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Parent Claps Back After Elderly Woman Scolds Them For Having Noisy Baby At Outdoor Restaurant

Family outing with two parents and a baby sitting a picnic table.
Brothers91 / Getty Images

Babies are adorable and joyous little creatures, just figuring out the world as it becomes evident to them.

They can, however, be very noisy while doing so.

Burbling and belching and crying and clapping get very distracting, and parents tend to learn how to tune out a lot of these baby-related noises.

What happens when someone else decides that a public space isn’t appropriate for your babbling baby?

That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) OverallAssignment265 when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.

They asked:

“AITA for not leaving a cafe because my son was babbling?”

OP set the stage.

“My wife and I went out for coffee and a pastry with our 8-month-old son at a cafe near our local park.”

“He has started babbling more often lately and loves to play with his toy (that doesn’t make too much noise).”

“We were seated outside and were enjoying our coffee and pastry and were enjoying the sun, and our son babbles while the weather is still not too hot.”

Everything was fine until…

“An older couple was seated after us at a few tables over, and they looked at us with distaste and made a loud comment about how parents ruin going out for others with their babies.”

“A few minutes of babbling later, she asked us if we could keep our son’s voice down.”

“I told her we would try but no promises.”

“We put on Ms. Rachel to try to keep him from making noise, but he would start clapping or babbling still.”

“As we were about to finish and leave, she turned around and asked us to leave so she and her husband could enjoy their day out.”

“I told her she came to a local park, sat at an outdoor cafe, and had no right to make us feel bad for going out with our son.”

“She told me that she never took her kids out when they made noise and we should take others into consideration.”

“Her husband told her that was enough, but in anger, I threw out a comment about how she should be ashamed of herself as a mother to make other parents feel bad for enjoying themselves, especially in a public place where noise should be expected.”

“My wife told me that I should have kept that last comment out of it because it became personal, and a coworker commented that I should have just ignored her and not said anything.”

“My wife is now hesitant to go out to avoid me responding that way to another person.”

OP was left to wonder,

“I think I am in the clear, but AITA?”

Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

    • NTA – Not The A**hole
    • YTA – You’re The A**hole
    • NAH – No A**holes Here
    • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided: NTA

Many put the responsibility on the other couple.


“I’m childfree by choice, but I can’t imagine telling a parent that their kid shouldn’t be at a public park.”

“If I had a problem, I would move or get up and leave.” ~ Marple1102

“The only time I’m ever annoyed by loud kids is when I’m in a space where I can’t leave (like a plane, waiting room) or when it’s a space that’s meant to be very quiet (like a cinema).”

“And even then… Tough on me.”

“I’m not going to tell parents where they can and can’t take their kids. I know that being a parent already makes it harder to enjoy going out to have fun.” ~ CumbayahFait

“I agree. Don’t sit next to a family with a kid if you don’t want to hear kids.” 

“So long as the kids are respectful or volume appropriate, then they aren’t doing anything wrong, and neither are the parents.” ~ Fianna9


“You’re right. If they don’t want to hear everyday noises, they can stay home. Enjoy your son’s babbling. It turns into teenage silence way too quickly!” ~ Worldly_Instance_730

“NTA…what a grumpy old shrew.”

“If she has no tolerance for other people’s noises, perhaps she’s the one who should stay home. Or frequent one of the many adults-only venues if she prefers drunk people to babies.” ~ Datinglatina


“This woman literally had it out for them the minute she saw them and would have found a sneeze offensive. She should have asked to be seated inside if babies offend her.”

“Look, OP, you and your wife will have to develop a thick skin when it comes to being parents.”

“Right now, it’s people not wanting babies to exist in public.”

“In a couple of years, it will be supervising him playing (at playgrounds or play areas) while other kids will decide that as soon as your son starts playing with X, they want a turn.”

“You will have to learn to referee with both other kids and sometimes their entitled parents that he’s playing with it now, but they can have it next.”

