Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Costumes, Carriers, and Cons, oh my!

Three years ago my brother and his girlfriend went to a sci-fi/fantasy/gaming/anime/all things nerd convention called Dragon*Con and came home with all sorts of stories about the fun that they had meeting authors and tv stars and artists and musicians and hanging out with thousand s of people who like the same things that they like.  My husband and I thought this sounded like a great idea and decided that we HAD to go next year.  Of course, we found out we were pregnant just a few weeks later but after a lot of waffling we decided that, seeing that he’d be 3 months old, he’d never be more portable.  It turned out to be a good choice.  We had a blast even if we did take it a bit easier than we would have if we weren’t parents.
At only a few months old, 1 Up baby enjoys his first Dragon*Con

Dragon*Con is a huge event with some 50,000+ geeks and nerds in attendance with events taking place in 5 different hotels in a 2 block radius in downtown Atlanta.  With that many people in so few hotels it is very crowded and pushing a stroller in those crowds would have been challenging and I guarantee I would have hit people and people would have tripped over the stroller.  The crowds could also have been frightening for a little baby in a low stroller where he can’t see anything but strangers.  But with baby F snuggled up on mom or dad’s chest he was in his happy place and nothing bothered him.  
Supernan needed a little nap

Dr. Who in the Tardis
F leans to see the Rainbow Brite gang
A stroller would also have made things hard because of the way all of the hotels are set up, with escalators to take you to the various ballroom levels where the events are held.  There ARE elevators but since those same elevators are the ones struggling to take so many people up to their rooms and the lines to get on an elevator are sometimes 40 or 50 minutes long.  We avoided the elevators entirely by asking for a room on a low floor so when we needed to go back to our room it was a simple matter of climbing a few flights of stairs.

It’s a 4 day event and baby F barely cried.  He nursed, napped, and snuggled through panels, lectures, book readings, shows, and concerts.  Because he was being worn it was easy to read his cues and meet his needs while participating in Con events.  I think it actually helped us hit a groove with baby F.

We have now been to Dragon*Con 3 times with F, who is now 2.  Wearing has made it, if not possible, then certainly more practical.  The second time, when he was 15 months he needed his happy place on Mommy or Daddy’s back even more than the first year to cope with the crowds and new situations because since he was older he noticed the different situations a lot more than he did at 3 months.  He’s pretty outgoing but anyone can get overwhelmed.  This year we were sadly unable to get a room in one of the main hotels (they sold out in the first 10 minutes) and had to stay in one that was several blocks away which would have made going back to the room for nap time hard and meant we had to miss things.  We would have done it if F had needed us to but since we had a carrier he just snuggled, sometimes nursed, to sleep in the carrier each day at about lunch time.  It was really cool to have him up on my back this year as we walked around and he could see all of the people in costumes.  It
Our mei tai saved the day at a mall with no highchairs
was really cool to be able to hear him pointing out pirates and girls dressed as My Little Pony characters and turtles (ninja turtles, but he just saw turtles) and the guy dressed as a lego minifigure, etc.  I wouldn’t have been able to hear him over the crowd if he had been in a stroller and he wouldn’t have been able to see anything of the people around him but knees, thighs, and behinds.  We don’t wear nearly as much as we used to but with the crowding at Dragon*Con we simply couldn’t let him walk by himself but with the right carrier we were able to wear him comfortably even though he is a seriously huge 40+ pound 2 year old.  We are planning to go again next year and while I’m sure we’ll let him walk occasionally, when we are in places with less crowding, we’ll still wear him in the really jammed crowds because I don’t think it’s very safe.  It’s much safer for him to be securely on my back where he can’t be trampled or wander off.

1 comment:

  1. Love how you made a carrier into a Tardis with a T-shirt!