Monday, June 30, 2008

Diaper decks in Restaurants and other businesses

Well I've already ranted about how not family friendly many places can be regarding diaper decks etc. So I've decided to take it one step farther and start a list of the good and the bad. As I think about it, very few restaurants actually have diaper decks. Many restaurants have kids' menus or child-friendly menu choices, but very few actually have a place to change a diaper.
Bueno y Sano has kid's tacos, and smaller portions for those who want them, but no diaper deck in either of their restaurants. La Veracruzana doesn't have them either, and when I used their bathroom in Amherst it was gross. It was in the basement and the floor was unfinished shall we say, dirty and disgusting. I wasn't even willing to put the changing pad on the floor in there. I took my daughter back upstairs and my husband found a nearby restaurant or park bench to put her fresh diaper on. Pete's Seafood is a fun place to go. Even though my kid doesn't eat fish, she will eat a hot dog and fries there, but no diaper deck. High chairs, and booster seats, but no diaper deck. Burger King doesn't have a diaper deck or booster seats. Most of the Wendy's around here are closed, but the one in Hadley does not have a diaper deck. Guess who gets our business folks? McDonald's. McDonald's wins because they are the only ones with a diaper deck. When we go out for Chinese food, our favorite Chinese place does not have a diaper deck. I either have to go to the grocery store next door, or use the floor. That's too bad because they are really nice about setting us up with beginner's chopsticks when we eat-in. Usually we just get take-out though or my husband will get delivery when he is at a friend's house on Saturday nights. Atkins Farm Stand has a diaper deck, but I'm not sure if they are really a restaurant, they are really a grocery store that happens to have a place to eat. You buy your food from the deli or the bakery and then sit down if you want. I'll add them to the good guy list anyway. I'll be adding to this list again soon, as I persuade my husband to go to restaurants we don't normally frequent just so I can do my research for this list.
As I've said in other posts, most stores, department stores anyway, do have diaper decks. Home Depot stands out for having a family restroom, as does Target. Babies R Us has a mother's room for nursing and diaper changes, some Walmarts have family restrooms, some don't. Staples at least has a diaper deck I think, but it's been a while since I've been in there so I'm not sure. BJ's has a diaper deck in the handicap stall. Etc.

dogs in Shutesbury

Had another problem with uncontrolled dogs on Friday. Abby decided that she wanted to go for a walk when we picked her up from daycare. I knew it was too far to walk all the way home, but I figured she might last 15 minutes or so. So I told my husband to take the car and come back for us, and I told him what route we'd take. So we started off down the road. We got a little way and dd started to get tired (sooner than I expected) so I started to carry her, then she wanted down again. Up, down, up, down etc. We saw another lady walking too, coming towards us. As the other lady approached a house a few feet in front of us two dogs ran out after her. Then the dogs saw us, and one of them bolted right toward dd and I. These were BIG dogs. The dogs' owner was outside, and I was yelling "GET YOUR DOG AWAY FROM MY CHILD" repeatedly. I picked up Abby and started to move away as fast as I could but the dog still caught up to us before the lady removed her animal. I was so ticked off. The other lady walking saw the whole thing and made the lady catch up to me (after she put her dogs inside) and apologize. The lady had an excuse- just got back from vacation, bringing in the suitcases, dogs got out by accident, but I really didn't care. I am so sick of people letting their dogs run free. We should be able to go for a walk and not have to worry about being chased by dogs. After the owner went home, the walking lady walked with me back to daycare. I had already called my husband before we ran into the dogs to tell him to come back and get Abby and I, but he hadn't gotten us yet. So we went back to daycare, got the book that Abby had forgotten, and waited for my husband there. I apologized to daycare because they were trying to start their weekend (they were eating dinner etc), and they were really nice. They offered us a ride home, but I knew my husband was on his way. I got the name of the dog owner, but honestly I'm not going to do anything. Maybe the other lady who was walking will. She said she keeps a log of dog attacks etc, because she goes walking every day and has to deal with it all the time. It's just so frustrating.

That night Abby had nightmares of course. So no one got much sleep. I felt so bad for her. All we wanted to do was go for a walk. That should be allowed. The dogs were big enough that they could have knocked me down, and were bigger than Abby by a long shot. The owner says they are friendly, but it doesn't matter. Big, jumping, and coming after us.. scary.

It's summer now, and we live in a neighborhood with lots of summer-only residents. Summer means increased vehicle traffic on our street, and an increase in dogs in the neighborhood. I am starting to think we won't be able to go for walks in our own neighborhood until summer is over. It's too bad we can't go for a walk in daycare's neighborhood either.