Sunday, January 8, 2012

"ALL AGES" is not synonymous with "CHILDREN WELCOME"


So there's this band playing at Call the Office tonight, and Boyfriend had this retarded idea that we should all go.  And by all, I mean him, me, and the kids.

Okay first of all, I've never heard of this band, so missing out on their show means nothing to me. Not that I'm averse to going to see bands I haven't heard of, but I like to do that without children. Boyfriend sees nothing wrong with taking the kids to a bar to go see a show if the show isn't a late one.  I think he even fancies himself hip or progressive or something for doing it.  I disagree.  My reasons are neither hip or progressive, but they're logical and considerate, and this is my blog so there.

First, let's be selfish.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I enjoy spending time away from my son.  This is when I can let loose, relax, maybe get drunk, and feel generally unburdened.  I might spend this time going to see a band.  I don't my child invading that space.  I can't fully relax when my kid is around.  This isn't just aboiut getting loaded or anytghing, but even when the kids are playing quietly on their own, you're always thinking baout them.  This is probably because every ten minutes they need a snack, to whine or claim boredom, to tattle, to announce first their imminent trip to the washroom, and then later, the results.  You can try to block them out, but it doesn't work for any length of time.  But hey, you're at home, they're in their element with a bazillion things to do, it never gets all that bad. 
Now put the kids in a bar.  They have no toys, no tv, they're gonna be bored.  And this is supposed to be enjoyable for me HOW exactly?  Take the regular annoying characteristics of children and add to that your own worries; "Are they gonna get hurt?  What if they get trampled?" "What will I feed them?" "These bathrooms are disgusting."  "Wow, lots of people are swearing."  "And drinking."  "And smoking."  "And gving me dirty looks."  I just fail to see how I could possibly enjoy this.

Second, let's think of the other bar patrons.  I bet at least a few of them got a sitter so they could enjoy a much needed night away from the kids.  These are actually the ones who will be the nicest, even though they're kind of annoyed.  They had no idea that by going to a bar they'd end up being around kids.  Silly fools.  They'll probably laugh about it later and feel good about themselves and their parenting skills, and will likely feel sorry for those cute kids at the bar.  They might make a comment along the lines of, "If they can't afford a babysitter, they shouldn't go out."  That's okay.  Everyone else will be thinking the same thing.
Then there's the people who don't have kids.  They're not going to be overly impressed, either.  Now, I'm not naive enough to think that everyone would be mad about it.  I know some people flat out won't care one way or another, and I know some will even find it cute and/or charming. Look, I'm a Mom.  I've also been to bars when people had their kids there.  You feel weird smoking around them, or being too drunk or disorderly, and you resent those people for bringing their spawn to the bar in the first place.  A bar is a grown up space.
And then there are the bar patrons who don't give a fuck that you've got your kid at the bar.  (As an aside, I know Boyfriend inside out - and these will be the patrons he'll complain about)  These people arent going to let the fact that kids are present ruin their good time.  And I don't blame them.  I just don't want my kid watching them in awe.  Their attidue will be, "What do you expect bringing your kid to a bar?"  I cannot argue with that logic.  As I said earlier, a bar is a grown up space.  I don't beleive in sheltering kids from the real world, but I do believe in keeping them kids.  I also believe that parents should be parents before being friends, and that kids should just have to wait until they're no longer kids to enjoy certain things.  I also firmly believe thaty parents should not impose their children on people who maybe don't want kids to be around.  I mean, I can look past people who bring a loud toddler to a kid's movie, it's no big deal, the place is full of kids.  Bars are not.  I don't take my kid to expensive, romantic, candlelit swanky restaurants out of repsect for the other patrons.  Why should a bar be any differnt?

And we must not forget the other people in a bar, the staff.  I worked in a bar for 6 years and people would occasionally bring kids to a show.  Trust me, we hated it.  Even I hated it, and I adore kids, even more so at that time in my life than now that I have one of my own...  When the club advertises "All Ages," they don't do it in hopes that parents will make a family outing of it.  It means that high school kids who are into the band can come out.  Nobodody wants a seven year old running around their bar, trust me.

And finally: WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!?  Kids don't want to go to bars.  They want to go to Adventures on Wonderland and Laser QUest.  This might be different if the kid was "in to" the band.  But most kids are not that into any band to stand around at a bar waiting for the band to come on, then stand around (maybe be-bop a little depending on how much the kid digs music) while the band plays, then stand on the fringes while the grownups have their converstaions, drinking too much pop since  the bar has nothing else to offer. (later the parents will wonder why the kid is acting so spazzy)  Sorry, you will never convince me that that's where a kid really wants to be.  Even if you have a kid like Boyfriend's who wants to crazy glue herself to her father's leg.  He's taken her to shows at bars before.  I've seen pictures.  She isn't smiling in any.  Regardless, I said earlier - a bar is not a kid's element.  There is fuck-all for them to do, and there certainly won't be lots of other kids to run around with.  My son would have been a whiny annoyance had I taken him, and I would have no one to blame but myself.

Happy Mothers Day