Child-friendly does NOT equal child-appropriate

Being a 50’s housewife in disguise, I recently bought the first edition of Good Housekeeping SA. A nice enough magazine, though aimed at women in Crocs with spawn of varying ages. Not really my scene, in other words.

For some reason, I assumed the magazine would be about actual housekeeping – laundry tips, baking ideas, perhaps dressmaking and DIY. All that aside, I’m sure the magazine is well-suited to the section of the population at which it is aimed.

However, I am more than a little annoyed by their “Child-Friendly Restaurants” article. “Child-friendly” implies a restaurant where kids can run around if they want to, play, scream, whatever it is that kids do. Restaurants like Spur, Steers, McDonalds, Wimpy, Panarotti’s…I could go on. These are restaurants that cater to children by providing play areas away from the tables so that everyone can get what they need. If I’m sitting in Spur and a toddler starts gnawing on my foot, I won’t be furious – it’s Spur, ffs.

However, Good Housekeeping lists Vovo Telo at 44 Stanley as a “child-friendly restaurant”. Just because children are not explicitly banned does NOT mean they are welcome. Adults need places where they can go to avoid children – because only you find your children cute.

Vovo Telo is an artisan bakery, preparing breads and pastries in the traditions of Europe. It is somewhere to catch up with friends, have a good cappuccino and a pain au chocolat. It is not somewhere to allow your ill-behaved brats to run rampant while you pretend you’re young and carefree again. How rude.

In fact, none of the restaurants at 44 Stanley are child-appropriate. This village of restaurants is aimed at people in their twenties and older. One day my mother and I went to Bliss lifestyle lounge, where we were enjoying some cocktails as we waited for our sushi and tapas…and then some stupid mothers brought a party of 8 year olds to this restaurant. These children proceeded to invade the boules pitch, throwing the steel boules hither and thither, screaming for sushi and sparberry.

Give me a break.

Take your posse of midgets to an appropriate restaurant. A party at a sushi and cocktail bar is not age-appropriate for an 8 year old. Sipping on a cosmopolitan while your womb litter spoils the silence is not appropriate.

Grow some manners, and some sense. Your child is only welcome at a restaurant that does not have a huge plastic slide and ball pit when they can actually behave like adults…and when you can behave like a responsible parent instead of inflicting your badly-bred snot-factories on everyone else.

For information about the wonderful culinary experience that is 44 Stanley, go to http://www.44stanley.co.za/food.asp

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