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Baby cafe, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo. Baby cafe!

Tracy Skelly

Skelly discuses new cafe with board.

Update: Approved.

A former travel agency on South Street in Jamaica Plain could soon be reborn as a baby cafe - whose menu is focused on food and drinks suitable for babies and toddlers.

The Boston Licensing Board decides tomorrow whether to grant a food-serving license to Tracy Skelly for her proposed Little Cocoa Bean, 114 South St. at McBride Street.

The cafe will feature a kid's play space as well as a seating area for the older set. Skelly told the board she would also run nutrition classes and other activities for families with young kids.

The toddler food on offer will be freshly made and locally sourced, she said.

The proposed hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Michael Reskind of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council strongly supported the idea. "A cafe catering to mothers and kids will be a wonderful addition to this space," he said.

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Comments

"A cafe catering to mothers and kids will be a wonderful addition to this space"

I would hope and expect that this cafe will cater to caregiver regardless of gender or parenthood status. Fathers, grandparents, foster parents, older siblings, babysitters, and anyone else taking care of kids.

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This is further evidence that leaving JP was a fantastic decision

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It's not of any interest to me personally, but neither was the travel agency. And if it reduces the number of babies running into my legs at Turtle Swamp, I'm all for it.

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TIL fungwah is a babe magnet.

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I don't currently have kid-stuff-aged kids, but my first thought was that this would be great if it decreased the number of entitled parents letting kids run around and scream in other local JP businesses. I'm often in that area for work with a few hours of time between things, and I go to the City Feed or the various coffee shops to write reports. JP businesses are just overrun with white parents letting their children treat the place like a playground in a way that doesn't happen in most other neighborhoods.

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It's not entitlement. If you get to pretend a coffee shop is your office, they can pretend the coffee shop is a playground. People need to bring their kids with them places. It's important for kids to participate in errands and practice how to behave in public. It's important for kids to figure out how to handle being bored. Packing them off to kids-only places all the time is entitlement. It makes kids think that everything they go to has to be entertaining.

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Is that many times parents do not pay attention to their children and let them do what they want, including going over to someone else's table and grabbing things. That is just rude. Then what do you do? Parent them? Ignore them? What happens if they get injured near you, especially if the floor is their playground and you hurt them by accident? I am saying this because I have seen it happen, plenty of times. That is entitlement and selfishness.

I absolutely do not have a problem if the children are well behaved/the parents are paying attention.

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and it's super easy to address a youngster who grabs something from your table. Kids need to learn socialization in places distinct from their home or school settings. Part of that process requires interaction with a variety of people in a variety of settings. Takes 2 seconds to gently say, "oh that's mine, we don't take other people's things." Kids get that, and more than likely, if the parent isn't paying attention, they soon will be.

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I've always been the type to at the very least set my own boundaries if other people's kids are touching me or my kids or our things, or are screaming and overwhelming me or my kids somewhere that's not a playground. In my neighborhood in Roxbury, I can pretty much expect that most any adult will correct my kids about these sorts of things (and when younger would correct them about "excuse me" and "good morning" and such). Literally a mile away in JP though, I've frequently had parents respond to my and my kids' boundaries by lecturing me about how their five-year-old "is just exploring his voice" or lecturing me that "kids need to interact with their environments." (Thanks, I've been a child clinician for 20 years...) The "it takes a village" mentality doesn't happen as much in some places as others.

What I think some people are missing is that something can be developmentally appropriate, not the child's "fault," and still not be something to allow to continue in that time and place. I remember one time someone at a religious service sat near me with a three-year-old who was speaking loudly in sentences throughout the sermon and taking hard plastic toys out of a tote bag and throwing them to the floor. After several people gave them looks and nothing changed, an older person said "excuse me, I'm having trouble hearing the sermon" to the parents. They then lectured that person that "he is three and this is his developmental work at this stage" (or some similar misinterpretation of Montessori). Putting aside everyone's differing thoughts on expectations and limits at various ages, if we accept that this child could in fact not stop doing this, does that therefore make it OK that the child was in there doing that? The time and place is one of relative quiet and one where the intention is that we can listen to the words being shared and show respect for the person who took the time to write and share them, and I personally would take an infant outside. It doesn't have to be about whether the child is able to be quiet, which an infant of course isn't.

And of course a sermon is a quieter expectation than a coffee shop, but what is the expectation in a coffee shop? I would personally say that running, climbing, screaming (other than very briefly with immediate correction from a parent) are not appropriate there. I do think the reason it happens is the same one though, which is the faulty reasoning that if a child is developmentally not able to stop doing something, it's then OK for parents to allow them to do it anywhere to anyone.

