Posted to the Subreddit r/Parenting, the parent explained her dilemma:
“Today was our first time eating out with a baby (foster son, 5.5 months).
“After we were seated and ordered drinks, we realized the brunch place was blasting music insanely loudly, and we were worried it wouldn’t be good for his hearing.
“I asked the waitress if it was possible to turn the music down and she agreed like it was no big deal, so I figured we were good to go, and it got much quieter.
“A few minutes later, after we’d ordered, the music went back up again, so I talked to the hostess who got the manager and he seemed kind of annoyed but turned it back down.
“In this position, would you have just left when you realized the music was too loud? I don’t want to be that entitled parent who expects everyone to cater to our kid, but at the same time the music was too loud for adult conversation too, and by the time they made it clear they were bothered by the request we had already ordered.
The mom clarified in the comments that the music was loud enough that those at the table couldn’t hear one another without raising their voices.
She also added, “There were a lot of families with kids, a pretty kid-friendly menu and a nice patio, and I’d been there a bunch of times before and didn’t remember the music being so loud…”
Redditors were torn about the mom’s situation
Reddit users weighed in with their thoughts on the mom’s restaurant conundrum.
“I probably would have just left. I think that it’s sort of obnoxious to ask them to turn the music down a second time. The first time, sure, but asking a second time and talking to the manager is bordering on Karen territory,” one user replied.
“I think asking the first time was reasonable, but the restaurant chose to turn the music back up and I think the graceful thing to do then would be to accept it or leave,” another user commented.
“Yes, I would have just left. I don’t expect every place to cater to me or my family. So just like how I wouldn’t go to a steakhouse if I’m a vegetarian, I wouldn’t stay in a restaurant that’s catering to adults when I have my kid with me,” wrote another user.
“Ask for the food to go and to come with the check immediately. Everyone wins,” one user suggested.
But other Redditors felt the poster was totally in the right.
“No, not a Karen in my opinion. Baby or no, you asked if they could accommodate your needs when you sat down, and the waitress agreed/accommodated as if it wasn’t a big deal… Also, I believe every other diner was thrilled when the music turned down and they could suddenly hear each other,” one user wrote.
“I don’t think you were being a Karen. I always hate when restaurants play music too loud. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal to ask for the music to be turned down a little. It’s not like you asked it to be turned off entirely. You are a paying customer and have some say in things,” commented another user.
“I probably would have left, but if you’re being courteous and non-demanding then there’s nothing wrong with making a request. I’ve hated places with loud music long before having kids, so in some ways it’s nice to have an excuse to leave,” wrote one user.
Some Redditors offered advice for dining with babies or young kids in general.
“Not what you asked, but some practical advice for knowing whether the music (or general atmosphere) is too loud for baby…
- Download an app on your phone to read the decibel level. There is also a native app that comes pre-downloaded with an Apple Watch. Read up on what levels are safe, and for how long.
- Baby headphones! Practical and adorable. When in doubt just put them on.”
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