This weekend I surprised my husband with a trip to New Orleans. I combined fathers day and his birthday present, booked us a room on Bourbon street, and managed to get someone to watch the kids this weekend. Two someones actually, thanks to my babysitter and my mother in law. If you know how hard it is to get someone to watch your kids that you trust, I am sure you can totally appreciate how hard it was to get set up. I am an awesomesauce wife.
My spouse took a half a day on Friday and we headed out to New Orleans for a ‘parents only’ trip. A much needed parents only trip I might add. I swear we only go out of town so we can sleep in. I have decided that all future presents in this house will consist of a hotel room gift to one another.
“Here honey, I booked you the Holiday Inn. See you in the morning.”
We stayed at Royal Sonesta and our room faced Bourbon street. The room was quaint, although I could have dealt without the freaking small full sized bed in there. By 4am and the screaming and hollering had not died down yet outside our window (which was right outside Ricks Cabaret), I asked to be moved to a quieter location the next night. Thankfully there was a room open then and we were moved to a King sized, court facing room. Soooooooooo much better.
New Orleans lived up to its insanity hype as usual. We watched a ton of people dance like crap, lots of strippers on the street, people doing things they would never want to be seen doing, drunks, crack cocaine, lots and lots of marijuana, and police trying to run you down with massive horses…we even saw a guy die outside one of the clubs.
EMT was trying their best, but ugg…it was awful.
No place for kids, right?
Um. Apparently wrong.
We saw a TON of kids, all hours of the night and day on Bourbon. Kids that were of an age to understand nudity, debauchery, and sex shows. Kids that were also so young, in STROLLERS, with moms and dads drinking alcoholic beverages while little ones rubbed their eyes and cried. Kids at midnight hanging on the streets. I saw two kids around the ages of 2 and 3, sitting on the street against the wall of a club while what I presume to be their parents stood there drinking.
I guess I don’t get it.
I don’t get the need to head out so badly to have a drink and party and think its OK to bring your kids along. To have the need and desire so badly that your 9 and 10 year old sons hanging out in front of strip joints becomes acceptable, where pictures of sex acts on the walls are commonplace and where the mere name “Bourbon street” defines blocks and blocks of an adult only venue. Had I not found a sitter for my husband and I, I would have not planned a weekend. Or rather, I would have planned a family friendly place that we could all enjoy together and the kids could go to bed on time.
I saw one kid, he had to be about 9-11 range, being drug away by his mom down the street while his head was craned backwards looking at women in thongs up on the Hustler balcony.
Am I looking at this wrong?
Are parents entitled to fun and the kids just have to come along or are the parents wrong in going without thinking about the well being of their children?
Do you drag your kids to places like this?