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Oh man. Good point. Well, if that happens, I go home, open my dresser, pull out a nicely-pressed pair of big boy pants I keep for whenever I might be faced with a minor inconvenience, return to the place of business, and politely ask the kid not to grab stuff off my table. If I am feeling really saucy, I might even try to maintain a sense of perspective and humor about the entire thing and think about how I would want a stranger to talk to my kids if they had a lapse in social grace.

Luckily, after many decades on this planet, I have never had a child grab stuff from my table at a restaurant while the parents ignored it and then had the child become severely injured from the floor and then suddenly have that somehow be my problem to deal with. But then again, I hang out in some weird joints.

I guess I can add this sarcasm tag just for good measure: /s.

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I very much raised my kids to understand that not everything has to be entertaining in a stimulating sort of way or has to cater to them. This means I did not let them use iPads without headphones in coffee shops (or have electronics at all in public, though kids are all different, and it doesn't affect me if someone else is using it without sound), run around and scream in coffee shops, touch other people's belongings, or complain that fancy restaurants don't serve happy meals.

Kids in coffee shops eating food, chatting, reading, drawing, playing board games, etc. is great to see. Kids running around screaming and climbing on the furniture is not. As you said, practicing how to behave in public and handle being bored. Of course they're going to make mistakes from time to time, because they're learning. That's not what I'm talking about, and I'm not sure why the internet army has decided my comment is anti-children-existing. I'm literally talking about children running around screaming and parents who do not address this. That shit is obnoxious and I'm not sure why people are defending it with "kids belong in public." Yes, of course they do.

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don't live in a neighborhood where people have kids and spend time with them.

In some countries, there's no such thing as a kid-friendly restaurant, because there's no such thing as a kid-unfriendly restaurant. There's just restaurants, and people bring their kids to all of them, even the fanciest places.

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City Feed is a grocery store, not your office. Kids have been going to grocery stores for 50+ years. If you don’t like the people of JP then do us a favor and stay away.

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I took my kids everywhere when they were young also. I did not permit them to run around and scream in grocery stores or coffee shops, touch other people or other people's belongings, or watch movies without headphones. City Feed is also not a playground or a movie theatre. It does have seating, which presumably suggests people should be able to sit there and have lunch without people crashing into them or screaming.

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This is such an odd, spiteful, racist comment. What is wrong with you?

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Which I believe (and I can always be corrected) is that griping that this place will be welcoming to mothers and not whoever else brings the little ones in is an insane example of political correctness or whatever its being called this day. Only in JP would people be complaining that fathers, grandparents, nannies, and whatnot weren't called out as being welcomed by the owner of this proposed place.

As for me, I read this article with a bit of disappointment in that my little one is now less than little so wouldn't be the target of what sounds like a great idea for a cafe. Still, I will them the best with this.

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A black female owned business catering to families and we hear “come on do better.”

I would like you, whoever you are, to also do better. Open your eyes to the world. You really think this business will be excluding people?

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Obviously a bit much for you to bother to read that it was the JP Neighborhood cretin and not the proprietor who is the person who should do better.

Now go build a block tower while the grownups are discussing things.

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If you were answering my question.

You think this business will be not inclusive? Please explain.

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The proprietor wasn't the one who equated "caregiver" with "mommy".

RIF.

We need more literate trolls.

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I ask you a harmless question and you immediately go on the offensive.

Are hurling insults part of all of your “grownup” conversations?

I’ve watched you do this to people for a long time. And yet you call me the troll. Okay!

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A harmless question, indeed.

Shouldn't you roll off that rock and do some fishing now?

IMAGE(https://www.victoriawhalewatching.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/IMG_1319-300x200.jpg)

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Nice to see you

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me to explain the joke to you.

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Being nothing but salty to a sea lion.

Created in 2014 by a salty human

Thanks for the info MC!

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so you are a troll, then thanks for the update.

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.

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on Marblehead.

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That cartoon can be used to make racism okay as well.

Feel free to call those with differing opinions trolls. It’s all part of the growing trend of those who want to increase online censorship and the free exchange of thought.

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you. It's just that you are tedious and argumentative. And like the sea lion, you affect a studied politeness that tries to mask obnoxious behavior, like implying that people who disagree with you are pro-pedo, a vile right-wing bad-faith argument that has become shamefully popular lately.

