Kids in Bars: Times decries Baby Barfly trend


A recent NYT blog complained about "Baby Barflies" and the trend of hip Park Slope parents bringing their tots along for a night at the neighborhood watering hole. From the twentysomething author:

No matter what breeders might think, bars are not family-friendly. If I am out drinking and sobbing about a bad breakup, I don't want my cries to compete with those of an infant sitting next to me. If I go to the bathroom to correct my wayward mascara at the end of a long weekend night, I don't want to watch a baby being wiped down on the soggy sink counter.

Nor do I want to be scolded by parents like the ones at the Gate, a favorite bar, where friends have witnessed a few mothers with toddlers actually wagging their fingers when young people cursed too loudly or got a little sloppy, while conveniently overlooking the fact that alcohol, blaring punk rock and drunken partiers are not pediatrician-approved.

Now in Wisconsin, taking kids to bars is a common practice that never seems to raise a stink. (When we lived in Wisconsin briefly as kids, my brother and I loved being taken to the bar because the bartender would treat us to one of the lollipops from the jar on the counter.) I think the difference may be that pushy Park Slope parents expect adult bar patrons to tone down their behavior to accommodate their child, where, in Wisconsin, the kids are expected fit right in with the adults--and they do, they can even have a drink, with their parent's permission.