In the age of clickbait I have to admit that I got sucked in to this ridiculous headline at the Washington Post, “Parents and toddlers have a right to vacations and meals out, too” Greetings, loyal readers! Sorry you haven’t heard from me in a while, but things have been hectic here in Bobville – nothing horrible, but nothing great either. Just busy. As I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel it’s time to start diving back into the online mosh pit of the blogosphere! And since last weekend’s heavy events and their aftermath have been covered from almost every conceivable angle, I thought I’d offer some lighter fare. So let’s go back to that always reliable well of left wing stupidity, the editorial pages of The Post! Freelance food writer Whitney Pipkin had some complaints about her treatment at the hands of the service industry:
I wasn’t sure what to call it when the Airbnb host told us, after accepting our reservation — and noticing that we’d have a toddler in tow — that my husband and I had better be “excessively diligent.” The last time she had a toddler stay in their spare room, she mentioned ominously, she had a broken wine glass and merlot stains to show for it.
There was also the time that a hostess at a café (as in not-that-fancy) told me that, no, they don’t have high chairs, with a look that asked me to read this between the lines: “Your kid is not welcome here.”
So far, only mildly bad. Looking at Pipkin’s blog & twitter feeds she wisely keeps her writing apolitical, but a few hints of Leftist tendencies emerge, and they come out a lot stronger here. Hey, I get wanting to take your kid everywhere you can. From the looks of things her girl might be about a year younger than Little Bob. And from my experience with other toddlers Little Bob is definitely above average in how he handles himself in eateries, hotels, etc. But that doesn’t mean I expect everybody to be thrilled by his presence, nor that every situation is appropriate to bring him along. Heck, last year when we went to a wedding a combination of teamwork and attentiveness by me & Sister Babe kept LB from causing a disruption as the vows were being recited. But back on subject, let’s follow where Pipkin takes a deep dive into the stupid pool (emphasis mine):
I’m not implying that these hospitality establishments must throw their arms open wide to us and our (did I mention she’s well-behaved?) toddler, or that parents have a right to eat at places where they actually like the food. But let’s at least call it what it is: toddler discrimination.
Discrimination is “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.” In this case, it’s the assumption that my toddler will act just like the last one that walked through the door — or the most memorable one of late.
Technically, Airbnb’s discrimination clause makes it illegal for a host to refuse our reservation because of age — my daughter’s as much as mine. So why, instead of saying as much, did I find myself offering to drink red wine from a Nalgene bottle (“Adult sippy cups!” the host mused in response) to prevent a dreaded spill? Why do I find myself avoiding restaurants where I know our arrival will be met with grimaces, even if my toddler’s track record shows she can behave just fine in public?
Discrimination?!? Seriously? I’ve got news for you sweetheart, but every time we choose one option over another we discriminate based on some criteria. The fact that you won’t hire a registered sex offender as a babysitter is a form of discrimination, and yet I don’t think think anyone would feel the need to label your choice. And no, AirBNB did not discriminate, the owner merely asked that you not trash their property. Believe it or not, not everyone has the psychic ability to know that your little snowflake is the most perfect child to ever exist. Pipkin then tries to hedge herself and seem reasonable, but slips up toward the end (again, emphasis mine):
My daughter is a few months shy of two. I get it. A lot of kids her age would need a side of duct tape to sit through a meal. Saying there are certain places where a toddler isn’t welcome isn’t “unjust” so much as wise. White tablecloths and crayons, for example, don’t mix.
We’re big fans of date night, but we also like vacationing and eating out with our daughter when appropriate. We enjoy watching her unexpectedly scarf the chicken lawaan at an Afghani restaurant or wave to the other patrons as we walk to our table. We love it when a waiter is surprised by how well she behaves or how much she ate (we usually are amazed, too).
While we’re past the bring-the-baby-anywhere stage,that doesn’t mean having a toddler suddenly defines where we should go, where we should stay and what we should eat.
Actually, it does. As insane as this sounds not everybody enjoys the presence of your child as much as you do at all times. I’m pretty sure that when your kid reaches Chuck E. Cheese outing age, you probably won’t want some local fraternities to decide to have an event at the eatery during your kids’ birthday party. But that doesn’t make you a bad person. And back to your article’s title, nobody is taking away your right to nights out and vacations, only that you show respect and consideration for others.
“Wait a minute,” you might be wondering, “isn’t this site about political blogging? Is there a point to this?” As a matter of fact there is – glad you’re paying attention! What bothers me is Pipkin’s sense of entitlement, and judging from the majority of comments I’m far from alone. What bothered me the most though, was her casual use of the word “Discrimination.” Because once we’re labeling action as discrimination, we’re also creating a victim class. And where there are victims, there is a need of the government protection, and will inevitably lead to something along the line of “The McCain-Warren Anti-Toddler Discrimination Act” that will open a new door for lawyers and politicians to invade our lives. And this of course, will lead to branding anti-toddler bigots an oppressors (can’t have a victim without an oppressor, can we?) and online (and maybe real) mobs to destroy the lives of those who don’t share the “correct” beliefs. I know that sounds crazy, but is it any crazier than the fact that we live in an era where a statement like “Someone who has a d*** is a male” is considered hate speech?
So let’s nip this piece of Leftist stupidity in the bud, and please join me in giving it every ounce of ridicule that it so richly deserves.
And to the writers at the Washington Post, “Stay stupid, my friends.”
Cross posted from Brother Bob;s Blog