Hawaii is a very kid-friendly place. We have been able to take Ikaika just about everywhere with us; the movies, the golf course, fine dining restraunts, etc. I've been so spoiled by this freedom that I no longer even stop to question the venue - I just pack up the baby and head out into the night.
Then came the ill-fated Karaoke Night incident of the holidays.
As I mentioned earlier, my good friend from high school and her husband were travelling through Big Island during Christmastime so we spent the holidays together and had four days of rip roarin' fun. One evening, we all decided it would be fun to sing karaoke at Sansei's in the Queen's Market Place (Waikoloa). Our neighbor is a bartender there and had often invited us to come and check it out. Even though we have eaten there before, we had never sung there before and the fact that the menu is half off during karaoke certainly upped the ante. Since every one of the four of us has the personality willing to sing in front of a crowd, we headed down on Saturday night.
Of course, we brought Ikaika. It was 11pm and he was sleeping anyway so I figured I would just throw him in his Ergo Baby Carrier and he would snooze through the rest of the night like he usually does when we go to parties. Turns out we forgot the Ergo, but I was able to stuff him into Carrie's sweater and that seemed to do the trick. We (excluding me since I was D.D.) enjoyed one last beer in the parking lot and headed for the music.
We got up to the door and...what is this?...there was a bouncer?! Surely he's not a real bouncer! He probably just takes cover charge. Wait, is there a cover?
Mr A asks "Is Craig (neighbor) working tonight?"
Big Guy, "yeah, he's behind the bar"
We take a step towards the door.
Big Guy, "But you can't go in with the baby..."
Gasp followed by confused expression.
Big Guy, "uhh...its a nightclub!"
So Mr A went inside to talk with our neighbor as my friends and I sulked back to the car. How could they do this to us? Even if it is a "nightclub", IT'S HAWAII!!! My initial reaction was rejection followed shortly by embarrassment. Am I really that lady who is trying to bring her baby into a bar? And, to make matters worse, am I really that lady who is actually confused as to why she can't do it?!
Mr A got the scoop from Craig and it turns out there have been some fights there lately (are people here really that serious about their karaoke?) so the managers said a baby would be a liability. They kindly offered to let us sit in a back dining room but then we wouldn't have been able to sing so we mutually decided to head back home and watch a movie instead.
The whole incident made me realize two things. One, I feel entitled to take my kid with me everywhere I go. I am downright offended if Ikaika is not welcome no matter what the circumstances are. Two, there are so few bars or nightclubs on this island, especially in Kohala (most bars are in conjunction with a restaurant), that I had completely stopped considering anything to fall under that category.