Mom & Crying Baby Get Kicked Out of a Restaurant Due to 'Lack of Reasonable Parenting'

Steph Shaddick

mom kicked out of restaurant
Steph Shaddick

A fight has broken out between a British mom and the owner of a local restaurant who kicked her out of his business because of her crying baby. Stephanie Shaddick says that when she went to Cafe Onboard, she had been treating her children to a day out on the town. But things turned ugly when her youngest child, 11-month-old Barney, started to cry. Because of the noise, the restaurant's owner, Captain Robert Hunter, asked Stephanie and her children to leave. 

  • Stephanie and her kids spent the day at the park when they decided to go into the Onboard Cafe to get a bite to eat. 

    kids in front of restaurant
    Stephanie Shaddick

    The restaurant, which is a converted boat that serves burgers and the like, had been a special treat for Stephanie's kids, who were excited to get fries as a special treat.

    Speaking with CafeMom, Stephanie says that the family outing turned sour once she and her children ordered their food and were brusquely reprimanded by the ship's owner. 

    Stephanie explains that her children were well-behaved after she had ordered their food. "The children sat nicely -- the baby sat nicely -- until he saw the [fries]." Unfortunately for little Barney, the fries were too hot. "I couldn't give them to him," Stephanie says. "So he cried while I cooled them down." Nothing so out of the ordinary for any parent who has had to feed a hungry baby before. But according to Stephanie, her child's tears caused the ship's owner to snap.

    "The cafe owner came over to me and said, 'You're going to have to go outside. This isn't working for me. You've got to take that screaming kid out.'"

    "And then I thought, OK that's fine. So I did what he said. Picked up the chips. Picked up the glasses of drink, and we maneuvered the push-chair through a big queue of people," she explains. "I did it politely. And then we ate our chips and left." 

    For Stephanie, the whole incident had been a simple exchange and, according to her, there had been no drama, aside from the owner's request for her to leave. However, the 30-year-old mom did take the time to write a review on the restaurant's Facebook page, which is when things really got heated.

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  • In her review, Stephanie shared that the owner had been "rude" to her, humiliating her and making her feel "an inch tall."

    The post, which has since been removed from the Cafe Onboard Facebook page, relayed Stephanie's experience and, she tells us, would have been the end of drama had Hunter not responded "with the vile message he replied with."

  • In his response, Hunter clapped back at Stephanie, saying that she had ignored her child and that all he was looking for was "reasonable parenting."

    Hunter, who also spoke with CafeMom, paints a very different picture of what took place that day. "The child was screaming in its pram when she came in," he says. "She was sitting next to the counter. She ordered two paper pots of chips. We put up with the baby screaming. Obviously disturbed. Hot and bothered."

    The problem, Hunter says, is that Stephanie was on her cell phone and not paying attention to her child. "We're fairly patient here, being a family place. We let this go on for 10 minutes. Then a queue started forming next to the pram of about 20 people," he says. "When that queue formed within one foot of the lady's pram, the baby then went totally ballistic because it was obviously frightened. She continues to operate her mobile phone and does nothing to comfort her child."

    He continues that an elderly couple got up from the cafe and told Hunter's wife, "'You should do something about that.' The noise was absolutely ear-splitting. They were concerned about the baby going completely bonkers." (That's a fact that Stephanie disputes in her conversation with us. There was nobody else in the room, except for a group of about 20 foreign exchange students in line for ice cream, she told us.)

    "It was so loud people couldn't hear to order anything at the counter," Hunter adds. "At that point I went out there and I simply said 'this cannot happen. There's a family room just through this door with some nice comfy chairs."

  • Hunter rails against Stephanie, saying she is part of a generation of "mobile-addicted" women who ignore their kids to browse social media.

    "It's not my job to tell this mother -- who was totally addicted to her mobile -- how to treat her baby," Hunter tells us. "I couldn't tell her to take it out of the pram, give it a cuddle, walk around with it. I did have to think of the customers who were coming in. Never mind the mother. I really don't care about the mother.

    "We've got this generation of girls, or women, think it's OK to push your pram along or leave your kid in the pram and get on your mobile phone. It should be illegal," he says.

    Hunter tells us that in the future, "If I see that happening again, I'm getting straight on to child's services. I won't stand for it."

    In fact, the captain placed two signs in his restaurant today: 

    "LOOK AFTER CHILDREN

    MUMS B MUMS

    PLEASE NOT MUMS ON MOBILES

    WE ARE NOT CHILDMINDERS."

    As well as: 

    "WE DO NOT ACCEPT

    BABIES LEFT SCREAMING IN PRAMS

    CHILD SERVICES MAY BE CALLED IF THE PARENT DOES NOTHING TO CALM."

    "There have been loads of people who have come down here to see what a terrible captain I am," Hunter says. "She spread it all over the country. She has made herself look like a bad mother and increased our business. Now if that was her original intention, good luck 'cause we're doing OK. We've had loads of children today."

  • But Stephanie says that Hunter's account is wrong and that he should "be a bit more understanding."

    mom and baby
    Stephanie Shaddick

    As far Stephanie is concerned, she finds it suspicious that Hunter has removed reviews on his Facebook page that were negative. She tells us the incident was part of a pattern of bad behavior on Hunter's part, especially when it comes to parents with their kids.

    "Another friend had commented (on the Facebook post) that she'd been [to Cafe Onboard], and [Hunter] told her that she should be bringing up her children better because they were noisy."

    She tells CafeMom that she did comfort her son, cuddling him and taking the time to try to sooth him. "In reality, [his crying] was about two to three minutes," she says. "I just felt that it was a bit unfair." She says that she wasn't on her phone. Instead, she was speaking with her older children who were playing some of the arcade games on the boat.

    "I by no means sat on my phone ignoring him," she adds. And interestingly, Stephanie tells us that "I don't think he would have challenged me if I was there with my partner."

    And to the owner who kicked her out of his restaurant, Stephanie says that she wishes he would "be a bit more understanding. You can't help it. Kids cry sometimes. It just happens. You can't control babies."


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