Matt is raising a LUSH!

March 2nd, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  139 Comments

Photo by Kirk Jones (

Photo by Kirk Jones (

And CNN has the fricking goods on him. For shame, Dadwagon Matt. Such a lovely child, too!

If you have come over here from, welcome to DadWagon. We’ve been fearlessly covering the babies-in-bars controversy forever (or at least for a few weeks). World Famous Writer Matt Gross, pictured above with his lil’ Lush, chided the NY Post for its breathless tone on the issue, while the Moderately Famous Nathan Thornburgh opined that babies in bars might keep adults from getting laid. Christopher Bonanos was reasonable: just have a baby-friendly happy hour, while Theodore Ross (who no one has heard of anywhere) might have already been drunk, because he ended up talking about Neo-Nazis having sex.

Fortunately, we posted a poll so that you can tell us if we’re all crazy.

There are actually lots of arguments over here: the four of us have disagreed on raising geeks, whether sleep training is evil, and whether birthing classes are a Wicca conspiracy. Also controversial: sending young kids to private school, letting little boys have glamrock hairdos or watch too much TV, and whether parents should turn their criminal kids over to the cops.

We also have the good interviews: with Marxist professors, Filipino rappers, and today, with tech blogger/sexual abuse survivor Joel Johnson.

As much as we adore (corporate cousin to Nathan’s erstwhile employers), we hope to see you around here a bit as well.


  1. Accidents says:

    March 3rd, 2010at 9:45 pm(#)

    Wow. Seriously? Mob-Internet-Justice is a SCARY thing to behold. For the record, y’all look charming to me, Matt and Sasha. And I’ll pour out some champagne for you next time I’m in a bar and not worrying about the fury of the Internet descending upon me.

    Thankfully I live in rational Wisconsin where children aren’t just allowed in bars with their parents, they are allowed to drink with them.

    From the Wisconsin Department of Revenue website: “Yes. Persons under age 21 may be on licensed premises, and can be sold and allowed to drink alcohol beverages, if they are with their parents, guardians, or spouses, as long as those persons are of legal drinking age; but this is at the discretion of the licensee.”

    Of course, it’s at the discretion of the bar–and that’s where I think it should be left. I occasionally go to a few bars, in the daytime, where I know the owners, with my kid (one of them is run by my baby daddy, so I guess that might not be the best example). I wouldn’t go to a bar during a high traffic time, and I wouldn’t go to a bar where I hadn’t already determined it would be acceptable to staff and clientele (or to most of the clientele–there’s no accounting for…well..we all know crotchfruit is an *acquired* taste).

    Anyway, go DadWagoners for fearlessly accepting all the heat!

  2. Danny Hein says:

    March 3rd, 2010at 9:54 pm(#)

    So is it cool if I drink at the play ground? Sweet!

  3. fucknewyorkcity says:

    March 4th, 2010at 12:14 am(#)

    fuck cnn. fuck matt. fuck this meme. meta-assholes.

  4. noah says:

    March 4th, 2010at 12:42 am(#)

    When I want to relax, have a drink and discuss events after a long day at work, the last thing I want to see is a bunch of toddlers and babies running around. It stresses me out to be somewhere that is meant to be child free and have to be confronted with a screaming, shitting kids. I love how parents are saying how selfish everyone else is…no, you are selfish. You are selfish when you take your kids to a nice restaurant night and let them scream, cry and run around, you are selfish when you take your kids to rated R movies and then walk out half way through saying ” this movie isn’t for you!” to the kid, you are selfish when you make your poor kid sit with you in a cafe when the kid is obviously not entertained, you are the selfish entitled bastards who have no sympathy for anyone else in the world besides yourself and your band of hipster parents. And as for the Euros who say “chill” I am half British and tell me how awesome is it to be in a pub when a group of chav children come in? Lovely innit?

    Someone earlier left this comment and I think it sums up this whole argument quite well…” NO ONE LIKES YOUR BABY. GO HOME. FUCK YOU.”

  5. Nathan says:

    March 4th, 2010at 6:18 am(#)

    @Meghan Ah, yes–being 15 makes more sense. And congratulations for having found a cheap childcare solution. You and the girl should move to NYC and make your fortune. It’s very possible that our babysitter will make more money than me this year. But that’s because I… blog.
    @Psych O. Totally, Europe does not seem to have these anger issues.
    @Kristin Canada does still have some haters, apparently, which makes your comment all the more welcome. And, of course, congratulations on Sidney Crosby’s Canadianness.
    @JohnnyRotten So funny! So true!
    @Sean Thanks for the vote for Sasha. She’s taken a lot of hits this week. Thank goodness she can’t read.
    @Accidents You can really drink with your parents in Wisconsin if you’re under 21? You guys really are Germans up there, aren’t you? We’ll have to visit sometime. Meanwhile, if you’re not a bile-spewer, visit @Accidents’ blog. It’s really good.

