I am friends with a couple that recently had a baby. I love seeing the couple, and I love seeing the baby, but sometimes when I make plans with them they insist on bringing the baby along - even when it seems inappropriate, like to an R-rated movie. I still want to hang out with them, and with the baby, but the last thing I want is to plan to meet them at a bar and have the baby show up. Help!

2004_12_askbaby.jpgA lot of people who have recently had children seem to think "Our lives haven't changed at all! We can just bring the baby anywhere we go!" We are by no means anti-kid, but this is simply not true. It is perfectly appropriate to bring a baby to a child-friendly restaurant (hint: you've seen a toy box or high chairs there) or to a G-rated matinee movie. But we think the line has been crossed when a baby is at a small, crowded, upscale restaurant or an R-rated movie. We saw the film Bad Education recently (which we enjoyed, by the way) and there was a baby in the audience! Ask Gothamist thought it was rather strange of the parents to bring a baby to a movie about pedophile priests and transsexual junkies.

Next time you make plans with your friends, be clear about the type of place you're going and your expectations of who will join in the fun. Try saying something like, "It doesn't sound kid-friendly, so I hope you can get a baby-sitter." If they indicate that there are no plans to hire a sitter, offer to visit them at their house (or invite them to yours) instead. You can say something along the lines of, "Why don't I rent a video and bring over some wine instead?"