Raising Darth Vader

darth vader babyEver get worried that you’re raising a future Darth Vader? Or even worse, a Kylo Ren? Sure, we all go through our villain moments, but I’m still on the good side and have hopes of raising a sweet little super hero. So tonight in the bath, that sweet little future hero turns to me, lowers his voice dramatically and says, “I’m a bad guy and I’m going to shoot you.” Then pics up his toy boat, points it as me and goes “Pew, pew, pew, I shot you with my boat.”

W. T. F.

Where is he getting this from? I suspect his dad, who thinks he can watch anything on TV and not have a toddler absorb it all. In fact, I just texted him to ask if he had The Punisher on before he put him to bed last night. Because I find it odd that I get to go on one Mom’s Night Out and come home to a boat gun wielding baby. Moments later he started demanding an actual gun and was very disappointed to hear guns were not allowed in the tub. (Husband texted back, blames it all on YouTube)

This new fascination with the dark side doesn’t stop at tub theatrics. Yesterday at the park another kid was growling at him (it happens) and he thought it was the most fun thing ever because there was a “bad guy” to play with. He talked about him all the way home.

I know they all go through phases and it’s just a new thing he’s learning, but sometimes I feel ill-equipped to get through some of these parenting challenges and I get a little anxious. I start thinking about the monumental responsibility I have to help this little child grow into a good adult. I mean, nobody wants a future Kylo Ren. (at least, probably not the dads 😆)

So here’s to good parenting and the best intentions to raise children on the side of the light.  May the Force be with us, always.

calvin-and-hobbes-Star-Wars-fandoms-darth-vader-2824626

Cosplay and Cons with the Kids

One of my favorite big conventions is almost here – San Diego Comic Con! I went the year I got pregnant and haven’t made it back since I had my son, but we have done a lot of daenerys targaryen and baby cosplayother conventions together. In fact, he attended his first con at just 6 weeks old! I look forward to taking him to SDCC one day, but until then, we’ll be hitting up cons a little closer to home.

Attending a con with a kid was a whole new experience for me. My usual plan was just show up, take a lot of pictures and basically party all day and night. Now I have to plan around nap times, changing diapers and having no choice about being up at 7AM every morning.

So here’s my Top 10 Tips List for Attending Conventions with Kids:

  1. Try something local first. Short trips are best. You can search sites that list cons by state like UpComingCons.com Cosplayconventioncenter.com, but if you just put “cosplay conventions” or “comic conventions” along with your location into Google, you’re going to find something!
  2. If you aren’t going to be local, be close enough so you can easily walk back to the hotel for naptime. Believe me, this will make things SO much easier.
  3. Check out the event ahead of time and plan your day. Make a list of events and things you want to attend with time and location.
  4. Forget about actually making it to any of those things. Just kidding. A little.
  5. cosplay with babyIf you have a baby, make sure you have something to cover your costume with. Nothing like ruining all your hard work with a bunch of spit-up.
  6. Plan your costume around being able to pick-up and hold kid, feed kid and change diapers. If you are not able to do this, make sure you have a “baby handler” with you for assistance.
  7. Go easy on the kid costume. They are probably just going to fBaby in Superman shirtall asleep, drop food on it or rip it off after two minutes anyway. A good easy costume is a t-shirt that matches your general theme. When I do Wonder Woman, I often dress my son in a Superman t-shirt. He’s had an impressive collective since he was born. He never went a month without one in his size. I actually just printed out a bunch of ink jet iron-ons and would make whatever size I needed at the time.
  8. If you start taking them when they are young, then they will love it as they get a little older and you won’t need to worry about them being afraid of the characters and costumes. My son loves getting up close and touching the costumes.
  9. Pack more than you think you need- extra food, diapers, clothes, drinks…extras of everything! We went to ConJure and after a 2 hour car ride my son started projectile vomiting. We went through a LOT of clothes. You never know what you are going to run into. Be prepared.
  10. Do a kid-friendly cosplay group. I had a great time as Princess Parfaya in a Sesame Street Star Smores group at Star Wars Celebration and the kids and parents totally got it.

Sesame Street Star Smores Cosplay Group at Star Wars CelebrationAnd most of all, just have fun, soak up the experience and share every moment with your little one. This is your chance to share your fandom and geekiness as a family affair.

Our Island Adventure

We spent the weekend on Jekyll Island, GA, for their 2016 ComicCon. I was a cosplay guest so I had a table all weekend and Sean was on daddy duty. We did manage to break away on the last day and check out the famous Driftwood Beach, where they recently filmed some scenes from the Walking Dead.

The beach was pretty amazing, though Keelan was mostly interested in throwing sand. I’ve been wanting to visit for a while, but it’s an hour and half north of us so the comic con event was the extra incentive I needed to finally make it happen.

1toddlerwrangleWe stayed at the beachfront Days Inn, so of course I had visions of going out and enjoying the sunrises and taking some pretty family photos. Keelan had other ideas. Lesson number one with kids: nothing ever turns out the way you have it planned in your head. Lesson number two: never let it stop you from trying because it is still worth it!

The con was small, but fun. I dressed as Sub Zero on Saturday and Wonder Woman on Sunday. Keelan had fun looking at all the costumes. He had to go say hi to all the Stormtroopers. We even found Santa Claus and then found Deadpool dressed as Santa, so we got our Christmas card pics taken care of. Photo of that coming soon 🙂