out for french fries and Shirley Temples.

I agree with you 100%! I am a waitress at an establishment that is not fancy, is family friendly, but def. not like the Outback. I judge every single parent who comes in with babies and sits them on or near the bar! I also judge when parents let their school age children SIT at the bar - totally unacceptable. Also judged are parents who bring in their kids to eat dinner at 9:30 pm - um hello, you wonder why your child is screaming and throwing food at me? It's friggin bedtime! Sorry, on a roll...bottom line, keep the babies on the boob (or bottle) not on the bar!

I'm typically pretty judgemental, but I just don't think this is that big of a deal. The carrier was on the bar, not the baby itself! My main thing is smoking....if it were a very smoky room/bar, then that's a different story.

Pass. There are some things I just don't do. Drinking around my kids is one of them. These people don't make the same choice? Fine. But who brings their babies to a bar and drinks while *holding* them?

I honestly don't see the problem - they were probably just enjoying a quick nightcap while the little one was being quiet or sleeping. It also sounds like they only sat the seat on the bar while they were getting settled and adjusted - then it moved to the floor. I guess I just get tired of everyone always judging everyone else. Why do we do that to each other? Can't we just look at the parents and be glad that their having a nice evening? That's what I would have thought. Also, have sat at the bar for a nightcap while my youngest was asleep in his carrier in the past. I can't do it now - he is too old, and with 2 it is way too hard - so we get a sitter, but have been there. Let them have their nice night, I think!

I too have been guilty of having my baby in a BAR! Actually though, I think it is like a lot of things in that it depends upon the circumstances. In our case, the bar is the local Outback Steakhouse, and we, being creatures of comfort, often took our well-behaved toddler (and still take our 8-year old) to the bar to wait on our table instead of awkwardly standing in the doorway.

I do not think we would be comfortable doing the same in an upscale restaurant, or actually putting the carrier up on the bar itself.

I went to get wings, carry out, from a local bar & restaurant last night at 9:15 pm and saw two babies. I judged. I admit it.

Yep count me as one of "those parents". I never put the baby on the bar though... In part because we didn't use a baby bucket car seat so Henry was always in arms when he was a wee baby. At 4 he's a pretty nice dinner companion (better than some adults I've seen as he doesn't yet have a cell phone) and when he isn't he gets yanked outside pretty quickly.

Actually it wasn't so much that the baby was there (and the bar was IN the dining room), it was the actual baby ON the bar that was a bit surprising to me.

Although screaming food-throwing babies in fancy restaurants isn't a great thing either.

Our first didn't have a sling. I was uneducated on the baby carrying thing. And I have been desperate enough to take my 5 month old to a hotel bar just to get the fuck out of the house and be a grown up.

I know there are a lot of options, but also enumerable mistakes to be made. Cut the Mom and Dad some slack.

Ever see people in casinos late at night wheeling the stroller around with the passed out kid inside? Get. the. baby. to. bed, bad parent!

This was the bar of a nice restaurant, not a $5 a pitcher tavern, right? I don't see the problem. You gotta put the baby somewhere, and it seems like they didn't want to take their chances on disturbing other diners in the dining rm...

I totally agree. While we take our children out to eat with us often, I get very out of sorts when people bring their kids to restaurants that I would consider Adults Only. I don't care how well behaved you think your kids are, there are some places they just don't belong. If I'm out on a date with my husband - as most other people there probably are - we didn't want to bring our kids along (who we actually LIKE), so we sure as hell don't want to see and hear yours! It's just inconsiderate, but that's how our society works now.

For some people, fancypants restaurants are the only restaurants they go to. We choose not to take our children to these places because these places are a "special treat" for us... for others, it's a Tuesday meal. I have a bigger problem with parents who CHOOSE to have their children sitting in the smoking section. I sit in the smoking section, why am I worried about YOUR child's health????

I am one of THOSE parents. When our daughter was first born, we would occassionally take her to the local restaurant with us so that I could enjoy a dinner out w/my husband. We did not necessarily put her on the bar but we did bring her into the bar area since we were able to get our food in a more timely manner that way and it was usually the quieter area at the time of day we were going at. I was always aware of the looks that people were giving me, but I chose to focus on the fact that !!I was out of the house for a 1/2 hour! Having a glass of wine! Surrounded by adults!!

I once attended a jack & jill party (well, it was a jill & jill but you get the picture) and someone brought their child in one of those large backpack-style carriers. It was awkward, to say the least.

Great minds think alike. My blog topic du jour was going to be a very similar subject...went to the nicest restaurant in town on Fri night and sitting next to us was a family with not one, but two small children. I was a total bitch and asked to move...sorry I get baby sitters and they should have too! So I could enjoy MY meal..my very expensive meal.

I read this more horrified that they almost knocked over some guy's martini with the car seat.

Now, if they had started doing shots or shown the baby how to play quarters, my eyes would've narrowed. . .

; )

Wow. Some parents just don't get it. Yes, you should be able to live a semi-normal life after kids, BUT, there are some things that have to change. Baby on the bar is one of them. Although at least they took her in with them and didn't leave her in the car.

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