|Beth, me and Emily at Dragon Con 2012|
With Dragon Con fast approaching, I thought I'd share my experiences with bringing Emily to the con last year.
Dragon Con has tracks that appeals to all kinds types, but you may wonder if it is appropriate for little geeklings. After I became a parent, I started noticing the kids in strollers and babies in slings all over the con. But I always thought my daughter wouldn't have that great of a time when she was smaller. Last years when she was almost four, I thought it was time to try a partial day at the con.
My daughter had already started to have geeky interests, but one of the biggest is costumes, and not just on her. She loves seeing me dress up as well. When she was 11 months old, I took her to the con just to see the parade. She was okay for most of it, until the zombies came. Ack! That was a big mom failure for me! That incident lead to a lifelong fear of the undead, so she hasn't been back since.
But after seeing the pictures of me in the Dragon*Con parade last year, she asked me to make her a costume so we could march together. It took a while to figure out what costumes to wear. Originally I was going to make her a Kaylee Layer Cake dress from Firefly to match mine and then march with the Whedonverse track like I normally do. But because I decided to march with Kaleidoscope track, I decided to shift our costumes to fit the track a little bit better. My daughter asked to dressed up like Snow White. I was going to dress up like Belle from Beauty and the Beast but those costumes were very expensive. So I ended up being Snow White too since that was the least expensive Disney Princess costume I could find.
She did great on the train ride down to the con and she loved the Kaleidoscope track room since they had a station where she could color while we waited. But then we had to rush to the parade staging area, and that’s when she started to get a little tired.
The weather for the parade is usually mildly warm but this year it was very humid out even at 9:30 in the morning and that affected the day.
She liked seeing all the costumes that were staged around us such as the stormtroopers, the Powerpuff Girls and especially the life-sized My Little Ponies. At one point, Stan Lee was very close to us so I picked her up and pointed him out to her. She didn't really know who he was, so she didn't care. Being that close to a comic genius is lost on a four-year-old, apparently. Poor Stan.
Once the parade started, she didn't want to wave at the crowd and was overwhelmed by all the people. The group in front of us stopped often to conduct a a staged battle with boffer weapons and every time we stopped she would turn to look at the My Little Pony cosplayers that were behind us.
Many times, she asked me to pick her up but because of the heat, I was only able to carry her in short bursts.
We made it through the parade and got our free bottles of water. We headed to the autograph area to meet my husband. While we were waiting, I was able to find us a table to sit at. We drank our water and my daughter played on my phone. Once my husband met us, he carried her since she was tired. We did get an autograph from Rose McGowen, who thought my daughter was cute. Then we headed to the dealer’s room for one last stop.
I've been a fan of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab‘s perfumes for many years and my daughter loves sniffing smellies when I put perfume on. When we got there, my daughter wanted to get down and she asked in a very small voice if she could sniff smellies. The owner of BPAL, Beth Barrial, did even better than let her sniff. She gave my daughter her own little bag of samples and a little pad of paper to draw on.
This was the highlight of my daughter’s Dragon Con experience and the end of her time at the con too. My husband took her back to were we were staying so she could get a nap.
I think she did pretty good, but there were some things I would have done differently. I wish we would have had a stroller since she got tired much faster than I had anticipated. And I think she would have had a better time watching the parade than being in it. But afterwards, my daughter did said that she loved Dragon Con and that she wants to go back next year.
Because she did get so tired so fast, we've opted not to to bring her down to the con this year. We've told her that she needs to be a little older and will bring her back in a couple of years.