  6. Pat says:

    March 4th, 2010at 9:29 am(#)

    I think I’ll apply to be an editor at this site. Let me make my first submission by responding to those on this thread.

    @PeopleWhoWithAgreeMe — So true! You guys are great, we really, really, love you!! And yes, Sasha is as wonderful as she looks, and really does have the intelligence of your average brain surgeon.

    @RudeDissenters — It’s a shame that you are so repressed, and you really need to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol, especially those of you who don’t drink. You have no idea what it’s like in Europe, where there are so much more enlightened.
    Okay, I apparantly don’t know what they’re like either, but I’ll keep using them as a beacon anyway.

    @PeopleWithThoughtfulPointsWorthDiscussion — Um, I got nothin’……

    Okay, I expect my first check in the mail later today.

  7. Theodore says:

    March 4th, 2010at 9:35 am(#)

    Pat–I’m fine with paying you what we’re getting–bubkis. Actually, I’m not fine with that.


  8. Nathan says:

    March 4th, 2010at 11:13 am(#)

    Hi Pat! Nice to see you’re still on here (you did promise before, though, not to be–does “First and last time visitor here” ring a bell?) Well, since you decided to stick around, let me address your “thoughtful points worth discussing” on an individual basis, though you may have already read my thoughts in comments #3, #53, #57, and #83.

    To repeat, I don’t necessarily disagree that taking a baby to a bar is a selfish act. But without knowing too much about how you’ve handled your 8 years of a SAHD (congratulations, by the way, that is honestly impressive), I think that parents are allowed to do a selfish act every once in a while. Not everything in life, not all 24 hours in a day, needs to be completely baby appropriate and baby-centered. Matt, I’m sure, does mostly baby-friendly things during the day. And he goes to local coffee shops as well I’m sure. But sometimes you want a beer, and it’s not gonna kill the kid to tag along with you while you get one.

    My wife, who has been watching all this with amusement (I think she wishes I was more hipster than I actually am), pointed out that the objections are coming in two forms: 1) that it’s bad for the baby and 2) that it’s bad for the bar. Both seem to her like they would only be true if the dad was in the bar CONSTANTLY and it was a bar whose owners or patrons didn’t want babies. But in moderation, at the right bar, does it really make for bad parenting?

    Anyhow, that’s my thought. I would be glad to see you back here (we are in the same tribe after all), but if you must go forth and leave the DadWagon, then good luck and godspeed, Pat.

  9. Pat says:

    March 4th, 2010at 10:03 pm(#)

    Oh well, so I ended up back for some follow-ups. Didn’t expect it, but so be it.

    I agree, life does not need to be baby-centered 24 hours a day. But that doesn’t make it a good idea for babies to be in bars.

    I agree, sometimes you want a beer during the day. But that doesn’t make it a good idea for babies to be in bars.

    I agree, it probably won’t kill a kid to be in a bar. But that doesn’t make it a good idea for babies to be in bars.

    You get the point. And there are many things that won’t “kill” kids that are not particularly good ideas. To each one’s own, but I have my own ideas about certain things that make for “good” or “bad” parenting, as does everyone, and that falls on one side to me. To some others, it doesn’t.

    There are many solutions to the issue of “wanting a beer” and I’ve dealt with them myself without going to a bar, perhaps because it isn’t legal here so it never occurred to me. But I would liken it to “wanting to see a movie” that interested me. Would I bring a baby to one? No, not unless it was one of those parent/kid shows. I don’t think it’s a good atmosphere for the kid, nor for the others in the theatre, so I would abstain until a more appropriate time — after I got a sitter, trading free kid-watching with another parent, or waited to watch a DVD when the kid is asleep.

    In sum, some adult-oriented interests can be satisfied while still being fine for the kid. Others, not. I can live with that.

  10. Dustin Thacker says:

    March 6th, 2010at 11:02 am(#)

    Yeah the CNN article sparked a huge argument with an old HS classmate on Facebook. here is a link to the whole thing (in reverse chronological order – so start at the bottom).

    Oh yeah, and here is my son and I enjoying a Smithwick’s…

  11. Dustin Thacker says:

    March 6th, 2010at 1:32 pm(#)

    Got a baby? Had him/her in a bar recently? Submit your photo here…

  12. Nathan says:

    March 6th, 2010at 1:41 pm(#)

    Dustin–wow, that seemed to get pretty personal there. Always makes
    or fun reading. And I never actually bothered to look up the law like you did–very interesting that any accompanied kid under 16 has to be let in. Thanks for sending the link.

