I want to preface this whole rant with the fact that this is my opinion and I know I'm in the minority. However, I do want to explain a little why it bothers me so much.
I am a parent. I parent my child. This means, to me, removing him when he becomes disruptive, rude, loud, etc. I am a good parent. I make it a point to discipline him (even as a toddler) when he misbehaves. It doesn't matter to me if we're at the mall, the library, church, the grocery store, the zoo, a wedding, a shower, the museum or a TGIFriday's. If he starts misbehaving, shrieking, screaming, running amok, etc---I remove him from the situation until he calms down. If I know a situation is not child-friendly or appropriate (a black tie wedding, for example), I will choose to get him a sitter or decline the invite. This is my choice as I know what is and is not appropriate for my son at his age level.
Now, I realize that I'm likely in the minority in this. I know there are a lot of lazy parents out there and it sounds like some of you know some too. My friends and family are not lazy parents. I was removed from a grocery store and taken home to my father (while mom went back to finish shopping alone) when I threw a tantrum.
I learned from these experiences. I knew what was proper behavior and I knew the consequence of my actions. I enjoyed going out with my parents and my live-in grandmother. I have had some amazing and unique experiences as a child, a young adult and an adult. I know how to use a napkin, the proper way to butter my bread and the right forks to use at a proper place setting.
We wonder why kids act like fools when parents are discouraged from bringing them out in public during the most impressionable ages and stages of their life. I think we're doing our kids an incredible disservice to their futures by keeping them home with some underpaid teen sitter while mom and dad go out to a nice dinner. (Not that parents don't deserve the occasional night out, I love a good date night :-D).
Do I think that my son should be the center of everyone's world? No. I know that not everyone likes babies/toddlers/children. I don't expect every event to be automatically welcoming children (and specifically my son) which is why I don't always roll my eyes at no-child formal weddings. However, at a casual party celebrating someones impending parenthood? If you don't like babies/kids, you should have really thought about not reaching for that condom, no?
I guess my point (although I've done some serious ranting) is that in my circle it is odd to not have kids invited to functions because we are (usually) very diligent about determining if something is appropriate for a child and if we think it is (such as a shower), we actually do the work of parenting our children once we're there. It bugs the [email protected] out of me when someone rationalizes not having kids there because "Kids are holy terrors! They will steal your thunder!" They will destroy the party! etc" because it's not the childs fault they have crappy parents who don't discipline them.
:ducks and hides from the diaper genies that are going to be thrown at my head: