I enjoy a quiet cup of coffee too. Edited to add.
Last Friday was our DS's third birthday, so DH and I took him swimming at the local pool with some friends and then headed to McDonalds for lunch. We ordered our food and sat in the kids play area so the little ones could run around.
There were a lot of kids in the playroom. In addition to the 4 kids in our group, there were probably another 10-12 kids playing. They weren't all playing nicely, some of the older ones were really picking on the younger ones. I even commented to my husband that the kids seemed to outnumber the adults by about 4 to 1.
Anyhow, about 1/2 hour after we arrived a woman came into the playroom and called out "okay kids, 5 minutes" and left. I watched her walk to a table in the restaurant area and sit down with another woman. Five minutes later, she came back and told the kids that they were leaving. After some complaining and whining, five kids (I would guess between the ages of 5 and 10) came out of the play structure and left with the woman. Two of them were the kids that were causing most of the arguing and fighting.
I was really kind of shocked and almost said something to this woman, but wasn't sure if that was my place to do so.
Anyhow, I guess my question is this? Do you allow your children to play unsupervised in a restaurant play area? If yes, why do you feel this is okay?
EDIT TO ADD: I am actually surprised at the number of parents who allow their children to play unsupervised in the play areas. I honestly thought this woman was just an anomally and that the majority of parents would never dream of doing this.
Maybe their play structures are different than the one I was at. The one at the McDonalds is basically a huge, enclosed climbing structure with slides. Even while sitting in the play area, it is difficult to see your kids. The only way to really know what they are doing is to listen. It's really hard to supervise your children when there is a soundproof glass wall between them and you. And maybe there are no signs, like the one at McDonalds that specifically states that children are not to be left unattended in the play area and that they must be supervised at all times.
I personally don't get it. Like I said in the title of my post, I really do enjoy a quiet cup of coffee (which, BTW hasn't happened since the day my son was born) but I would never shirk my responsibilities as a parent just to have one.
And to those parents who do allow their children to play unsupervised, take a moment to think about the parents who are in the playroom keeping an eye on things. Who do you think has to act as referee when your children are arguing or fighting with our children?