Restaurant Gives Mom The Boot After She Changes Baby At Table

A mom in Texas claims that a local pizza restaurant overreacted when it asked her and her kids to leave because she had changed her baby’s diaper on a table, but the eatery’s owners are sticking by their decision.

The mom tells KHOU-TV that she’d gone into the bathroom at the restaurant to change the baby but found no changing table. So rather than take the baby and her two other children, ages 4 and 8, back to the minivan to do the changing, she used their table as a last resort.

“I’ve got my own changing pad, she’s tiny, she fits right here on the chair,” she explains to KHOU. “So I laid her down quickly and quietly changed her diaper.”

The mom claims that no one actually saw her changing the diaper, but employees tell the station a different version of the story. They says the process did not go quickly and that customers were complaining. One diner even texted a manager to gripe about the scene.

“I don’t want to lose all these other customers because they see a dirty diaper,” explains one employee.

The manager says that, “As soon as you start opening the diaper, people start complaining about the smell… Last thing I want is a customer throwing up.”

The family did get their food, but it was given to them in to-go containers.

Meanwhile, the restaurant says it is considering adding changing tables to the restrooms.

[via Eater]

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  1. CzarChasm says:

    Yea, that’s kind of gross. And you may have gotten used to the smell of baby poop, but I’m sure not everyone has. Just because the alternative (going back to the van) is not convenient for you, that does not mean you should feel ok inconveniencing other people around you.

  2. ResNullum says:

    Aside from the smell, what are the odds the tables and seats are cleaned with antibacterial spray and not just water?

  3. Terryc says:

    I have to agree. She should have been asked to leave. Worst case for her if she had a changing pad change the child on the bathroom floor. If it’s just too much to go outside. I have children & grandchildren but sorry it would totally gross me out someone changing a diaper on the table while I was eating.

  4. Pacer says:

    Not a good thing to put diapers where food is involved. I was in a supermarket checkout line behind a young couple with a toddler in a wet diaper. They put him on the conveyor belt so the cashier could give him a little “ride” and they all thought it was very funny. I didn’t especially, since I was supposed to put my groceries on that same conveyor belt. I mentioned it to the cashier and she got pretty huffy. I went to a different checkout line and also mentioned it to the manager. Don’t know if he talked to the cashier or not.

  5. SingleMaltGeek says:

    Yeah, I’m usually on the side of cutting a non-negligent parent some slack, but the fact that the restaurant is realizing that maybe they should have changing tables makes me think that they’re probably pretty reasonable.

  6. oomingmak says:

    There are so many better options for changing a diaper than doing it right on your table which is rude and inconsiderate to other diners. The mom is clearly in the wrong. I’ve got to side with the restaurant in this case.

  7. GoldHillDave says:

    Sorry, but I’m with the restaurant on this one.

  8. mzmoose says:

    Yep. I love kids, and many of my friends have ’em. But if a friend of mine tried to change their child at the table at a restaurant, they would no longer be my friend. That’s just disgusting.

    Changing tables are a convenience for customers and not some sort of requirement. It’s nice when places have them – but when they do, they often only put them in the women’s restroom, which is absurd. I’m all for encouraging restaurants to put in changing tables, but they need to remember that dads change diapers, too.

  9. furiousd says:

    I’m seeing some parallels between this type of need for infants and the polarizing issue of public breastfeeding. Most people I’ve talked to about the breastfeeding issue seem to be on one side or the other without seeing anything of merit in the opposing view. Both diaper changes and feeding are inevitable necessities of life with an infant, and yet based on the comments here it seems no one sides with the mother and see things the way the business did with regard to the public diaper change. I too agree with the manager’s decision, and I propose that the underlying issue of both is the reasonable expectations people have in shared use of public space.

    When I go to a restaurant, or shopping in the mall, I have what I consider a reasonable expectation to not turn a corner and see a mother changing her infant in the aisle between sportswear and shoes (or anywhere else). I consider it to be just as valid a claim to not see an exposed breast in the same situation. Both instances involve natural processes that are simply undertaken to meet the developmental needs of the child, and both are things that I don’t want to see in public.

    In some countries it’s common that people to take care of natural personal waste removal processes in the gutters on the side of the street. In our culture that’s not acceptable and I wish that some general concession on the matter would lead the general populace to respect others’ use of public space rather than deciding that since it’s a place of public accommodation they’re able to do as they please without regard to the rights and desires of others. I hope that if this mother pursues legal action that an appropriate precedent is set.

    • mzmoose says:

      Friend, you have completely missed the point. The problem with changing a diaper in a place such as a restaurant table [or even the floor of a store] is not one of wanting to “see it.” It is about the health of others. Body waste contains organisms that can cause serious illness. These are not things that you want in or near your food, or on your clothing (shoes?) that you then might track around and later touch.

      When a woman breastfeeds a baby there is no such health danger. Breastmilk does not contain toxic organisms, obviously enough. And if you’ve so sexualized breasts that you cannot remember that their original purpose is the feeding of infants, and think that something as natural as feeding a child should be “hidden,” then I can only feel sorry for you.

  10. ReverendTed57 says:

    As a parent of an infant, there would have to be some pretty spectacular circumstances before I’d consider changing my child on a restaurant table. It’s disruptive and unsanitary. I do not begrudge the restaurant asking her to leave.
    I can’t read the woman’s mind, but I wonder if this might have been a form of impromptu protest over the lack of changing tables in the bathrooms.