Taking Babies to the Bar

washington dc by wayan
Photo by Wayan

Tonight I was out at Looking Glass Lounge with a hot little date – Hanalei Stockard Vota – and I’m wondering how many other parents party with minors.

I asked the server if I was the first Dad in Looking Glass and she just laughed. I seem to be one of many. Yet when I was single I didn’t remember seeing too many boozing minors. I even made fun of changing tables in bars.

In the city, I expect us that juggle bottles and babies in bars to be rare. What’s the toddler tipplers take in the suburbs? Are sippy cups as common as shot glasses? And does it bother you if there are?

Married, mortgaged, and soon to be a father, Wayan Vota is in the fast lane to mid-life respectability – until the day his brood finds his intimate journal of global traveling and curses him with the ever-eternal reply “I’m gonna be just like you, Dad!”

8 thoughts on “Taking Babies to the Bar

  1. Especially now that Virginia’s bars will mostly be going smoke free, I’m totally going to be taking my first-born (on the way) to the pub for a pint on occasion. It seems like the noisy, busy environment would be fun for the kid, and a good chance to be a nice normal person who happens to be a parent for me. I think the idea that it would somehow be bad in to bring a baby into a bar is just our nanny-state instincts running amok… it seems instinctively bad somehow, but there’s no logic behind it. Go you.

  2. Well Hanalei certainly had a good night at the LGL Pub Quiz. Our team “Hanalei’s Poop” scored a solid lead as she ate, watched, and then slept. But when she awoke it was time to go. After her parent’s bedtime for sure.

  3. Honestly, I hate children in restaurants. My parents didn’t bring my brother and I out to eat when we were little because they have respect for other diners – sure, you could have a quiet kid, but your apologetic “I wish I wasn’t the parent with the screaming kid” look won’t fly when your kid is screaming his lungs out. The excuse that you want to have a normal life with the opportunity to go out to eat also won’t fly. You chose to have children. I have not. I should not be subjected to the horrors of parenting just so you can have a “normal” night. Get a babysitter.

    On the subject of bars… They are noisier so that’s a little better… A little odd, but better. As long as your kid doesn’t impede on my evening out without children, I would have no problem with it.

    I apologize for the post. I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, so I am cranky.

  4. You know, my mom used to take me to the bar when I was a kid (OK, it was the 70s) all the time. Of course, so did her friends. So, the kids played, and the adults played!

    Of course, I was NEVER allowed to sit at the bar as a kid, which made (and still makes) perfect sense to me and thus I only really disapprove of seeing children sit at the bar. Or, of course, of children who are totally out of control…but you don’t have to be at the pub to disapprove of that!

    One thing that is kind of odd though, is that even now I kind of have a mental thing about sitting at bars. I would always rather stand next to the bar rather than sit on a barstool.

  5. I think it’s all about how the kid does in the situation, honestly. Can’t settle down, can’t stop crying, can’t stop squealing, then, probably not the best situation.

  6. When my daughter was very young, there weren’t the no-smoking rules we have now, so, no, I wouldn’t take her to bars and such. These days? Maybe so.

  7. As far as restaurants, it’s fair game if the restaurant has a kids menu. Warning: there might even be seniors at restaurants too!

    It’d be a little odd to have kids out late in a bar (they should be sleeping), but I could see bringing a newborn to a bar in the afternoon for a pint. Toddlers might be a bit difficult to manage. They don’t chill out often.