Next Tuesday, many families will pack up the backpacks, lunch boxes, teacher gifts, and all the paperwork that has to be turned in on day one of the Fall semester of grade school. The Internet will be exploding with pictures of kids holding chalk boards depicting “First day of Kindergarten” etc. Everyone will say “awwww” and then move on with their lives. (Seriously people, do we have to torture our kids with these pictures with the signs? Can’t you just snap a quick pict and get the hell in the car?!?! Who’s got time for this shit!)
In my house this weekend, we have other stuff to do. Dr. and Mr. Nerd Mom are getting the family ready for Comic Con.
“Comic Con?!?!” Says the PTA chair, “Clearly you are not adept at this parenting thing. Obviously your kids should be playing with hand-crafted organic wood BPA free toys and never Ever EVER with electronics!” (Thanks Unikitty)
Dude. Everybody calm the hell down. Nerds and nerd kids are awesome. Kids learn fantastic things from video games: motor skills, reading, maps, problem solving, resilience, how to work in groups, even how to read a map. Science fiction is able to discuss contemporary issues in a more approachable way: ethical questions, raceism and prejudice, equality, and immigration were all explored in the classic Star Trek franchise. Pokemon taught millenilas determination and that sometimes you lose, and dare I even say it, the Legend of Zelda has helped my young Jedi with his reading skills.
Premise: nerd things can be good for families and kids to share together.
Hypothesis: You can be a fan of your kids interests too. I didn’t know crap about Pokemon but since my young Jedi’s discovered their true passion was to catch em all, pretty sure I can sing the theme song by heart AND name all 150 (151 ?) original pocket monsters. And that’s awesome.
Comic con is in about two week. The Jedi are ages six and three. They determined a family theme costume together.
Wait for it.
I did know anything about power rangers. As a kid, I was “too old” for them, trying to pretend I’m 13 and too cool for science fiction and super hero cartoons (didn’t last long fortunately). So I learned about the Original Power Rangers, Power Rangers Samurai, and the Dino Chargers. Then I helped the kids plan the costumes.
Things to keep in mind when cosplaying with LITTLE kids:
1. Cost- this cosplaying shit can get really expensive. I YouTubed all the ways to sew, make, and create a set of four family costumes and it was most definitely cheaper to buy them! (Not always the case, but price it out folks.)
2. Time- How long is it going to take to make that captain America shield from scratch? Or can you roll down to Party McFrieking Crap-Zone and get a decent looking one that you won’t mind getting destroyed by a three year old who hast learned to control her powers?
3. Comfort- that one piece kiddie Pikachu costume is cute and warm for Trick or Treat, but the little Pika is going to sweat his butt off. Think light weight TWO PIECE costume for kids under five. Be prepared to carry all props, helmets, hats, and bags that are part of the costume. Kids under age five, consider bringing the all-terrain stroller that holds piles of crap. Even if you don’t put the kid in it, you can pile all the swag and kid floatsom in it.
4. Your comfort- learned this one the hard way. Parents- you’re going to need your hands free. Messenger bag, backpack, fanny pack, nobody is going to judge. And those weapons and props better be able to be put in your bag. And skip the sweater!
5. Food- first thing, scope out the snack situation. How many miles is it in between “I’m starving” and the food. Better yet, water and food in your bag so you don’t have to wait in lines.
6. Bathroom breaks- Manditory “Everybody has to try!” Breaks every so often. Nothing like trying to dissemble Young Skywalker when she’s really gotta go RIGHT NOW!
7. Posed Picts BEFORE you head in. If you want that all Justice League family magic moment, pose and set it up before you hit the show floor. The little Jedi don’t really want to stop and have you take the shot over and over again in those crowds. Better yet, pose at home on your “practice cosplay” day and take as many damn picts as you want.
Lastly have fun! Share your love for fandom with your kids! Happily chill for like ever with the table of plush kitties if that’s what your little Jedi wants to do. If you’re stressing and irritated the kids don’t want to see what you want to see, nobody will be happy and worst of all… they might not want to go back again! (The horror!)
So let the kids pick the cosplay and pick their fandoms to celebrate. Have fun with your family, and Nerd Parent it all the way.
Dr. Nerd Mom
Blasting off Again!