“Absolutely don’t take a babbling baby or shrieking toddler into a movie theater or fancy restaurant.”

“But DO continue to take your well-rested child to casual outdoor cafes, quick eat spots, and whatever he can tolerate.”

“If he gets cranky, one of you take him outside to soothe him.”

“If he’s over it, pack your things and go.”

“But don’t let people tell you that the sound of a softly babbling baby is not acceptable.”

“I would have perhaps told the cranky old woman that while she didn’t take her kids out back in her day, a lot has changed from the 1900s, so she will have to get over it!” ~ JustKindaHappenedxx

There were, of course, personal stories. 

“I drive a historical trolley tour, and I enjoy when babies and toddlers babble; I’ll engage with them, and it makes the parents feel better about them making a little noise.”

“If they’re crying, I always say something like, ‘I know, baby; I want to go home, too’ because sometimes you just can’t soothe them.” ~ BonseyMaronsey

“When I was younger, we attended a very family-friendly church.”

“I remember the pastor was giving the sermon when a toddler began to talk and babble.”

“The pastor engaged with the little one and even came down and walked him around the sanctuary as he preached. If a baby cried, there was never a shaming moment.”

“OP is NTA.”

“The other people? Major AH.” ~ drowninginstress36

“I’ve watched my rabbi bounce a fussy baby while giving the sermon.”

“When my younger child was a toddler, he liked running up to the bimah during the service. I’d always be embarrassed and run up to grab him, and the rabbi would never blink an eye.” ~ nefarious_epicure

“Maybe it’s because I grew up around babies, but I find certain adults far more grating and irritating than any baby, lol.”

“At least the baby’s not being an AH on purpose – the baby can’t help it, they’re just using the only tool they have to let people know they’re upset. I can’t say the same for some adults.” ~ lordmwahaha

“I love watching little ones and kids in general. Reminds me of when I raised mine and the joy they bring. Not into continuous crying or bad behavior, but those times are few.”

“NTA.” ~ Wildblueyonder0928

Not everyone felt OP was in the clear.

“YTA for playing a show on a device out loud in public.”

“No one wants to hear that sh*t.” ~ LuxSerafina


“And I’m curious about the ‘babbling’. I’ve heard kids babble, and for some, it’s almost like normal talking in tone and volume, but for others, it’s screech shouting that parents don’t mind but annoys others.”

“I assume it was the latter.”

“I find the pitch and tones kids make when screaming, laughing, and playing particularly annoying. It cuts through everything in a way other talking or shouting doesn’t. It unnerves me.”

“YTA” ~ puffin2012

“With what child noises parents ignore, filter out an excuse, I am hesitant to trust the person describing it as ‘just babbling'”.

“I’ve had some pretty happy, undistressed babies ruin meals being loud ‘not even crying’, but unless I’m at the movies, I’m not going to ask someone else to leave when it’s easier for me to leave.” ~ heyitscory

“I am surprised by the amount of people skipping over the toy that doesn’t make that much noise and the response to her annoyance at the noise to turn on something even noisier.”

“I think ESH because it seems OP is willfully ignorant to the amount of noise they are actually making/contributing.”

“Plus if the wife is concerned of OP’s reaction to the point of refusing to go out with them, then OP is again underplaying a much bigger response.” ~ bullzeye1983

They did return to give some clarity.

“Wow, this blew and thank you for the nice comments.”

“Regarding the video, it was at iPhone volume level 2.”

“Just enough for baby to hear, but we barely heard it from a foot and a half away.”

“Regarding the toy, it’s a plastic toy with rubber strings. It makes a rubber sound that does make noise but not loud enough that it’s annoying, like the toys with speakers”

Public spaces, like babies, are noisy.

People talking, cars zooming by, and all sorts of other distractions crop up.

Set your expectations accordingly.

Written by Frank Geier

Frank Geier (pronouns he/him) is a nerd and father of three who recently moved to Alabama. He is an avid roleplayer and storyteller occasionally masquerading as a rational human.