  13. Tammy says:

    March 8th, 2010at 2:25 am(#)

    I was about to post a long comment, but then realized that Kristin has already said everything I wanted to say. Though perhaps I should add that, because I live in Vancouver and not Toronto, my children are more likely to see drunkenness, obscenity *and* open heroin use in a public place than in a bar. It sure would be nice if people could get this riled up over that issue.

    It’s too bad that so many people here seem to dislike children. Most kids are pretty sweet, despite the occasional fits of screaming and poopiness. Also, some day they’re going to be in charge of our feeding tubes. Might be a good idea to cultivate their favour while we can.

  14. Teacher says:

    March 8th, 2010at 3:29 pm(#)

    I am a teacher. I got a master’s degree so I could make peanuts to teach your children, and when they fail to work or show up or even sign their name on the blank standardized test forms they hand in, I get blamed. I drink to forget your kids. Leave them at home.

  15. Theodore says:

    March 8th, 2010at 3:52 pm(#)

    You are a teacher. Whose comment reads as if you’ve forgotten how to write. Because you are drinking.

  16. JessieVT says:

    March 9th, 2010at 9:37 am(#)

    Wow. Thanks for the Tuesday morning laugh! Dadwagon you ROCK. Time to get back to SAHMdom.

    P.S. Been there. Done that. It’s ok.

  17. nyc/caribbean ragazza says:

    March 9th, 2010at 12:45 pm(#)

    Wow. I’m blown away by the anger and name throwing on this thread.

    One of my good friends had a baby. Her husband travels a lot. Most of the time one of her relatives will watch the baby while she finishes an assignment (she freelances).

    Sometimes we will meet for an early drink and nobody cares. This could be because we live in Rome. I don’t even noticed the strollers anymore when we have aperitivos at an outdoor cafe.

    I see babies and children in restaurants all the time.

    Children here are not special snowflakes nor are they despised. They are just part of a big family unit.

    As a single person without kids I don’t see as big a divide here between people with kids and people without.

    Of course parents who bring a young child to a Rated-R movie are wrong. Going to a local pub/bar for a beer, glass of wine or cocktail in the early evening? I really don’t get why this would be big deal.

  18. Tamara says:

    March 13th, 2010at 8:11 pm(#)

    This is ridiculous.

    What are bars?
    Places where +21 year old adults go to:
    Find members of the opposite sex
    Hang out with their friends.

    What aren’t bars?
    Appropriate places for children to be, period. There’s data on children who watch their parents drink and their behaviors, just like there’s data on children who watch their parents smoke, etc.

    How can you justify this? What kind of self-centered idiot takes their kid to a bar? How old is your kid going to be before you STOP taking him/her? And when they’re 12/13 and get caught with their friends drinking, who is to blame?

    Just because you want to get a drink doesn’t entitle you to this attention-whoring, probably detrimental and DEFINITELY amoral behavior. The guy making out with his girlfriend as she rubs his crotch behind you, the bartender with forty tattoos and needle marks, the people in the corner doing their drug deal, seriously, does your kid need to be exposed to that?

    This is douchebaggery at its finest. Go get a job, one where you can afford to get a babysitter–and take yourself out without your kid. It’s just *wrong*. “I’m going to save money by not getting a babysitter and drinking in an inappropriate environment for my child to be in!”

    Seriously, grow up.

  19. stormsweeper says:

    March 15th, 2010at 10:43 am(#)

    Jesus H. Christ, Tamara, you need to find nicer places to drink.

  20. Bizarro Ward says:

    March 16th, 2010at 12:32 am(#)

    Hey tamara,
    What bar are you hanging out in? I’d definitely get a babysitter so I could check out some of that crotch rubbin’. I would love to know the history behind those forty tattoos the bartender has as well.
    Unfortunately, Matt seems to have gone to some boring local bar to have a beer before all those characters came out of the woodworks.

  21. zod says:

    March 20th, 2010at 6:12 am(#)

    Love this.

    Last year, my daughter (2yrs old) & I attempted to make a purchase for Mother’s Day in a “sex” shop.

    We were not allowed into the store — the employees were far to firm about the age restriction.

    Bars are much easier.

    Though, having just returned to the states from Japan with both her and her younger sister: without a seat, taxis are harder to get into than either a sex shop or a bar!?!!


  22. hanafi says:

    April 15th, 2010at 1:51 am(#)

    cute baby.. :)


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