I saw the above news story on TV this morning as I was laboring on the treadmill. At first, my mother-bear reared-up and started growling back at this restaurant owner. I mean, who can HELP their kids screaming? Kids do this. They don't understand "inside voice" and, even if they do, they think its funny to push mom and dad's buttons and ignore the concept. Hell, I'd be fighting mad if I was told to leave a restaurant just because my kid was screaming.
But then I stopped for a second. Hmmmm, thought I, how many times have I glared-down a mother or father who refused to get up from their table to take their screaming child outside?
The answer is A LOT. Even though I'm a mom and I totally understand that you cannot "control" your kids' volume or the timing of their often inexplicable tantrums, I do realize that I have control over my own legs. I can pick-up my kid and leave the restaurant until she calms down, or even get my food to go, if necessary.
Fortunately, although Missy has been gaining volume recently while dining, we haven't had to do this too often in our 17 months as parents. But, I would if I needed to, without hesitation; I don't like to eat while hearing a child screaming in my ear either - whether it's my child or someone else's.
So, it occurs to me that the restaurant owner could have avoided all this controversy if she had just been a little more thoughtful in her wording. Because what she really means is that she won't tolerate parents who do nothing when their kid screams continually and disturbs other diners.
How about, instead: "Parents please leave the dining area if your child is loudly crying or screaming"