I Don’t Care That This is Brooklyn, Get Your Kid Out of My Face

24 Mar

FACT: All babies are created equal.
FACT: Their parents are not.

Babies are little humans, slowly developing their own personalities and opinions and interests. As clean slates making their way toward self-realization, they deserve the benefit of the doubt and the unencumbered opportunity to reach their fullest potential.

Parents, however, have had their chance. They are adults (give or take every parent ever featured on MTV or VH1) who’ve they lived their lives and are what they are. At some point they decided (give or take every parent ever featured on MTV or VH1) to have a kid. Or two. Or 19. And now they have to live with that decision. They weren’t born parents, they became parents. They chose their lifestyle, they made their beds – and they deserve no quarter.

Simply put, if you’re a parents, you are not equal to a non-parent. You are worse and should be treated as such. You chose to dedicate your life to raising a child. You chose punishment instead of reward. You chose responsibility instead of fun. You chose college funds instead of discretionary income. You chose to raise a kid instead of raising hell. So deal with the ramifications of that, and don’t shove your kid in everyone else’s faces.

They should not expect to have the same rights: parents should not interact with or speak to non-parents. Parents should not make eye contact with non-parents and should always yield the right-of-way to non-parents when using pedestrian walkways (even if that means stepping into a gutter). Parents should not raise their voices to non-parents nor attempt to defend their rights (or lack thereof) to a non-parent who confronts them. Parents should neither bring their kids to public places nor act like they have the right to do so.

You want to go to a bar? Sorry, you have a kid. You want to eat a nice meal out? Sorry, you have a kid. You want to take a vacation and travel on an airplane? Sorry, you are not allowed to do those things so long as you insist on lugging your children along. Now get out!

Obviously, I have a kid myself. And I live in a neighborhood where it’s common practice to cart your baby into your favorite bar so you can have a few drinks. It’s common practice to go on Yelp and scream bloody murder when the nice Italian restaurant down the street doesn’t provide high chairs. There’s a pro-baby mob around here, and while it seems logical that a parent like me would sympathize and side with the Stroller Mafia, I don’t. I know what being a parent makes me: less than human. And I’m getting what I deserve.

After all, what gives these me the right to attempt to live full lives? Where in the Constitution does it allow for people with children to take advantage of everything life has to offer? Just because this is a free country and parents pay exorbitant rent to live in nice neighborhoods doesn’t mean that they deserve access to all the attending benefits.

It doesn’t mean parents should be able to socialize with other people outside of their homes. It doesn’t mean parents should be allowed to have a beer or a cocktail at an establishment that exists entirely to make money by serving as many people as they can. It doesn’t mean that people who are overpopulating the planet can take a break from preparing their own meals and have a steak or some scallops served to them by culinary professionals. It doesn’t mean people can bring their babies and small children on an airplane so they can go experience and explore other cultures and countries when – ahem – we all have television sets and computers, hello!

Having a child is a deviant action, and one that deserves neither empathy nor respect. I knew that going in, and despite my neighborhood’s borderline-militant pro-baby stance, I abide by the rules. I don’t bring my kid to bars or restaurants or on planes.

I don’t care if my baby is the best-behaved baby in the world. I don’t care if I’m quietly eating my lunch in a booth with my wife and son. I don’t care if as soon as the baby starts to cry I take him outside and probably go straight home. I don’t care if my baby is quieter and less obtrusive than each of the two dogs you brought. I don’t care that the group of twenty-four year olds that can’t hold their liquor and are screaming really loudly about Call of Duty: Black Ops are far more obnoxious and irritating than my 6-month-old. That’s not the point.

The point is that it’s not fair to the other people who don’t have children and want to go get hammered at four in the afternoon and don’t want to be made aware of the gaping void that exists in their lives and don’t want to be reminded that they’ve turned into hateful, damaged individuals by having an innocent, potential-filled baby get all up in their face and/or sleep quietly in its mother’s arms. The point is that it’s wrong of me to expect to have a life once I have a child.

So I put my baby in his cage and I stare at him until he turns 18. When he does, then I can have a life again. Then I can go to a bar and have a beer. Then and ONLY then.

I know what you’re thinking: this isn’t Russia. This isn’t Nazi Germany. This isn’t Vegas. There’s no reason parents can’t exercise common sense and use some restraint in terms of the environments into which they drag their babies. No movies, no dive bars, no strip clubs, no romantic 5-star restaurants. And sure, that approach might seem reasonable to someone who has even the tiniest bit of awareness of a world outside themselves; to someone who understands that parents are people too and could desperately use access to the same outlets as everyone else; to someone who isn’t a remorseless, sociopathic void of empathy with absolutely no grasp on how to live life like a decent human being.


