Quality Family Time
February 24, 2012 by admncc
Does any family time qualify as quality family time? Some people may say yes. That’s what my buddies and I were discussing last weekend during a trip to Wheeling Island (casino and racetrack in West Virginia).
We went there to watch the dog races. Now, under normal circumstances, children are not allowed in casinos, so we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. But at the racetrack, children are permitted. Basically, you’re sitting in a large area with tables. You can order food and drinks, you can watch the live dog racing or you can watch closed-circuit races from around the country.
During the afternoon racing session, we noticed several families sitting at the tables. Generally, the kids were eating while the parents gambled. Even though it was in the middle of the day and they were sitting in the non-smoking section, it still seemed like a strange environment for the kids (the non-smoking area is right next to the smoking and cigar area, there were degenerate gamblers yelling profanities when their dogs lost, etc.).
Now let’s fast forward to the evening session, where the races were expected to last until 11:30 p.m. Now the place is packed, there is lots of drinking and smoking going on as well as the usual yelling and profanity. And of course, once again, there are numerous families with their kids there. So I took some pictures of the family seated closest to us.
In the first picture, the kids look bored out of their minds (I partially blocked their faces because they are minors). The dad was placing a bet and nobody was watching the little one. She later climbed up on the rail and could have fallen. The second picture is approaching 11 p.m. As you can see, the one kid is actually asleep. But yet the family-fun-night continued. At one point, the little one was getting fussy, so they gave her some more food and stuck a pacifier in her mouth.
So does the age-old-adage of enjoying family time still hold true. Or should the parents have gotten a babysitter before heading to the racetrack or chosen another destination for their evening?