Monday, March 4, 2013

Taking the Kids to Con

After a promising horror film on Netflix touting a red hooded girl snuggling a shotgun on the cover turned out to be in German (and I can't draw or write while also trying to read subtitles), I switched over to Mad Men.  I've admired the fashions in the ads from afar, it was time to dive in and actually watch the show. Five minutes into the show, I am pretty sure I would have gone to jail or been locked in an insane asylum.

"Try not to be overwhelmed by the technology. It looks complicated but the men who designed it made it simple enough for a woman to use." -Joan

What. The. Hell?

::Deep breath::

I don't live in that era. I don't live in that era. I don't live in that era.

Okay. Yep. Aside from the women's fashions, there is nothing that appeals to me as a woman from that era. Okay, the men's fashions were pretty swanky as well.  But despite the gorgeous styles for women and yummy men in suits, the misogyny would have prompted acts of verbal retaliation and potential physical assault. My determined stance of independence has been evidenced since childhood and continues into my adult years.

Some may call me combative, stubborn, or difficult (which can certainly be true). Others call me creative and funny and completely nerdy (absolutely true). These traits have served me well as a mother.  I don't allow the children to rule our house in the belief that time outs will win the day. However, we aren't total bummers as parents. We have introduced them to the wonders of things like Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, and a plethora of other things within the nerd and geek culture. We are entering a new age level with our kids and video games have become a fixture for them to play on their own rather than simply watching us play our games. Their aunt and uncle bought them a Sega integrated game system. Simple old school games to get them ready for the more advanced game systems later on down the road. So, for now, they are toiling away at Sonic the Hedgehog. And when they get too far out of line for too long, they lose that privilege.

We are also hitting the age where the kids really want to go to conventions with us. This is a thrilling and anxiety ridden concept. I have seen the parents with a passel of small ones in attendance at conventions and marveled at both their bravery and their fortitude. I, quite plainly, would have lost my mind if I had chosen to drag both kids with me anywhere more complicated than the grocery store in their younger days. Now, they are aware and interested in many of the same things that we (the adults) are. They want to join us at conventions. And we want to take them. We want to put them in costumes and have people think they are fantastic tiny versions of beloved fictional characters. We are strongly leaning toward a tiny Captain Hammer and a tiny Doctor Horrible (they love that movie). Now, we just have to get those costumes together.
We will probably be taking them to Dallas Fan Days or Dallas Comic Con next year. There is also the Sci Fi Expo next February (sorry no link available yet). These are smaller, fantastic cons within driving distance. Eventually, I am sure we will be taking them to Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA. But for now we want to start in the shallow end of the pool.  

Even the shallow end is scary for the first time. Our first trip was a learning experience for the adults. We learned that snacks are important. Walk talkies are handy when you know your group is going to get split up. Comfortable shoes are absolutely necessary. A good nights sleep doesn't hurt. Now, we have to take all these things that we have learned to survive and put them into effect for smaller, less patient of whom is autistic and easily distracted. If it weren't too frowned upon, I would seriously consider leashes on the boys. My greatest fear is not a melt down or a tantrum or anything like that. My biggest fear in taking the kids to con is looking around and seeing that they are gone; distracted by some shiny thing and wandered off to see it without saying a word. This is a valid concern if you have ever taken them to a store. "Ooooh Squirrel!" ::sigh:: All the time. So, yeah. I want to take them. I want them to enjoy the same level of oohs and aahs and OMG that's awesomes as we do when we attend. Now, I just have to figure out how to cope with/ manage the anxiety of taking them and keeping an eye on them.

Yes, I know I started this with Netflix disappointment followed by 1960's era man rage, but if you stayed with me to the end maybe you can offer some advice on how to take small humans to con. Or at least how to deal with the anxiety!

-Nerdy Goth

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