I used to be one of those guys. I think any father used to be one of those guys.
You’d see a baby come into your comfort zone and freak out. What is that baby doing here? This is a restaurant. Ugh. If that baby cries, it’s going to be piss me off. And then if the child cries, you sneer at the parents like it’s somehow their fault.
Because my wife and I are still trying to have a sense of normalcy to our lives we still do some things we used to when it was just the two of us. We will go to breakfast on the weekends. We will go try a new restaurant. We will go shopping. All with baby in tow.
And, yes, we will still get some sideways glances.
Especially at the bars.
OK, for the record, it’s not like I have a Baby Bjorn on and am ripping shots at a night club at midnight. There are some things that have changed.
But if my wife and I want to get a mid-afternoon pop, then what’s the problem? It’s not like we’re in a biker bar or a strip club. We’re in a bar/restaurant and sitting at a booth.
If looks could kill.
And these looks are coming from other patrons. Not a group of social workers.
Quit sneering at me through your mustache, ma’am. You’ve got bigger problems than judging me. And, please, mix in a bra.
We’re not hoisting Jager bombs or asking the bartender to leave the bottle. Yet, the constant look from other people’s eyes is disconcerting. It’s one beer, people!
It’s not just at a bar. We’ve gotten looks at actual restaurants that have high chairs. Well, folks, if it was such a problem, then explain why this establishment has a high chair? It’s not for your oversized purse to rest on.
Look, I’m sorry that our sex was successful and we produced an awesome child who doesn’t scream when mommy and daddy like to do grownup things in public. And you know what? If she does, one of us will happily pick her up and walk around with her while the other one wins and gets to drop back two drinks in about 90 seconds.
Until our daughter is older, we’re going to continue to try and be adults. I would expect sneers from people if we were bringing a six-year-old into a joint and she was running around. That would probably be bad parenting.
But as long as our kid is confined to a car seat, is it so bad to place her in a booth with a blanket covering her?
Some might think so. I’m sure there are parents and parenting experts who expect you to just give up living once that child pops out. Sorry, but I’ve got 30-plus years of habits that I cannot just change in a matter of months. My wife and I like to go out and live. We like to have a beer every now and again. We like to be human, you know, and not be confined by a certain schedule or feel like we have ankle bracelets keeping us confined to specific areas.
There are plenty of adjustments we’re making as new parents, but there also has to be some form of sanity involved.
Or else we’ll both be in Hawaiian shirts and needing a shower, some toothpaste and a new liver. That is sanity to the people who look at you cockeyed.
Then again, they might just look that way because of an alcohol-induced lazy eye.