The ground rules for taking your kid to a restaurant
When the server brings over a highchair, I can tell you’re wondering whether we’re going to have an issue. And I understand that you don’t go out to restaurants to listen to my kid. But at the same time, I don’t intend to stop eating out. Serious Eats just published a poll about whether kids should be allowed in high-end restaurants, a question that simply exacerbates the issue.
Rather than pick sides, I think we just need some ground rules. If we can agree on these basic rules, then I’m fairly certain we can avoid your meal and my meal being ruined. You might recognize these rules from your local pool — I’ve tried to adapt a code of conduct that we, as a society, have previously agreed upon.
5 to 6 p.m. is open swim. The first hour should be a mulligan. It’s typically easier to feed kids earlier, and this leaves the rest of the evening to the general populace. We could even have a transitional half-hour from 6 to 6:30 p.m.
No running allowed. The table is home base and the home is where the family stays for the meal. Trips to the bathroom are fine, but otherwise we are all sitting in our seats for the duration of dinner.