Back in August, Alice and I went to Boston Comic Con, which was a great event for both of us. Several years ago, we went to Rhode Island Comic Con as a family and I thought this might be a good one to try with Alice. I asked Alice if she wanted to go and she said yes, so I bought tickets. Years before, I bought a pattern for 19th century set of tails (and lost the directions) and decided that I was going to make them into a Harley Quinn suit. In the meantime, Alice decided completely independently that she wanted to be Harley Quinn for Hallowe’en, so we both had the same costume for this, which I’m totally cool with.
Like before, there was a fair amount of pre-planning and talking about behavior. Without this, Alice would be all over every cosplayer with no restraint. We gave her phrases that she could say that would help her interact with people. Simple things like, “I like your costume.” “Can I take a picture with you?” and if someone asked her for a picture, “I need to ask my daddy.”
We arrived and parked and found that the line — and I swear I’m not making this up, because I just used gmaps pedometer to verify — was over a mile to get into the center. We arrived slightly after the doors were set to open and it took an hour and a half just to get into the arena. It was cold and Alice and I were both in costume. Alice was patient and extremely well-behaved for that time. It’s hard to imagine any kid managing that well, but Alice did.
I let Alice pick where we should go first and she decided that we were going to the mini kid’s con on the top floor. The content was well beneath her, but there are only so many battles to fight in one day. We then hit the main floor and wandered around. We stumbled onto the “celebrity” area and oddly enough, a lot of the guests were not swamped. Considering that there were 10’s of thousands of people in the building, this was hard to imagine. Chris Sarandon was all alone, so I decided that Alice should meet him. I was a little leery because Alice perseverated on The Princess Bride for years and re-opening that particular can of worms might be problematic. Alice was somewhat overwhelmed, but then she saw the glossy photos and the gears started to turn. “Hi, my name is Alice and this is my daddy, Steve. You were in The Princess and the Bride.” Chris was nice and patient. I thanked him for his work and for being kind to my daughter and we moved on.
Next we ran into Brent Spiner. He and I had a nice conversation and he was also very nice to Alice. In many things, Alice can be a litmus test. If you’re genuinely patient and kind to Alice, you’ve demonstrated your worth.
We continued to wander and Alice picked out people for pictures.
I don’t think we’ll go back to Rhode Island Comic Con – it was too crowded, the crowd management was not so good, the organization was awful (there were a few artists scheduled to be there and I couldn’t find them – no maps, no help, there app had no information – awful) and the food options were truly horrible for anyone with Celiac disease.
Again, most of the reason for success was pre-planning, lots of talking with Alice about expectations, giving her agency, trying to say ‘yes’ as much as possible.