As much as I love hanging up my "kitchen closed" sign and dining out with my family, it can be a real experience ... especially when my kids are in tow. Being a mom of two little boys, I know what it's like to take your children to a restaurant and pray they don't act up, like other kids you see screaming and running past tables as they try to draw on the walls. I know I'm probably going to lose my "mom card" over this, but I totally get why more and more restaurants are starting to ban young kids. That's why I don't quite understand the outrage over a new policy by Caruso's in North Carolina that bans kids 5 and under from eating in their establishment.
Caruso's owner, Pasquale Caruso, decided to pull the trigger on this controversial decision after a series of unpleasant encounters with parents of small children -- including a family who allegedly refused to lower the volume on their kid's tablet, The Washington Post reports.
And, seeing as Caruso's prides itself on being a "traditional, classy, [and] intimate" fine Italian restaurant, I can understand why they don't feel like they're a good fit for families with small children.
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It seems some patrons are in agreement, considering Caruso's has seen an increase in reservations since their decision. In fact, many people took to Caruso's Facebook page in order to praise the restaurant for having the guts to take such a stand.
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I love my kids, but motherhood has only reiterated to me that the world does not revolve around my children. I want to allow them to act like kids -- because they are kids -- but that doesn't mean consideration for other patrons goes out the window just because I have small children.
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Though I hate thinking any person or place would not welcome my 3- and 1½-year-old boys with open arms -- or would not welcome the parents who diffuse child meltdowns in restaurants like a boss but still get shafted because of child bans like this one -- I don't envision myself drafting a 50-page email or taking to the streets to picket in front of a restaurant in protest.
I'm grateful my husband and I haven't had to deal with too much craziness when taking our boys out to eat, but there's still always a 50/50 chance our kids will get cranky and act up. Plus, there are far too many dining options -- including ones that are more family friendly and don't mind the occasional screams and yells. If a high-end restaurant with a "proper attire" dress code decides not to welcome the 5-and-under crew because of bad experiences they've had with families in the past, well, there's probably a good chance I wasn't planning to take my family there anyway. Some places simply aren't for kids.
... But, if I really like the food, you just might catch me at said restaurant on a child-free date night.