Why should anyone else be perturbed because I felt that my 4-year old pweshus is old enough to go to Chez Fancy well after her bedtime? She is a good girl in church. She likes people. She can keep her shrieks down to a low squeal most of the time in public. She is likely going to fall asleep half way through (OR have a meltdown because she is tired and overstimulated. It is a 50/50 shot, but I am willing to take the chance.) So, all those diners should be happy to have pweshus in their midst at Chez Fancy. Right? NOT!!
Just because you can doesn't mean you should. That is something I think many people, parents and not, fail to recognize.
I can legally take a 4-year old into a theater showing a bloody horror movie at midnight, complete with loud special effects and screams. But, I would not. First, no 4 year old should experience that. Second, I would not want to subject other movie watchers to a child in full terror meltdown.
You may say that is not the same as taking a small child to Chez Fancy. Actually I think it is. It is a matter of being conscious that I will be sharing a space with other people and wanting to be polite in the situation.
I can legally take a 4-year old into a fancy restaurant (unless restricted by the owners) at 9PM at night. I would not do it. First, a 4-year old, no matter how well behaved, is unpredictable. Especially if it was past their bedtime, they were dressed in clothes they are uncomfortable in/not used to wearing, eating food they are not familiar with, at a place they have never been, and surrounded by adults they do not know. Second, I would not want to subject other diners to a potential shriek, loud laugh, meltdown, or tantrum that happen with an overstimulated, tired child.