Besides, it’s not like parents are starved for ways to enjoy their lives and ease the burden of parenthood. There are plenty of options: 1) don’t have kids; 2) hire a babysitter; 3) open a bar in your garage; 4) hire a personal chef; 5) buy a private jet; 6) enjoy a night out at McDonald’s; 7) don’t have kids!

So take advantage of those options and find a place to stash your kid or else stay sequestered. Because the world is not for parents. It’s for everyone else.


12 Responses to “I Don’t Care That This is Brooklyn, Get Your Kid Out of My Face”

  1. RJ March 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    The point is that it’s not fair to the other people who don’t have children and want to go get hammered at four in the afternoon and don’t want to be made aware of the gaping void that exists in their lives…

    Really? REALLY! Gaping void that, that, at least you make it sound like, is filled by having a baby? People without babies can do whatever they want, whenever they want, for the most part. Parents can never, ever do anything on a whim again. Ever. Besides, babies are all nice and good for basically one reason, they are too underdeveloped to realize how much life sucks….yet. LOL!
    #relax, not serious
    #well, not completely

  2. Effed in Park Slope March 24, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    I have no friggin clue which parts of this are serious and which are not…which is kinda why I like it so much.

    • Brosti March 26, 2011 at 9:49 am #

      Er, um, Erica? This is ALL satire. Now I’m frightened of you. Geeze.

  3. twoboysclub March 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    I love the shot of the baby in a dog crate. Real or Photoshop? I’ve always puzzled over how to contain the urchins after they reject the play yard. Toddler crates? Padded rooms? Nice satire, by the way.

    • Jules March 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

      Thanks, twoboysclub! Always gratifying when someone online actual grasps my intent. Doesn’t always happen!

      • derp March 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm #


  4. megan March 26, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    I love kids and I love my friends who have them. I’m happy to see parents getting their drink on in bars, kids in tow or not. Same goes for parents in restaurants. OF COURSE they have the right to eat, drink, enjoy. People who think otherwise are just being unrealistic.

    Having said that, not all of us who are childless have a “gaping void” in our lives, and to assume so is a little unfair. We are not ALL anti-baby just because we don’t have babies; some of us just don’t have them. If one of your gripes (and maybe it isn’t one really; your sarcasm is pretty good and thorough and it’s difficult to tell where your parody ends) is that parents are treated as though they “should not interact with or speak to non-parents,” it’s unfair to treat all non-parents as though they are social pariahs who can’t hold their liquor and have no respect for anyone. It is possible to have a full life without kids – and to still adore your friends’ kids, and babysit for free at a moment’s notice because people who have kids still have lives (DUH). Don’t assume all of us who are childless are bitter losers without direction. If you want to be included, be inclusive. I’m just sayin’.

    • Jules March 26, 2011 at 10:03 am #

      Hi Megan, thanks for reading.

      The “gaping void” comment was entirely facetious and part of the joke.

      I knew when I wrote this that there were two potential issues with it. One issue was that people wouldn’t grasp that I was mocking the aggressive anti-child stance that has been popping up around me lately, the other issue was that by going so far in the other direction with this post that people might think I was aggressively pro-child.

      The fact is I am squarely in the middle. The closest thing to sincerity in the post is the sociopath paragraph, wherein I push for moderation on both sides. It’s all about being reasonable, on both sides of the argument.

      I love having a kid. And I loved NOT having one. And as a new father, I continue to see the merit in both sides. I have friends who have decided no to have kids, and I don’t begrudge them for it. It’s not black and white; there are things they can enjoy as non-parents that I can’t, and there are things I enjoy as a parent that they don’t.

      There’s no reason the two groups of people can’t mix, except for when there are huge assholes on either side. The point of my post is that there’s no need to be such a jerk about your opinion, whichever it is. We can all get along.

      • megan March 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

        agreed 100%. in fact I almost wrote “can’t we all just get along?” in semi-jest at the end of my comment. great minds, etc.

  5. Brosti March 26, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    You know, Jonathan Swift recommended that we all eat all the children MORE THAN 250 years ago! What is taking people so long to catch on to this obviously practical and modest proposal?

    • Jules March 26, 2011 at 10:06 am #

      Brosti, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

  6. JB March 26, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    I think this is hysterical.
    I love it and I have a solution.
    Some one needs to open a bar specifically geared towards parents who want to have play dates and drink.
    Only Baby Einstein on the big screens
    Only kiddie music on the juke box
    Soft floor mats and toys of all sorts
    Only a kids menu with mac and cheese and chicken fingers
    maybe even a selection of fresh pureed baby foods
    AND MOST IMPORTANTLY!!! A FULL BAR (for the parents only of course)
    People with kids have a party spot and nobody with out children would want to go there
    Every-one is happy!!!

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