AITA for my kid crying and annoying a dog owner?
I went out to eat on a patio with my 10-month-old and wife. We got seated at a table next to a guy who brought his dog. It's medium-sized, not sure what breed. It's a few minutes, all is well, we get our drinks and order our food. Another guy with a dog shows up. The dog barks/growls at him. The guy gets his dog to be quiet. The other dog doesn't react at all.
We aren't a dog family. We chose this spot because the weather was great and the food/drinks are good. The presence of a dog doesn't bother me, but I'm not going to willingly interact with them. My kid has minimal experience around dogs. That's for his safety. The barking/growling however, caused my 10-month-old to start crying. It freaked him out. My wife is consoling him.
Its maybe 30 seconds and the other guy tells us maybe we should take him away. I see no reason to do that and I tell him he'll be fine in a few minutes. My kid however isn't calming down as quick as we hoped. The guy pipes up again and says my crying kid is ruining his meal. I flip out, tell him to shut the f**k up and blame his dog for why my kid is crying.
He tells me if I can't handle my kid I shouldn't be going out to eat. I tell him this whole thing is entirely his fault for bringing his sh**ty dog out. He calls me an a**hole and calls the waitress over to complain. My wife and I decide to leave cash and get out of there. Was I in the wrong here?
ESH - you both overreacted. Children cry, it happens. He shouldn’t have made that comment and you went completely nuclear in him. My advice to you is to get your child familiar with dogs. He will go to friends’ homes with dogs. People now bring their dogs everywhere. He needs to know how to feel comfortable around them.
Just because people decide it’s a good idea to bring their dogs everywhere doesn’t mean it’s a dog world. Humans still remain the #1 priority and a literal baby shouldn’t have to be behaviourally trained to get used to something that they don’t NEED to interact with in the first place.
ESH. His dog disrupted people’s meals. Your child disrupted people’s (besides this guy’s) meals. It is not reasonable to expect people to put up with 30 seconds or “a few minutes” of your baby’s crying. It’s obviously not your fault the baby is crying, babies just do that but that’s why people hire babysitters or walk their kids outside away from other diners when they start getting fussy.
Also choosing to engage and escalate with some stranger with temper problems while your 10-month-old around isn’t great.
NTA, My dogs are my kids, and if mine made a noise to make a child cry, I would have been so apologetic. I definitely would not have acted as this guy did. (But I also have never taken my dogs anywhere like a restaurant).
NTA. Most people should expect to encounter a child at a restaurant. Especially if it's day time hours. Kids and babies cry sometimes (shocking I know). Now, dogs are also welcome at patio's, but the guy who's dog is reactive to other dogs probably should know that and not take him in public.
Telling parents who are actively trying to soothe their child, that the crying is being an a**hole. Like if it was sustained crying for minutes, or the parents weren't even trying to calm the kid, but that doesn't sound like the case. Now you did escalate the encounter, but eh, he was an a**hole and it shouldn't have caused you to leave.
YTA, my man. I sympathize with you, your wife, and your kid (dogs barking and snarling at each other can be anxiety-inducing at any age), and I'm sure dealing with a small child is hard, however, you were not at a private place in a private environment, like your home.
You were in a public place where a bunch of people completely separate from your family also wanted to go out and enjoy a meal in the nice weather. You had the ability to step away with your kid and let others around you go back to enjoying their experience. Not doing it is definitely AH behavior.
You also escalated the situation with the guy who had a right to voice his feelings as you were probably ruining his meal and you insulted his dog. Definitely AH behavior as well. All of that unpleasantness could have been avoided by just stepping away for a second with your kid.
NTA - The baby got scared, it happens. A lot of people think that whenever a baby cries it needs to be removed immediately, which is not always possible and, in my opinion, a really strange expectation to have.
Babies are allowed in public spaces, and they’re going to cry from time to time. I don’t think it’s going to ruin anyone’s meal to hear a few minutes of crying. The dog owner was unnecessarily rude.
ESH. This sounds like a “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” situation to me. Dogs and children can be about equally disruptive to others in a restaurant or bar (mainly breweries who seem to embrace allowing both to be there).
It seems hypocritical to complain about the other if your animal or child is causing a commotion. Just be glad the establishment allows you to bring either and do your best to keep them under control and quiet.
The topic of babies and dogs is always a heated one, so it's hardly surprising people are massively divided on this.