stop taking your kid to brunch

Ban kids from boozy brunch.

No, not the “boozy brunch” places that just threw a “bottomless drinks” option on the menu to attract 20-somethings. I’m talking about music-thumping places with tables so close together you can smell the stranger next to you. I’m talking places that have to set a time limit on “bottomless” because the type of people who go there will never stop ordering more drinks.

Those are the type of places that kids should be banned from, because those are the places where the hour and a half of bottomless drinks is sacred. Downing my third Bloody Mary with a kid in a child seat 10 feet away — or worse, crawling under the table next to me — simply isn’t conducive to having a good time.

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I don’t blame the restaurant. Restaurants should squeeze every dime they can out of soulless, sleep-deprived parents. But consider the target audience of modern boozy brunch. It’s not someone who slowly sips one drink because they have to deal with Sir Poopy Pants for the rest of the day. Boozy brunch is for people with so few Sunday responsibilities that day drinking is a reasonable, respectable pastime.

And the target audience matters. After all, it’s not like dog parks try to cater to cat owners. Harlequin novelists don’t write books for pre-teens. Brunch is my bodice ripper. I don’t want to be interrupted by sticky-fingered kids picking their noses while I’m enjoying said bodice ripper.

My own selfishness aside, people should not bring kids to brunch because doing so is a sure sign that these people are not ready for parenthood. Stop trying to go back to your pre-kid prime by forcing your child’s presence on your friends and everyone else in the restaurant — especially if your kid doesn’t even eat brunch food. Kids change lives even more than they change Instagram feeds. Don’t strong-arm that change onto the people enjoying boozy brunch who are clearly not emotionally ready to handle a child.

There aren’t many convincing reasons for putting a child in a restaurant designed for day drinking. Can’t afford a sitter? There’s probably better places to spend that money (and more important people to spend it on) than brunch. Can’t find a sitter, or your sitter canceled last minute? It’s your child. Calendars are important and your priority should be your kid, not getting drunk with your friends before 2 p.m.

Some spaces are simply optimized for certain people. I don’t go to your kid’s daycare when I’m feeling stressed out and just really want to fill up a coloring book. I can fill out a coloring book at home, just like parents who really want to brunch can brunch at home, at a friend’s house, or at a kid-friendly restaurant. Just don’t bring your kid to a dedicated boozy brunch.