Wednesday, September 27, 2006

French Baby Blogging Part 2

In France when you go shopping you can bring your kid along without worrying about them crying and screaming while you get down to business. Here in France we have what I like to call "baby check". It's just like a coat check, but you do it with your crumb-snatchers.

The first time I saw this I couldn't quite wrap my head around it. I can't imagine how something like this would work in the US without lawyers eventually being involved. Perfectly responsible parents just drop their kids off, take a pick-up ticket, and go about their business for up to 60 minutes---and it's free. Inside the baby check, the kiddos play games, watch cartoons, and sing, dance, draw, and do other kid crap. It's like a nightclub with really nice bouncers and no cover charge for the 4-7 year old set. Some kids even seemed a bit disappointed when there parents finally arrived to retrieve them.

We went to 3 stores this weekend that had baby checks. At IKEA in Metz they have the coolest baby check ever. When you drop off your kid they take your name and contact info, then they wrap your kid in a bright yellow vest with a big-ass number printed on the back. Now, with their baby check vests securely in place, your kids can go nuts nailing eachother in the head with lightweight plastic balls safely behind sound-proofed glass while you follow the yellow brick road to your new Billy bookcase.

So only one question remains: technically can you just drop your kid off there, leave the store to do what you please, and then show up 60 minutes later? If anyone has tried this maneuver please do tell!


buzzgirl said...

I've checked my kid at the Ikea here (when she was younger). You're not supposed to leave the store! In fact, if your kid is unbearable, the store will page your ass over the loudspeaker to come retrieve him. Also, here, you only get a half-hour to be child free - and who can do Ikea in 30 minutes?

Susan J said...

While I dont know the legal logistics in the states I do know that the IKEA near me (DC/MD) also has this "baby check" and when I have some little rugrats I will be taking FULL advantage (frequently)!

buzzgirl said...

Thank you for the Village Voice link. I could kind of relate!