I’m anti-kids in breweries.
Call me old school, but I believe in adult spaces and child spaces.
A giant building literally meant for drinking beer is an adult space.
But I recently had a few college friends come in town and suggest we meet up at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery with their 2 year old and newborn. I swallowed my bad attitude and grabbed a couple of Captain Jacks with them and their kiddos. Here are five quick things I learned.
(1) Ladies pay attention to you when you have a kid
Maybe dads don’t notice this because they’re too busy being all monogamous, but women seem to have their eyes drawn to men with young children.
My brother pointed out to me that two different groups of women couldn’t help but check us out while we held the infant and palled around with the toddler.
Parents in Charlotte could probably make a killing if they started charging dudes at breweries $20 an hour to hold their kids. It’s like a real life version of the Tinder Boost feature.
(2) Parents can’t fully get your drink on
I was expecting my college friends to throw beers back the same way we did back in the dorms. To my disappointment, both mom and dad called it quits after one beer each.
Exactly how sober do you have to stay to hold a child?
But I won’t judge them for that. I’ve seen plenty of parents throw back 3-5 beers over two hours while their kids sit nearby staring at an iPad. I think it’s totally respectable that some parents prioritize their kids by just downing one beer.
I always feel bad for how bored kids must be to sit around a brewery and watch their parents drink for hours.
(3) Toddler tantrums cause anxiety attacks in grownups
At separate points, each kid threw a mini tantrum. The toddler was mad that he wasn’t allowed to hold a spoon, while I think the infant was overwhelmed with the pressures of being an infant.
In both cases, the moment anything close to crying came out of their mouths, my blood pressure spiked.
Is that a common thing for parents? I always assumed that parents with crying children in public were just immune to it and had no concern for how much everyone else might be bothered by the sound. Maybe it’s just because I know how much it annoys me, but I felt like everyone hated my group any time the children made a sound.
(4) Kids are fun
This was the most surprising part.
Not only were the kids not the huge burden I thought they were, they were actually fun to be around. They laugh, play, and do cute baby stuff like yawn.
I had fun hanging with the kids, and in some ways, it was even more fun than if they hadn’t been there. It was cute.
I felt what I thought was a twinge of baby fever, but I drowned it out with another Captain Jack.
(5) Parents with kids aren’t bad people; they just want a beer
I’m admittedly self-involved.
When I see parents with kids in breweries, I think about how that affects me.
I wonder why they’re bringing their noisy, energetic child into my space.
But being on the other end of the stroller, I learned that parents sometimes just want to get out of the house. They want to laugh at their single friends using their baby to hit on girls. They want to get a quick sip of a great beer. They’re not the villains I made them out to be in my head. They’re the same brewery-loving millennials they were before.