I struggled with whether or not to blog about this, but after everyone (including my DAD) encouraged me to do so, I thought I'd take their heed.
Let me preface this story that while I am one of those people who brings my baby with me most everywhere I go, partly because I feed on demand and partly because I go back to work in a month and I will MISS him, I am not one of those people who thinks everyone needs to admire my precious baby. I think he is sweet, but if he cries or is disruptive in an inappropriate situation, I will absolutely remove myself from that situation. In fact, when I received an invitation to a friend's shower that stated no children, please, I RSVPd and said I couldn't make it because I couldn't leave Tommy. The sweet girl organizing the shower wrote back immediately and assured me that it would be fine for me to bring him, they just didn't want a lot of loud toddlers. And as the mother of a loud toddler, BOY DO I GET THAT. Anyway, the point is, I try to be appropriate, got it?
A week ago, I went to a new salon/spa to get my eyebrows waxed. I'd never been to this place before, but a girl I've known for most of my life works there and so, I wanted to throw her some business. I brought Tommy with me and everyone aww'd over how sweet he was. He was awake the whole time, but spent all of it smiling and being cute. As a new customer, I received a coupon for $15 off a service, so I made an appointment for a pedicure this week. Since I'm on maternity leave, I don't really have much money to spend on myself, so the $15 off made me able to squeeze it in my budget.
I arrived with Tommy, who was fast asleep, and my friend took me to the back to a separate pedicure room. I settled in with my feet in the water, selecting a polish color, when my friend left the room. She came back in and told me that, actually, she couldn't do my pedicure. I thought that maybe she was accidentally double booked, until she told me that she was informed that babies were not allowed in the pedicure room because it could be a disturbance. I could tell she was uncomfortable having to tell me this. I said, Oh. and apologized, explaining that Tommy is so good and quiet that I don't usually think twice about bringing me with him, especially since I'd had him in the salon just the week prior. She apologized saying she would've told me if she'd known, but she had no idea this was a rule, either. She did do a quick polish change for me, which was sweet of her, but let's be honest... I can easily paint my own toes at home. If I drive 25 minutes to a salon, it's because I desperately need some pampering.
As I left the salon, blinking back tears with my baby who was still fast asleep, I looked around, noting absolutely no signs stating that children were not allowed. I saw several saying that cell phones should be turned off. When I arrived home, I checked the site, seeing nothing on there stating no children, either, until I dug about four pages in where it said "children under 15 by appointment only", so I will certainly take the blame for not looking deeper into the site, as I didn't even think to check the site before going (and honestly, that statement is pretty ambiguous... so I can take a two year old with me if I've made an appointment?). I did Google salon+no children and came up with many salons who list on the main page of their website that no children are allowed. I have absolutely no problem with this rule AT ALL and understand it, especially because I would never dream of bringing Luke to a salon. Now, I also understand that as a private business, they can make some rules as they see fit, but I was so blindsided by this and felt it poor business practice in many ways.
First, I had him with me the week prior and nothing was said then, nor was anything said when I made the appointment. If this is a hard and fast rule, when I scheduled my appointment, why didn't the receptionist say, "I notice you brought your baby today, just a heads up, we don't allow babies in the pedicure area."? Second, once I was there WITH MY FEET IN THE WATER, couldn't someone have just said, "Hey, we don't normally allow babies back here, but since no one told you, we'll go ahead and do your pedicure today, just please take him out in the lobby if he begins to cry."? In that I've been to many salons and seen women with children of various ages, I find it hard to believe that I am the first person to ever bring a baby with me. In fact, the salon where I get my hair cut is extremely baby and breastfeeding friendly (they do not do pedicures, sadly). In the end, I just do not understand why it is not stated explicitly on the website, why it is not in the salon, and why no one seemed aware of it, yet it is such a hard and fast rule that I had to leave.
Truthfully, I was embarrassed. I felt awkward, I felt stupid, and I felt confused. Is it the end of the world that I was turned away from my pedicure appointment? Oh my, NO, I am not silly enough to think that this matters at all in the grand scheme of life. But I am disappointed in myself not saying something there, for just walking out and crying in my car. I felt like I was in a bad position because I didn't want to cause trouble for a friend, knowing it wasn't her fault at all, but at the same time, I also feel I was treated poorly, perhaps unfairly, and it bothers me. Since this experience, though, I've talked to several people who have also had bad experiences at this particular salon, so I suppose it's reflective of the owner, not of my choice to bring my baby with me. Again, please do not think I would begrudge a salon/spa for having a no children rule. I do not at all, but as not all places are the same, if a place does have this rule, it needs to be explicitly stated somewhere. The sad thing is that I had planned on asking Shane for a gift certificate for Valentine's Day, but now? I'll be taking my business elsewhere.