It was the diaper change heard around the pizza joint.
Miranda Sowers and her three daughters were enjoying a meal at Brother Pizza Express in Spring, Texas, when she realized her youngest, four-month-old Reagan, had a dirty diaper. The mom took the baby to the bathroom and quickly discovered it had no changing table. Rather than lay her infant down on a filthy public restroom floor -- or pack up the family mid-meal and drag them to the parking lot for a backseat diaper change -- Sowers made an executive decision: do the deed on a chair at her table.
But apparently, the other customers noticed. In fact, so many complained that the restaurant owners boxed up the Sowers' remaining pizza and escorted the family out the door. Since then, Sowers has filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau -- and given interviews to the media expressing her frustration with the restaurant's actions. The owners say they stand by their decision: "As soon as you start opening the diaper, people start complaining about the smell of the diaper," said manager Donny Lala. "Last thing I want is a customer throwing up."
Now, my husband and I are big restaurant people, and we've been taking our son to them since he was a few months old. Like Sowers, I've been to a number of eateries that don't offer a changing table, so I've gotten pretty good at doing diaper duty with a baby on my lap. Changing baby at the table was never an option I even entertained, mostly because I found it slightly unsanitary and more than a little off-putting for my fellow diners. Especially if the dipe in question was stinky, which judging by the customers' reactions, I'm guessing this one was.
Then again, I only have one kid, not three, and that does change things. Considering Sowers' available options, I can see why she chose the one she did. Quickly cleaning up a tiny baby on a chair -- not the tabletop -- is a heck of a lot easier than uprooting the whole family and decamping for the minivan. Plus, my guess is that Sowers, like many of us, assumed her local pizza joint would provide a changing station in their restroom. (Lala says the restaurant is considering investing in one.) While catching whiffs of baby poop during a meal is no one's idea of appetizing, I don't think the punishment fit the crime. What Sowers needed that afternoon were decent accommodations or, at the very least, a little compassion. What she got instead was a big slice of humiliation.
Tell us: Do you think Sowers was out of line for changing her baby at the table? Would you have made the same decision?
Image of baby in a diaper courtesy of Shutterstock