You and your mate feeling a little frisky? Get a room.
For the kids, that is.
Parents in South Africa can do just that. Finding a sitter willing to stay overnight is difficult. But for roughly the equivalent of $68 per night, the Baby Hotel in the upscale Johannesburg suburb of Morningside takes in children up to age 3 and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Amenities include a dinner, bath and even a little potty training for children. Each child's name is taped to his or her bed to avoid confusion.
"Nurseries are not flexible," hotel director Esme Zwennis told the international news agency Agence French-Presse. "They have very specific hours. You have to be enrolled full time to use them. They just don't do an hour or two at a time."
Zwennis opened the hotel five years ago in response to her own frustration as a single mother of three. There is definitely a need for a place that parents can use on occasion, not necessarily on a full-time basis, she told the news agency.
The Baby Hotel isn't just for parents who want uninterrupted romance. South African single mother Sherrie Galjaard told Agence French-Presse that the Baby Hotel enables her to do such simple tasks as shopping without worrying about her 8-month-old daughter.
"Saturday morning, I wanted to go to Pick and Pay to do my monthly shopping," she said. "To take a little baby ... to Pick and Pay on Saturday morning is not a good idea. That's why I dropped her at the Baby Hotel. I needed a haircut. I couldn't take her there, either."
Tasleem Sayed found the Baby Hotel invaluable when trying to juggle moving and 21-month-old twins."I dropped them off the whole day and picked them up in the evening. It's so convenient," she told the news agency.
A second Baby Hotel is opening this year in Port Elizabeth in the southeast of the country.
The idea behind the Baby Hotel is the next step in hotel child care. The European Web site KinderHotels offers a network of family-friendly hotels where new parents can find amenities including baby baths and bottle warmers. However, the parents generally stay with the children.
I guess that maybe I am old-fashioned or something. I just view this as horribly wrong!!!
It used to be that people had kids and then..actually took CARE of them. Worked with having kids in their life. Looked FORWARD to having kids.
To me, this seems like it's helping to make children an inconvenience.
"Omg, I have to grow up? Accept responsibility for my actions? Bother. I'll just ditch the kids instead."
I mean... think about it. Kids these days watch TV. Movies. Under the guise of being educational, of course. (Heck, when was a kid I watched 2 episodes of Sesame Street and was done with TV. Sure, sometimes I watched cartoons. but seriously not that often til high school.)
They don't read aside from what school forces them to, and whatever they do online. (Kids shouldn't be online... it's sad how many people have no idea how to do research past "google" these days.)
A baby hotel? Why?
Well, alright, it has some merit... like if you're moving. It IS hard to juggle kids and moving, especially if you're not near friends, family, or people you trust. Same for an emergency or something...but on that the kid should be going, too.
Oh, and don't worry, the baby hotel people care about your kids. Really. They'll even tape their name to their bed. This isn't about your money at all. Nope.
I guess... I want kids someday. I want to be there for them. I want to wake them up, make them breakfast, pack their lunches, take them to school, help with their homework, teach them to cook and to shop and really be a part of their lives.
I'm saddened by how I see kids becoming more and more an "inconvenience". They're people, from day one. Not until they can stay home by themselves.
It's just.... sad.