Thursday 12 November 2015

Is it OK to have places where children are not allowed? It feels like it is OK to have that as a thing, as long as there are places where children are allowed.

Having been blessed with the social stigmata of a child for over a year now I can confirm that almost everywhere is OK with children. Indeed some of them are falling over themselves to charge me for small portions of food designed specifically with my son’s smaller-than-adult gut in mind, God bless ’em.

Only this week I was denied seeing James Bond’s latest outing because it was a ‘Cinebaby’ showing at my local art centre (Cineworld). While my first reaction was to launch an online petition to the head of Sony International, Daniel Craig and official James Bond lager-beer sponsor Heineken in the end I relented – returning home to watch the pre-finale of Downton Abbey.

I am wholly disheartened to learn of the prejudice for the externalised foetus one mother suffered – she could have her in-utero child in the tea shop but not the post-birth model – but I would also be disheartened to feel we have a society that insists upon the inconvenience of some people who would prefer not to have their £6.90 chai-tea latté discombobulated by some untethered humans running amok with tabletop paraphernalia.

Would this mother of three be OK with housing the proprietor when the business fails due to the costs of remantling salt and pepper shaker? Of course not. At this stage it will all be Jeremy Corbyn’s fault for not having enough women on his pretend cabinet.

The Evening Standard quotes that Billy Westley said: “We have two kids, seven and three years old. Shall we just leave them all in the car? Would that be your advice?”. No Billy, I think the advice is that you don’t come to the fucking shop and that you fuck off somewhere else. Or leave your children with an adult who can care for them somewhere else – and not have the only possible outcome being that they starve to death in a car while you have a green tea and a slice of peppermint brie.

As for the defence that not all children are rude, mannerless brats…well clearly not. But quite a lot of them are. I wasn’t but a lot of the similarly aged people (then) to me were. I wouldn’t say my son was rude but he often uses the wrong spoon to eat his starter and on more than once occasion he hasn’t used his desert fork appropriately. But then again he is one. I don’t think he is eschewing manners, rather than developing them.

Apart from anything else, if there are to be no child-free tea rooms then where are the parents who are told “get some you time” or “treat yourself” supposed to go to escape the constant monotony of their child-rearing? It’s not all first steps and saying “I love you Daddy” you know. Sometimes it is 4907th step and just “Hiya Daddy I like you a lot” and who doesn’t need a wind down in an environment where the under-25s are absent?

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