The Guest Post this time comes from a NerdLush fan and friend, Jackie- she tells of raising a baby in a world of geek.
Right now, the current trend is that Geek is Chic. My daughter is only 7 months old, and I kind of hope that this trend has died down before she’s too grown up. It’s not that I don’t want my daughter to embrace geekdom, but I want her to embrace it because she truly is a geek and enjoys something so much that it overwhelms and inspires her. I don’t want her to be a geek because it’s the “in” thing to do. I’ve decided that in order for my daughter to truly embrace being a geek she needs to be exposed to everything so she can decide what it is that she truly loves as she grows up. I don’t think it’s too early to start exposing her to things. I actually now is the perfect time to start. She’s a blank slate, adventurous and open to anything and everything that comes her way. It might be a strange way to describe a 7 month old, but if you could meet her, you would understand. My daughter is very alert, she watches everything and everyone. I’m pretty sure she’s just filing all the information she’s gathering away in her mind for future use, probably against me somehow.
I spend a great deal of time playing music to my daughter. All different kinds of music; well, but not rap, rap is not music. But I play music to her as I rock her to sleep, as I clean, cook and we eat meals together. Music already has an impact on her, it soothes her to bed, excites her as we dance around and clean, and keeps her focused while I attempt to get more solid food in her mouth than on her face. I play jazz, classical, country, alternative and rock’n’roll. I’ve shared The Beatles, Kelly Clarkston, Ozzy Osborne, Nirvana, Adam Lambert, and tons of Spanish singers that I have never heard of with her on a daily basis. I have a large collection of movies that I cannot wait to expose her too. I’m so excited for the first time we watch E.T., The Goonies, Little Monsters and Star Wars together. I can’t wait to see her face light up as we watch various Disney princesses dance on the screen. I’m picky about what cartoons I expose her to because I cannot stand SpongeBob Squarepants but Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry, and Transformers are just a few of the classics that I cannot wait to snuggle up on Saturday mornings and watch with her. I don’t care if I have to Netflix everything or track down old DVD’s; these are some things that are so important to make sure she has a chance to experience. I’ve even caught her father snuggled on the couch with her watching Star Trek, telling her who everyone is, trying to teach her how to hold her hands and fingers in that infamous Star Trek gesture. It’s nice to know that he wants her to experience a little bit of everything as well.
This is why I decided it would be a good idea to take my 7 month old daughter to the Chicago Comic Con this year. Comic con is a place where she can be exposed to so many different mediums of geekdom in one area at one time without judgment from anyone. At 7 months old, this may not have much of an impact, but I figured if we made this an annual thing, she’ll start digesting what she’s experiencing and start making decisions on what excites her most in life. I never had experiences like that growing up and I don’t want my daughter to miss out on anything. I don’t want her to feel that she can’t explore different worlds and immerse herself in something that makes her happy. I want my daughter to know that there are many options out there and many ways to enjoy life and this is just one avenue. One that I enjoy, something that maybe someday, we can do together.
Something we can bond over.
Doing anything with a 7 month old is an adventure and a feat in of itself. I’ve never been one to plan, anything, ever. But now that I have a child, I’ve discovered that I must plan some stuff ahead of time. Going to a comic convention where there will be thousands of other people, constitutes a situation in which I must plan ahead. First, I had to decide what she would wear. I don’t dress in costume but I do like to make sure my shirts make some kind of statement, even if I’m the only one that notices what I’m wearing.
So obviously, my daughter needed to make some kind of statement. I did have a onesie that said “The Babe with the Power” that my lovely friend, E gifted to us. I considered putting her in it, but for her first con, I really wanted something a bit more obvious. Wonder Woman. She’s strong; a staple in the comic community and my daughter has dark hair that would look fabulous against the wonder woman colors! So off to scour the internet I went in search of a onesie that would be perfect for my daughter. It took a while, actually, it took until a week before the con before I found the perfect onesie, and to my surprise it even came in on time!
Second, I had to decide what day to go. Which day would I be able to experience the most stuff with the least amount of people? Friday was my first choice, but I couldn’t get out of work that Friday and we had a work event in the evening so I didn’t want to overwhelm my daughter with too much stuff in one day. Sunday was my next choice, because obviously, Saturday would be the busiest day at the con and I didn’t want to get stuck in crowds and get bumped around. I don’t do well in large crowds and being stressed out with a baby is not a good idea.
Third, I had to figure out what to pack. I didn’t want to over pack and be lugging around too much stuff, but I definitely didn’t want to forget anything important and be miles from home with a crabby, poopy baby and no diapers. That would not be fun. Good thing I’ve been going to this comic con for the past five years so I had a basic idea of what we would be facing with regards to the crowds, layout of the building and accessibility of facilities. Packing with a baby is never a simple task. I decided to go as minimal as possible in order to not have to struggle in crowds or worry about losing something. We obviously packed the stroller because even with the carrier, at some point she will get too heavy and you need to put the baby down. Plus a stroller comes in handy when battling crowds; they’re helpful to push your way through. I also packed my carrier, not the car seat carrier, but my baby wearing carrier. I had no idea how she would react to the crowds and since simply carrying her would get tiring quickly, the carrier would allow me to hold for a longer period of time if she became overwhelmed. In her diaper bag, I went very simple: a few extra diapers, wipes, change of clothes (her “babe with the power” onesie), her blankie, and pacifier. I also packed one bottle and my cover for nursing. I don’t have a problem nursing in public but since it was going to be crowded I wanted a backup bottle just in case she was too distracted to nurse or I had nowhere to sit.
I’m proud to say that our adventure to the Chicago Comic Con was a success.
There were no meltdowns from either my daughter or myself. Everything I brought proved necessary. The con was expanded this year and separated on two different floors. The stroller was definitely necessary with all the walking we did but not needed for the crowds as it was spaced out enough that we didn’t hit any major “traffic jams”. Eventually my daughter became tired and the carrier proved useful as she didn’t want to sleep in the stroller but wanted to be held and snuggled. She was able to nap peacefully and I didn’t feel like my arms were going to fall off in the process. I didn’t expect it to be so cold at the con, so packing a blankie was perfect because she actually was chilly in her stroller. It turned out we were so overwhelmed with the size of the convention that we didn’t pay attention to where I could sit and nurse, so the bottle came in handy and her father was able to walk and feed her without any problem. We posed for pictures (well I made her father pose) with many people dressed in costume. My beautiful baby wasn’t afraid of anyone and simply looked around and babbled happily to herself the whole time.
Actually, I don’t think she cried at all.
I have no idea if it was due to good planning or a good baby. I like to think both. I can’t wait until next year; she’ll be older, more active and hopefully enjoy herself even more. One question remains, what shall she wear next year?