I learned something important today. When you’re 5 months pregnant at a huge convention, a problem exists: you’re 5 months pregnant. Toting around swag and walking for hours straight doesn’t feel so great. After only a couple of hours, my feet and back feel like they want to run away from my body. Don’t even get me started on my OCD and public restrooms. This made me realize how I should approach my weekend special for Pax: no one talks about being a parent at a gaming convention nor does anyone mention being pregnant and walking around swarms of people.
This is mine and my husband’s 3rd year here. This year, we decided our 9-year-old was old enough to appreciate this experience. This posed a problem for us, as now we had to adapt a new plan and accept that there were certain things we would have to miss that we enjoyed. (I miss you “Make a Strip” panel.) Certain things aren’t kid friendly.
This gave us a new perspective on this event. We kept our eyes opened for things our son would enjoy. Then, we saw the “Paint and Take” booth. Perfect! My husband and our son sat there together painting happily together. When they were completed, they proudly showed off their work.
We also remembered a joy when our son discovered the Classic Console room. While we proudly showed our old age talking about how “the NES was our first game system as kids” and explaining the evolution of games to get to the Wii and Xbox he enjoys today. We showed him how Golden Eye 64 was far more awesome than his Wii version, and then watched him beat us at it. Yes, we were proud. I have a feeling we’re going to spend a lot of time there this weekend.
Another room was also a place of great awe and amazement for our 9-year-old adventurer: the ACAM too. It was filled with classic arcade machines that were free to play. The room was dark, with laser stage lights like arcades should look like. With a backdrop of 80’s music, our son looks at this pinball machine like he’s never seen one in real life, asking “wasn’t Tommy a pinball wizard?” My poor husband’s knee though, he crouched down using his legs as a step stool so our short son could see the screens. This is another place we’ll probably end up spending our weekend.
The agenda for tomorrow is simple. First, we must track down Jonathan Coulton so our son can get an autograph and meet his beloved JoCo. Then more family friendly activities including another visit to the painting booth and classic consoles. Finally, the Saturday night concerts so we can enjoy Video Game Orchestra and Jonathan Coulton.
For you expectant mothers, I do have advice: granola bars or the like are your friends, as are bottles of water. Also taking breaks as often as possible makes you not feel so dead, you know your body. Lastly, a pair of comfortable shoes and airy clothing prevents the overheat and just makes you feel less discomfort.
For now though, we’re calling it a night. My feet have swollen up to a freakish size and my muscles feel like giving up. Tomorrow I’ll know better. Have fun Pax people who are still partying down.