You should start a service: "I'll show up at your party at the end of the night when you want people to go home, and be so relentlessly awful to have a conversation with that everyone will flee."

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I should’ve known what the result would be by asking grrl a question. I thought it could possibly be civil. Nothing but attacks from most of the people here. All because of a differing opinion on some things.

I wasn’t accusing Pete of anything. I was saying the link he posted was trash (and off topic) and he should go post it to a recently published article that was more related.

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any race or culture can be a sealion.

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I shouldn't feed the troll, but...

1) The business owner wasn't the one who said it.

2) An overall increase in Black-owned, non-men-owned, queer-owned, disabled-owned, etc. businesses would be amazing, and increases the overall number of spaces where various members of our community can feel comfortable and safe. This is a great thing. However, intersectionality and cross-oppression are real, so no, we can't just assume that a place owned by someone with one or two marginalized identities "would definitely not exclude anyone." Spend some more time listening to Black trans neurodivergent people, and hear how they experience racism in queer and disability communities, ableism in Black and queer communities, and transantagonism in Black and disability communities. Folks with a visibly marginalized identity are usually a safer bet for differently/additionally marginalized folks than people who have no such lived experience, but it's absolutely no guarantee.

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Why do we feel the need to use exclusionary language rather than inclusionary language? There are some men who are just awful and will have inclusion no matter how you spell it. There are others who are with you but bristle when exclusionary terms are used.

Which I find funny considering the conversation about someone saying mothers instead of caregiver person above.

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I live in Boston and care about everyone here and am not a troll, for the record. Please know that I like any and all honest discourse and am not looking to fight you on anything. While I hear and understand what you are saying, when people speak like this it sounds like anything short of a every identity check box in the book is not good enough. This new locally owned business should be seen as a positive development and anything else is a negative take on this caring and powerful young new business owner. Anyone that goes out to start their own business is powerful in my book, especially when they are looking to add to community.

Also, the word mother is not a bad word. Just because somebody says mother when they are talking about parents, does not mean they are being exclusive to other parents. Hearing people tell kids to go get their “grownup” instead of their mom or dad isn’t doing anything for anybody. Some of the strongest people I have ever met were not raised in traditional households and could care less if someone had called their aunt or grandmother or whoever else the word “mother.” I think it is important that we get past the point of assuming the worst simply because someone chose a word we did not prefer. That is all I was trying to say regarding the first post.

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if you looked up internet troll, you would see why people observe that.

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Nothing I am writing is insincere or inflammatory. I have received plenty of inflammatory responses though, simply for not thinking like someone else. What do you call those people?

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I am not talking about the subjective view of your posts, I am talking about the pattern, and frequency.

It is possible for a person to behave like a troll without understanding it.

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Yes, I made the comment in response to Bostonperson suddenly showing up and commenting on a lot of posts, usually posting devil's-advocate-type stuff.

https://dailycampus.com/2020/09/30/guilty-by-association-why-playing-dev...

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Well that’s true. I just made this account. I apologize if you do not like what I have to say.

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You literally accused me of being pro-pedophile because I posted a vox article explaining how a supreme court nominee was being falsely accused by people like you of being pro-pedophile.

"You might as well go post elsewhere and support the child porn collecting cop." -Bostonperson

https://www.universalhub.com/2022/two-ejected-city-council-meeting-after...

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The lack of proper sentencing of pedophiles was another topic and is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

I didn’t realize you had responded and apologize for not clarifying. Your wording that I quoted was saying the light sentences were okay because other judges did that too and I was saying that does not make it right. I’m not saying your are a horrible human like a pedophile, I’m saying your words are starting to head in the direction of their support. Hence, the link to that awful cop, who I know you do not support, but your words are inching in that direction.

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There's no defense for what you said about me, just like there's no defense for the republican party suddenly deciding it's good politics to baselessly attack all democrats as child-porn supporters and "groomers."

I'll post the article again so others can see what a piece of trash you are for implying me or the author is "pro-pedophile" https://www.vox.com/2022/3/18/22983877/supreme-court-josh-hawley-ketanji...

You can take your apology and your dangerous, inflammatory hyperbole and jump off a bridge for all I care. You're part of the problem, worse than a sea lion, a dangerous troll leading this country to a bad place.

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I will respond on the other thread

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N/t

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as a SAHD, i kinda took offense to this on first glance too.

then i remembered the entire world doesn’t revolve around me

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but a lot of trans dads and nonbinary parents do experience dysphoria and misgendering when caregivers of children are referred to as "moms," they're asked "are you X's mom?" or the members of a parenting group are addressed as "ladies." It takes very little effort on our part to watch our use of unnecessarily/incorrectly gendered language, and it's literally lifesaving for our trans and nonbinary community members. Just say "parents" or "caregivers" as appropriate.

