baby in high chair

Have you heard about the Monterey, California, restaurant that is banning strollers, high chairs, booster seats, and even crying children?

In a move that not surprisingly has some parents very upset, the Old Fisherman's Grotto restaurant has adopted what can be described as a "your kids are welcome here, but only if they're above a certain age and know how to act like civilized individuals" policy.

And they're apparently pretty strict at enforcing it, as there's even a sign that clearly states that unruly and loud babies and kids are simply not allowed to dine there. Including their gear.

Hmm. They can't really get much more blatant than that, can they?

But while some parents are deeming this to be unfair, outrageous, and everything in between, I can't help but want to high-five the restaurant owner for sticking to his guns by allowing other patrons to enjoy their dining experience in his establishment.

Here's the thing. When my son was a baby/toddler, I still took him out to eat all the time. But we went to restaurants that were known to be very kid-friendly for a couple of reasons. First, I didn't want to feel stressed out or embarrassed if he did happen to make a bit of noise during the meal. And second, call me neurotic -- but I worried about the people seated around us when we went out to eat.

It's no secret that a crying baby or unruly child can ruin a good meal in a heartbeat. I never wanted to feel like I ruined someone's dinner out simply because my child was still becoming accustomed to going to restaurants.

By the same token, when I go out for a kid-free meal? I want to enjoy every minute of it without having to listen to incessant whining, whimpering, bawling ... whatever.

Seriously, it's common courtesy, people.

If diners in Monterey want to bring their children out to eat, I'm sure there are a whole host of other places they can go without feeling the least bit offended. And in turn, I guess now adults in that area know there's at least one place they can go where they're guaranteed to be able to hear the conversation at the dinner table.

Do you find this restaurant's policy offensive?