DEAR ABBY: Why do people with small children feel it is necessary to take these children with them when they go to the movies? I went to four R-rated, action-packed movies last summer, and in three of them there were parents with crying children.
I see the same thing every time I go to the movies. Don't these parents know that their children are not going to enjoy the movie? Why should they? They are sitting in a dark, strange place with many strangers they can't see, there is nothing for them to play with, and there are loud, strange noises all around them.
Here is my message to parents: If your child is under the age of 2, he or she is not going to enjoy a movie no matter what the rating is. If your child is under the age of 6, he or she should not be going to anything over a PG rating. Make the cost of the baby sitter part of the cost for an evening out. Most sitters will charge only $3 or $4 per hour for a small child.
If you can't afford a baby sitter, stay home and rent a movie. It's better for you, better for your child, and for all of us sitting in the theater. -- IRRITATED IN TEXAS
DEAR IRRITATED: I'm printing your "message," but let's be realistic: Parents who bring infants and small children to the movies often do it because they can't afford a sitter. There's no law against it. However, when a child creates a disturbance, good sense and good manners dictate that it be taken outside so it's not a distraction to others. But if it's not, the manager of the theater should be notified so he (or she) can quell the disturbance.