You have a baby….in a bar!???

While browsing the news today, I discovered there is a big controversy that has reached a boiling point in New York City. People either want to include or exclude children from bars.

Wait, what?

How is this even a question? Last time I checked, the law limited the age of individuals who could enter bars to 21 and older, and I don’t think “under 21 night” is intended for 21 months and under. That’s the first thing that came to mind. As I read further into the article, I began to wonder if these are bar & grill type places, and then I regained my senses. Why are parents aggressively fighting for their right to drink with their children? Aren’t parents, by definition, supposed to be putting their children’s needs first? The arguement is that parents need to socialize with other adults and some parents want to bring along their children to the places they socialize, e.g. bars. And, by children, the article was specific, it’s the under 5 crowd.

Now, I’m all for being able to go out to dinner with your family and have a glass of wine or a beer with your dinner if that is your desire. A drink, or even two, with dinner is reasonable. Bellying up to the bar while Junior watches, a captive audience, in his stroller just smacks of irresponsible parenting. Am I wrong here?

Granted, there isn’t anything wrong with drinking responsibly while your children are present, and frankly there are plenty of parents who drink irresponsibly no matter who is present. I just keep getting stuck on the “fighting for their rights” aspect of this issue. Is it truly a matter of their rights or just that Mom or Dad doesn’t want to drop $50 on a babysitter/beg their parents to watch the wee ones. Or is it that they are among those parents who’s identity revolves around their child and they are unable to do anything without their kids?

On the “say no to kids in a bar” side, I just cannot imagine some of the nights I spent out with my friends, kicking up our heels and knocking back our shots, with a little kid sitting there staring at us. Going out to a bar for many, is their release, their time to let down their hair and get crazy, their escape from the pressures of work, family, kids.

I will remember, if I ever find myself in New York with a small child, that if I want to get smashed in a bar and said bar is prohibiting my child’s presence, I’ll just cry foul that my civil rights, nay, my inalienable right to intoxication, is being impinged!

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