Babyphobia at Austin Pei Wei

Took the family out of town this weekend. Had to attend a wedding (wife’s friend) in Dallas on Saturday (a very lovely affair by the way). We stopped by Austin to visit a friend of mine who also got married on Saturday. While there we went out to dinner with one of my dear sisters (they both reside in Austin).

We went to Pei Wei, a subsidiary of PF Chang’s, at about 8:30 on Friday Night. There’s a Pei Wei here in Suburban Houston so we are familiar with the establishment. Needless to say, the one in Austin was empty at 8:30. It started filling up at around 9/9:15 with college students (Austin boasts the largest public university in the country, my alma mater, THE University of Texas).

During the course of dinner, our 8.5 month child awoke from his nap and was practicing for his town crier auditions. He was pretty loud and as a result I noticed several things. The college students (outside of my sister) that were there looked at us (once he started crying) like we had brought a werewolf to their fav joint.

A crying baby in the Pei Wei in suburbia is a common sight and thus largely ignored by the soccer mom patrons. In a college town setting, a crying baby is probably as popular as a confession booth (Donald Miller non-withstanding). So it shocked me to see these kids’ reaction to our crying child.

Has anyone else observed this phenomenon?

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7 Responses to Babyphobia at Austin Pei Wei

  1. Belinda says:

    I’ve had kids – now ages 29 and 26. When they were young, we went to places like Quincys and Shoneys. Now, when I go out to a nice restaurant, I don’t appreciate hearing children crying or screaming OR running all over the place.

  2. rbrown says:

    Yeah, like college students aren’t annoying and loud. “Oh my God! I got totally wasted last night!!!!!” Don’t let it bother you. I’d much rather see a baby.

  3. Belinda says:

    when I’m in a “nice” restaurant, I like a “nice” atmosphere . . . and when children are the problem, they’re really not, it’s really the parents. if you don’t know how to behave, stay home so the rest of us can enjoy.

  4. Lazaro says:

    Thank you to the both of you for your comments

    I would hardly say Pei Wei is a ‘nice’ restaurant, and our child is almost 9 months old, there’s only so much you can do at that age, no? So I guess my wife and I must be bad parents because our 9 month old cries in public?

    yes, if faced with the choice of inebriated college students and a baby, I think a baby would be my choice…

  5. rbrown says:

    Going out to dinner is a family event, and babies are part of it. If you want peace and quiet, stay home. What makes an atmosphere unpleasant is when other people (so-called “adults”) glare, pout and even yell at- (I’ve seen this before!) a family who is out eating together. So, Lazaro, I say take your baby out, even to nice restaurants and stay proud even when the baby starts to act like, well, a baby!

  6. jasonk says:

    When my middle daughter was about the same age as your baby, we were at an El Chico in Texarkana (yeah, I know). Anyway, she was crying, and a waiter walked past, and said, “put some food in that kid’s mouth, just shut her up.”
    We had a little man to man meeting, after which he graciously purchased my family’s dessert.
    Don’t sweat it. Kids are a blessing. They just get louder when they get older.

  7. insightout says:

    I recently remarked to Gabe(my husband) that Mateo(our 10 month old) was becoming a bit impossible to take out to eat. He is usually not content to sit in his car seat (meaning he pitches a loud hissy) and is so squirmy in the high chair that we’re afraid he’ll fall out. Add to that his extremely loud and constant demands for us to keep shoveling food into his mouth (never mind the fact that he ate right before we came) and I am a little annoyed at being in the restaurant with him, so I can imagine what other childless patrons might be feeling. Nobody LIKES hearing a child have a fit, not at home or anywhere. When he gets too loud or goes on for too long we do the only civil thing we know to do. We take him outside so that the remaining spouse, other members in our party, and those unfortunate enough to be seated near us can eat in relative peace. It’s also nicer for the baby too. Sometime a loud noisy place is just too much and he goes into overload. This may mean someone having to eat alone or letting a meal go cold but we know what we’re in for before we walk into the eatery. On the flip side, other patrons should not feign ignorance as to what they are walking into either. It’s a PUBLIC place, not your private dining room. It’s a gamble every time…..and the only way to guarantee 100% peace is to stay home.

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