Baffled mum handed a dustpan and brush to clean up after her baby in cafe


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18 shares, 83 points

Birmingham Mail

A mum says she was left feeling embarrassed after the manager of a family-friendly café handed her a dustpan and brush to clean up the mess her baby had left. The furious parent took to Mumsnet to share what happened to her.

The post on the popular website sparked a debate about whether or not it was a reasonable request from the manager. In the post, the mum explained how she visits the café with a group of friends and their babies each week but was stunned when on her most recent visit, she was asked to clear up the crumbs her child had left underneath her highchair.

She said that it was even more stressful as her baby girl was “screaming and overtired” due to teething at the time. The mum also alleged that the same café owner had reportedly “had a go” at one of the other mums the week before because she claimed her baby had made a mess under his highchair and she didn’t clean it up before leaving.

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Explaining the situation on Mumsnet, the woman said: “This week, as I was packing up to leave (with a screaming overtired baby who is refusing to nap because of teething!), she gave me a dustpan and brush and pointed at the few bit of food under her high chair and asked me to clean up after myself.

“It’s advertised as a very family friendly café. To make it clear, if she had made an unreasonable mess I would of course have cleaned it up (or tried, it’s a bit difficult when you don’t have any cleaning materials). But it was a few bits on the floor. I’ve offered to clean up in other cafes and they’ve said ‘don’t be silly, we’ll do it!'”

She said the situation has made her more conscious about allowing her baby to make a mess when out in restaurants or cafes in future. She added: “After I told my mum, she said I should leave a negative review about it on their café page and seemed to think it was unreasonable.

“Is it unreasonable to ask a parent to clean the floor after their baby? I’m torn because on the one side, I can see how it would be annoying for the staff.

“On the other hand, I don’t bring cleaning materials with me and it’s advertised as family friendly… which I would think would mean they’re aware that babies make mess!”

The situation divided the opinions of fellow Mumsnet users, with some saying they too would expect the mess to be cleared up, while others said it was “super odd” to hand out a dustpan and brush to a paying customer.

One said: “If they offer you the dustpan and brush and your baby made the mess with food I would clean it up before I left. Surely you sweep it up whilst baby still in highchair? It would take 1 minute to do it.”

Another agreed: “I’d say food on the floor is beyond the realms of normal mess and I’d expect to be asked to clean it up. People are absolute rotters in cafes and restaurants.”

A third added: “Babies can make a lot of mess – if an adult dropped stuff on the floor it’s good manners to pick it up. Just because your baby does it doesn’t mean that you leave it for the staff to clean. Especially as if they don’t manage to zoom over and clean it up as soon as you leave it looks awful for new customers coming to a messy table/floor/chairs.”

On the other hand, one parent said the café did not soun…

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