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i read the first couple of comments as rebukes of the rampant misandry in liberal communities like JP, or whatever.

in that frame of mind, i did forget about trans and non-binary parents. my bad.

EDIT: I actually made a number of mistakes - I had attributed the quote about mothers and children to the owner of the business.

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I really appreciate you owning where your reaction came from and being open to incorporating additional information. And I totally get why you'd read the comments that way. I thought they were a bit much and also thought the point was really valid.

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We definitely will! We use the term “caregivers” :).

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I hope your business is wildly successful. :^)

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Thank you all so much for the well wishes and support. It means a lot. This has been a long and challenging journey but I would do it all again. Come and see us (likely opening at the end of May) if you’re in the area!

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My kids are well past the age focus, but I would have loved such a place 15-20 years ago, and I'm sure you'll find plenty of current toddler caregivers eager to patronize your shop.

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When mine were little there was a cafe in Cambridge that was all about good local food and a place where kids could kid while parents could hang out. I loved going there.

I hope this is successful. People need someplace better than the mass-market options to enjoy out of the house family time.

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Great to hear from you. I wish you success and will stop by if we have smalls in our home again.

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Is it open for ****** or just lunch?

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When I first read the headline, I pictured this to be like that failed Cat Cafe a few years back, but only with stray babies crawling around the cafe for the customers to pet and play with.

And that's why you always read the article.

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Haha I did too!

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which is how I first interpreted the headline!

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Awesome idea

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Mid-afternoon around my JP environs, at least half of the strollers being pushed down the sidewalk or stationed in the park are being done by women who are clearly (trust me) nannies.

So sincere question here . . If a nanny takes a kid to any kind of establishment or gets them ice cream or something, does the nanny pay for it all and then get reimbursed somehow, or do they themselves just pay out of pocket?

In the case of the cafe, I wonder if a big chunk of the business hour toddlers would never be taken there because their nanny doesn't want the hassle and the paperwork and could just as easily kill the time with her fellow familiar nannies and their little clients over at the park.

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For the record, my comment was about the peak JPness of the concept of a toddler cafe. The fury over who a mommy is or isn’t was just icing.

Unless they’re serving baby cocktails, I don’t see how this could possibly be a viable business plan. Also wondering, will they kick you out if you don’t have a baby? Asking for a friend.

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When I was a nanny, the family just would ask me to email them at the end of the week my hours plus any funds spent on errands.

For my kids' sitters and 1:1s, I've always left cash or a debit card because I don't want people to worry about fronting the money. Apps make this easy too; I can pay for any needed Lyfts, pizza delivery, etc. for them without being there.

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I once worked at a place that had a buffet and salad bar. You could always tell which plate was for the adult and which one was for the child. The adult plate had decent sized portions of two to four things. The child plate had two bites worth of almost everything on the buffet (and an effort was made to make sure nothing was touching)! I called it "toddler tapas".

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To everyone talking/yelling on here about kids in restaurants, I'm going to weigh in from the point of view of a long time server: kids are only as bad as their parents, and occasionally better. They don't belong every place, but that's why we need more places like what Ms. Skelly wants to open.
Basically, the rules for kids should be the same as the rules for dogs: well behaved ones are welcome, so long as they sit and they don't smell too bad.

I love the idea of a cafe that will be equipped and prepared to handle kids. Granted, if I were still tending bar & waiting tables, there is not enough money on the planet to make me work here, but I still think this is great.

And, look, if you are a parent, please remember that restaurants that do not cater to kids aren't particularly safe for kids to be unwatched, even polite, calm kids. There's broken glass. Waiters carrying hot food who may not see someone 3 feet high. I've seen unattended kids run behind a bar, wander into a kitchen, and stand on top of a wobbly bar stool. And they can do some damage-- a brood of unwatched grade-schoolers destroyed the display in a bookstore cafe I worked in years ago.

Parents need a break and a change of scenery occasionally. Bringing kids out is a good way of teaching them to be respectful and to interact with adults, and most parents get that. But if just a few don't, it can feel like you're dining on a ride at Disneyland.

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the trenches: thank you!

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When I read the headline I thought it was like a cat cafe, where you can hang out and play with the cats. I think I'll go anyway and see if they'll let me play with the babies, until they cry or need a diaper change.

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