Texas restaurant bans small children after 7pm

There is a war going on in this country–a secret war, between parents and the childless.

Between those who find it appropriate to casually take up entire sidewalks with double wide strollers even though they only have one kid, and those of us who have to get somewhere.

Between those who feel it is not only appropriate to take their screaming devilspawn into a bar, but to sit in the outside smoking section because they feel like dining al fresco and then demand that everyone put their cigarettes out and stop using “adult language” for the sake of said devilspawn– and those who would really prefer to not have a cocktail in the middle of Romper Room.

Between those who find their children’s histrionic screeching for candy to be positively adorable, and those of us who think it would kind of be nice if they could maybe get their kids to quiet down in the middle of a grocery store.

One Houston restaurant is taking a stand. La Fisheria– a seafood restaurant run by reality TV chef Aquiles Chavez– has decided to ban children under the age of 7 from the restaurant after 7pm. Parents who would like to bring their small children in may do so between 5pm and 7pm. Which actually doesn’t seem all that unreasonable to me, as bedtime at that age is probably around 7:30pm anyway.

The restaurant’s co-owner Ena Niño explained that the policy was enacted after a recent episode where several customers left the restaurant because of screaming children. Which, hey, we’ve all been there.

I imagine her staff is pretty grateful as well. Dealing with tables of small children is fine if it’s not busy, but when you’ve got a full section it can make you want to tear your hair out sometimes. The parents complain that there’s no “children’s menu” and demand to speak to the manager about it, they expect you to be utterly charmed when the little darling throws food at you, they send you on endless errands for free soda refills which they never manage to coordinate, and, generally speaking, they are often pretty terrible tippers. Then you also have to deal with people at neighboring tables who are annoyed with you because of the screaming child.

Everyone understands that it’s not easy to have children in a world built for adults, and that sure, parents probably get tired of having to go to Chuck E. Cheese and Applebee’s–it would be cool if parents understood that it’s not the whole entire world’s job to deal with their kids and that some places really should be adults only. You know, there’s a time and a place.

We have to share space–and sure, some kids are reasonably behaved in public, and some parents are not annoying and entitled and even have the in-line double strollers that don’t take up the whole entire sidewalk. However, there are enough bratty kids and permissive parents that these rules are sometimes necessary.

image: Childfreechic