When I first had my daughter in early 2007, one of the local movie theaters ran baby-friendly movies. The lights stayed on, the sound stayed down, and all us moms got to see a movie while our newborns slept and ate. It was a great thing, but I never in a million years would have ever considered bringing her (or any other baby) to a movie besides those.
It's simply rude. Other patrons are paying $12.50 and they would like to see their movies in peace. In Chicago, a group of movie theaters are so committed to this that they have banned children under 6 in R-rated movies. Good on them! If people don't police themselves and do what is appropriate, then the ban makes sense.
Because it isn't only bad for the other paying customers. It's also bad for the baby.
The movie in question that caused the ban was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I saw that movie. It had a graphic rape scene and more violence than any child should ever see. If parents are too crappy to know not to show their child that movie, then I should at least be granted the respect of not having to see it warp their tiny minds.
I will never forget the time my husband and I settled down in the theater to watch the decidedly R-rated Rob Zombie's Halloween when a group of parents wheeled their baby strollers into the aisle and proceeded to watch the movie. Not only did their babies (and toddlers) roam the aisles, they also saw things most adults can't handle.
More from The Stir: Attention Shoppers: This Is the Most Annoying Parenting Move Ever
It's bad parenting, plain and simple. Babies don't belong at adult movies. For a baby to be at a movie, the movie ought to be a matinee, it ought to be marketed to kids, and it ought to be full of other kids.
Sure, it serves the business bottom line to not serve babies. After all, why would they want a million complaints? But also, it serves humanity. I don't want kids growing up thinking it's normal to see Halloween at 2. I don't want them in class with my children and I don't want to see them in the theater.
If parents can't be parents, then I am glad someone is stepping up to stop them. Hire a babysitter. They cost $15 an hour and will save your kid a lot of future trauma. If you can't do that, rent a movie. Otherwise you are more than just a bad parent. You are a bad citizen.
Do you take your baby to R-rated movies?
Image via Hitchster/Flickr