Opinion

Mom kicked out of restaurant for changing a diaper

A Texas mother was kicked out of a pizza restaurant after changing her four-month-old’s diaper at the dinner table.

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Photo: iStockphoto

Last week, a Texas mother was kicked out of a pizza restaurant after changing her four-month-old’s diaper at the dinner table.

According to news reports, the mom of three checked the washrooms and noticed there weren’t any changing facilities, so she did a quick change on a chair at the table. The wait staff noticed and quickly brought her food to-go and asked the family to leave.

It was a last resort, claims the mom. She didn’t want to go to her minivan for a trunk change and leave her eight- and four-year-old daughters at the table alone. She says: “I’ve got my own changing pad, she’s tiny, she fits right here on the chair. So I laid her down quickly and quietly changed her diaper.”

The manager of the restaurant says the diaper change was hardly under cover, and had customers complaining. “How would you feel?” he asks. “You’re sitting there eating. I don’t want to lose all these other customers because they see a dirty diaper. Last thing I want is a customer throwing up.”

The mom has since filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and the restaurant says they stand by their decision, but are looking into getting change tables put in the washrooms.

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Somehow, the story has hit the international airwaves as if it was some kind of terrible affront to humanity on both sides.

This seems like an instance of bad decisions all around. I understand why the mom changed the baby at the table. A four-month-old’s poop isn’t really so bad and can be cleaned up in a minute. But it still doesn’t seem like the best course of action.

On the flip side, the restaurant didn’t have to kick them out, as the deed was already done by that point. I would think that a family-friendly pizza place should have a change table, but changing facilities are not a legal requirement in the US or Canada.

I’ve been to many restaurants without changing facilities and I’ve changed my kids’ diapers on bathroom floors, and done more car trunk changes than I can count. While I have never changed a diaper at a restaurant table, I admit to doing a change on an airline seat when my baby was just a few weeks old and I didn’t want to wait for the post-movie lineup.

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Many men’s washrooms don’t have changing tables and I know my husband has also had to be creative when out with the kids alone. He got very good at the “standing change” when the kids were toddlers.

In a perfect world, all restaurants would have (clean) changing tables in both men’s and women’s washrooms. And not all bad decisions would end up going viral on the Internet.

What are some of the strangest places you have had to do a diaper change?

Emma Waverman is a writer, blogger and mom to three kids. She has many opinions, some of them are fit to print. Read more of her articles here and follow her on Twitter @emmawaverman.

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