I walked into a store the other day with my one year old and could feel the eyes watching him, concerned of what he might touch. I knew that I’d need to spend a bit of time talking to a sales clerk, so I brought snacks and toys, but let’s be honest, a mobile one year old just wants to see everything and figure out how it moves and how he can throw it! I thought he was actually pretty well-behaved, he did explore the store, but stayed within my sight, and didn’t throw a thing.
I normally would’ve felt victorious, but this time I didn’t…
Because the whole time I felt like I was under a microscope. The sales clerk always had an eye on him or was impatiently waiting for me to return my attention to the purchase and away from squeezing up the pouch (man I hate when I buy the ones that aren’t easy flow and you have to squeeze everything to the top 3 times).
This turned my toddler-in-public victory into a feeling like I needed to hurry up and leave.
And I didn’t buy anything…I planned to go back without the baby but I haven’t made it yet and I’m not sure if the discounted price there is going to be worth the effort.
So what really is “kid-friendly?”
Before having kids, I wouldn’t have just thought it was a place that it was acceptable for a child to physically be. Like a dance club at midnight, not kid friendly. The general public agrees that a fine french restaurant or a non-animated movie may not be the best place to tote along your diaper bag.
But I would’ve thought that a chicken fingers option on a kids menu and Yelp says it is “Good For Kids” then it automatically qualified as kid friendly.
But I’m here to say NOPE!
Kid-Friendly is about a place being friendly for YOUR kid!
I don’t know about you, but my kid wants to dance around to the elevator music playing, and pick up things, and eat a snack, and jibber jabber loudly, and if those things are unavailable, he’ll want to proclaim his unhappiness. If we’re at a restaurant, I can guarantee there is more of a mess on and under the high chair than there is on the table and we’ll need extra forks because they tend to be dropped.
And I have a pretty good one year old, that’s just how they are!
“Good for Kids” does not always equal Good for YOUR Kid.
YOUR kid may be older and better able to entertain themselves
YOUR kid may be wanting to crawl around instead of dance
YOUR kid may love to hide in the clothes rack while you frantically search for them
YOUR kid may like to talk to every stranger ever
YOUR kid may still be nursing and need to eat right. n.o.w
YOUR kid may be the queen of blowouts and frequently need changing tables and extra wipes
Whatever it is for YOUR kid, they aren’t like every other kid and something labeled “Good For Kids” isn’t going to cut it.
You need to know what ages this activity is best for, or what menu items it offers. You want to see if there is a changing table or if you’ll end up doing diaper duty on the floor (done it, it’s awful!). You care about if you can bring in the stroller and navigate without hitting everything. You are interested in what other moms have to say about their experiences at that store.
That’s why A Mom Around Town offers the filters it does, so that you can pick and choose what age ranges to look for or what amenities are important for a store to have. That’s why we have reviews, so you can read what other moms thought.
Because it is about finding what makes YOUR life easier!
Learn a bit more about A Mom Around Town here!