Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stroller Discrimination

There's is nothing I hate more than when I am discriminated against because I am a parent with children. My children are well behaved in restaurants and stores. Our house is full of antiques and not baby proofed. They respect our belongings and those of others. They are by no means perfect, but they are probably on your upper end of well-behaved kiddos. (I consider myself very lucky!)

Recently, we walked over to a bakery for breakfast and on our way back we decided to go into an antique store that was just about to open. The owner saw us lingering by the door and she told me that the would not be open for about ten more minutes. We walked to a couple of our other morning errands and headed back. When I got there, she told me that we were not allowed to come into the store because I have a (small) stroller. I was disgusted. First, why didn't she just tell me I would not be allowed in her store when she first saw me? Second, this store is going out of business and they are trying to liquidate the inventory. If you are going out of business, shouldn't you be happy to get money from anyone? The ironic thing is that while we were waiting for the store to open, we had walked to the bank where I got a bunch of cash so I could pick up some treasures from this glorified junk store.

The incident this morning reminds me of another time we were discriminated against. The California Pizza Kitchen by our house has a policy (official or written, I do not know) that they seat families with children in the back of the restaurant. One time while in there, my husband asked if we could have a seat at the front of the restaurant so that my son could look out the window while we ate. They outright refused to allow up sit up front until my husband said, "I just want to be sure I understand what you are saying--you won't let me sit up front because we have a child." The hostess replied yes until she realized what she said and then said she could make an exception. Needless to say, we left the restaurant and we've never patronized another CPK.

I work hard to make sure my kids are well behaved in public. We are out and about all of the time so that they are well socialized and experienced with the right and wrong ways to act in public places. And when our children do misbehave, we remove them from the restaurant or store immediately. I hate being punished for the fact that other children do misbehave! And yes, I know what you are going to say. I realize that store and restaurant owners can allow in whomever they choose. I still think it sucks!

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