Should Salons Have Child Free Policies?

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Have you and your children ever been turned away from somewhere? Not because the kids are being loud and obnoxious. But just because they EXIST.

That’s what happened to me today.

My morning:

Make up on? Check! Nice clothes? Check! Baby fed and happy? Check! Hooray! Off to the salon we go.

I have a food blogging conference this weekend. I’ve purposely not had a trim in two months just so that I can get a cut today and have my hair looking SPECTACULAR for chatting with old blogging pals and meeting new ones. Oh, and don’t forget all those click-happy food photographers who might turn their lens my way.

Jenni & baby Stave

My sweet sleepy baby and I sat in the waiting area of a local salon that I had been aching to check out for ages. There was a three-year-old and her mom sitting nearby. After filling out the requisite paperwork, the receptionist informed me that they do not allow children. They’d let it go this time but in the future I should find alternate arrangements. Kids are too loud and they don’t have space for them anyhow.

I asked, “But, what about this little three-year-old here?”

“She has an appointment.” It seems that my babe doesn’t yet have enough hair to be in a salon.

Angrily, I asked to speak with the owner. While I waited the three-year old in the salon began to screech and wail. The mom did what I expect any mom would do. She apologized. She said that this wasn’t a good day for her daughter. And then THEY LEFT.

And that’s of course what I would have done if my baby had started crying and being disruptive.

The owner came over and said that I could stay this time but that in the future I should obtain child care so that I can enjoy this time for myself. He actually said, “You deserve this time for yourself.” Ha! I probably do. But it’s not like time to myself is growing on trees. Never mind that I'm breastfeeding and pretty much need to take her everywhere I go.

More annoyingly, he seemed completely oblivious to the idea that getting child care increases the cost of this “time” by an insane degree. His other concerns were that there wasn’t room for her next to the chair (and yet, there is considerable room for a parent to stand next to a three-year-old having her hair done) and finally, that some hair might fall from my head onto my daughter (need we discuss the fistfuls of the stuff that she pulls from my head daily?).

I said my piece and I left. I wasn’t going to stay there if I knew deep down that I (or rather my daughter) wasn’t welcome.

Instead, I called my gal Jenny at the Regis at the mall. (Why oh why had I bothered trying somewhere else? I know why. Because I wanted to support a local business instead of a chain in a mall. *sigh*)

She could tell from my voice that I was upset. When it turned out that she didn’t have any spots available while my four-year-old is in school, do you know what she said?

“Go ahead. Bring him too. We’ll figure out some way to keep them both happy while we do your hair. I know how hard it is to find time to look good when you have kids. I am a single mom, after all.”

Jenny will be getting my business for the foreseeable future. That’s for sure!

What do you think? Is it right for salons, restaurants and other businesses to have no-child policies?

Do you think parents should be able to decide for themselves when their kids need to leave?

Or, have kids (and their parents) made a bad name for themselves, making it too difficult for businesses to trust parents’ judgement?

 

Chris from Cook the Story

Where stories that make you drool are better than those that don't!

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(c) 2012 Christine Pittman. All Rights Reserved

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