I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
January 30, 2014
Recently, we took our six year old to a trendy new burger joint in my not-so-trendy suburban neighborhood. The hostess seated us right in the middle of a communal table– and as we settled in, my kid IMMEDIATELY got the stink eye from some vintage-clad members of your subset who were sitting on either side of us. My son wasn’t doing anything to draw attention to himself– He was busily playing Minecraft on my muted iPhone, and he continued to do so until his food arrived. No, your repeated dirty looks were earned just by virtue of the fact that my first grader had the unbridled gall to take a seat at ‘your’ reclaimed-wood-from-a-barn-in-Virginia table. Your expressions said it all:
Potentially Epic Night = RUINED.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened to us — and so I feel the need now to lay it out for any and all 20-somethings in hillbilly beards and/or chunky glasses who want to drink their craft beer without sitting in close proximity to a gradeschooler.
When you enter a restaurant, do a little research before you get a table. Does this restaurant have a kids menu? High chairs? Booster seats? Crayons at the hostess desk? If any of these things are the case, my slightly dirty friends in ironic t-shirts, consider it a not-so-subtle message to all that means KIDS ARE WELCOME HERE!
“But this restaurant is farm to table,” I can hear you muttering. “And its mushrooms come from some cow pasture in Winder, Georgia. And they’re playing Bon Iver.” Yeah. Doesn’t matter. Let me say it again. IF THE MANAGEMENT PROVIDES KIDS’ STUFF AT A RESTAURANT, IT MEANS KIDS CAN EAT THERE. Whether you like it or not.
I’m only asking you to extend the same courtesy to my family that I extend to you and your friends/hookups/cubiclemates/drinking buddies/band members. When I dine in your funky little neighborhoods, I generally leave the rugrats at home. I didn’t even bring them to this burger joint in my own ‘hood until I checked online to make sure they had accommodations for children.
So the next time you’re here- or anywhere that serves 12-and-under-only-please portions- keep your rolling eyes to yourselves when you see us enter the building. I can tell you straight up that we’ll be ordering milks and extra napkins and burgers with ketchup only. We’ll be discussing important topics like whether Gandalf or Saruman is the strongest. We’ll be reviewing our entire repertoire of knock-knock jokes. This is how it’s going to be, brogan-wearers and if you don’t like it, let me be clear: WE DON’T CARE.
But if you’re nice, we’ll be happy to loan you a crayon so that you can write a dejected haiku about the unfairness of life.
Header image used and adapted with permission from Christopher.Michel/Flickr