i read an article on the 'social battlefield' that is bringing children to a restaurant. it comes at a time when a new guide is leaving the printing press aimed at parents who want to take their toddlers and babies to eat out. a sorry state of affairs if those who should be leading by example need a guide. or is it just 'big brother' having his say, again? i don't want to go into the two very defined, opposing arguments: on one bank you have the parents - 'our kids running and screaming around the restaurant are just being adorable' - and on the other all the childless adults - 'just the amount of drink and drugs we took last night are enough to render us sterile. we are hungover'. so is there such a thing as having more of a right to dine out?
there are badly behaved children - in most cases i blame the parents - but there are also just as many hungover twats who believe they have priority to all amenities - maybe they were badly behaved children once upon a time. a child can only be taught how to best behave in public eateries if parents have access to these places but, as a parent, i will also try to avoid a sunday roast in soho. however it is wrong that when i walk into a place on a sunday afternoon in stoke newington i have to ask if they are 'child-friendly'. the answer is not to have 'child-friendly' places, every place that can be accessed by the general public should be, by default, child-friendly, or simply 'people-of-all-ages-friendly'. it would then be up to the owner to choose if he wants to be 'lazy-sunday-hangover-friendly'. that way, i don't have to drag a pushchair, child and three bags into every place on church street looking for someone who will feed us. the young 20-somethings with no baggage and a healthy pair of legs should be fit enough, even with a hangover, to find a suitable place where to get over their saturday nights in some peace and quiet. in any case, this seems to be only a british dilemma. the rest of europe quite enjoys welcoming children to their restaurants. maybe because they are less hungover most of the time.