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.

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Generation Geek

Star Wars a new hope movie posterI’m old school. The only video games I kick ass at were released at least 20 years ago. And I love Star Wars, but I haven’t even seen Rogue One yet.

And I feel like that sort of define things. Especially with the death of Han Solo and then the real life death of Princess Leia (and also Spock). My geek generation is getting older and our icons are dying off.

But at the same time a new generation is rising. The force is actually awakening, but also changing with the times. Like the new Wonder Woman movie. It’s a different WW than I grew up with, and it’s taking me a little bit to really embrace this new one. Although I love her and her strong character, she’s just not my Wonder Woman. I almost wish she had a different name, because I will always picture Lynda Carter in her star spangled outfit. But this generation needs an Amazon warrior, so that’s who she became.

I grew up with this stuff and it didn’t seem geeky back then. In fact, I thought it was all pretty cool. I played NES obsessively, but I didn’t go around saying I was a “gamer girl.” I wasn’t aware there was a distinction. I played Jedi with my cousins using broomsticks as lightsabers. I decked myself out in a cardboard tiara and Wonder Woman Underoos and ran around the house fighting crime. My Big Wheel was the green and purple Incredible Hulk edition.

So that is why my costuming isn’t usually about the latest and greatest thing to come out. I usually look to childhood favorites for inspiration. So in my mind, I really DID get to grow up and be Wonder Woman, lol. (… and Link, and Princess Peach, etc.)

I’m looking forward to raising my son in his own geeky generation. But I’m pretty sure to him, it will just be cool kid stuff.

Update – I wrote this post as a draft last week. And last night I finally watched Rogue One! And of course I liked it.

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.

Star Wars Mac & Cheese Makes Forks Easy

As a first time mom, I am learning as I go. I had no smaller siblings, so I know nothing about babies and kids. I wanted to start doing little reviews of products and things I found useful. So here’s my first thing:

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Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner, Star Wars style!

ok, so yes I bought it because it was Star Wars mac & cheese, but I came to find out it was actually really useful! The little shapes make it so much easier for my two-year-old son to pick the pieces up using a fork (or spork) and that means he eats more of his meal and less lands in his lap/on floor/in hair.

It cooks fast, but gets pretty hot. If your toddler is anything like mine, than anything over room temperature is deemed “too hot.” So I cook it up, dump it in a bowl and then stick it in the freezer. Stir a couple times and it is good to go. Or if  you are in a hurry, make it a little thick and toss in an ice cube for a quick cool down.

PS – if they don’t eat it all, it is also a tasty adult snack as well. I find that a plus in any toddler meal.

Star Wars Celebration 2017

We had a great time as Sesame Street Star Smores at Star Wars Celebration! It was Keelan’s first time as a part of a big cosplay group. We got off to a bit of a rough start with our little Luke Piewalker, who was promptly renamed “Luke Crywalker”:17952613_1772998456060662_3386436822874168872_nBut then there was an attitude shift after we managed to get everyone dressed and out the door. He stayed in his stroller for the first half, just taking everything in, and then wanted to get  out and run around for the next bit. He high-fived wampas, took pics with Chewie and didn’t seem to mind all the crazy costumes around him one bit. Guess this means he is ready for Disneyworld!

Celebration is always a great event for Star Wars fans and I was really excited to get to share it with my family. This is my third time, but their first! It was also husband and son’s birthday weekend so it was a celebration all around 🙂

And to top it off, my friend Bridget and I made it onto Entertainment Weekly’s coverage of the event!

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