Cosplay and parenting: HRH at Minamicon
I went to Minamicon 20 with my toddler and all I got were these lousy badges.
As mentioned in my first parenting-related article, Minamicon was the first event I was attending with HRH with his own costume, and it was a mixed bag of success. Together we explored the event rooms, played with cosplayers, and entered the masquerade. Although there were a few things that did not go to plan, all in all, it was an experience I would like to repeat, with a few minor edits.
HRH arrived with minor fanfare 1pm Saturday afternoon, ready and raring to go, though mostly raring to go into the hotel pool, as he caught my Mum packing his swimming trunks… Managing to side-track him with the Dealer’s Room, I introduced him to some of my favourite things *cough*Hi Chew*cough* and to some of my favourite people. He was very taken with Genki Gear’s t-shirts, and with the colourful LGBTQ articles from Khaos. HRH seemed to thoroughly enjoy just walking around the event, seeing the different costumes and people. He was especially enamoured with P-chan, and spent the vast majority of the day asking, “Where P-chan? Where P-chan gone?”
He was surprisingly well-behaved during the masquerade briefing, probably partially because P-chan was there. Just after the briefing I discovered to my horror that the iron-on transfer paper I’d purchased (for a whopping £12.99!) to transfer Lightning McQueen’s logos onto the red boiler suit I’d bought for HRH’s costume didn’t actually work. Luckily, one of HRH’s adopted uncles, Kurogromox had delivered his belated birthday present the Thursday before Minamicon: A Lightning McQueen outfit from his workplace. That, coupled with the cap purchased from eBay, worked a treat.
For myself, I had decided against the Hollie Shiftwell costume for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I couldn’t find the pattern I had wished to use, nor could I buy a new one in time. Secondly, it occurred to me that HRH might be a bit nervous in front of so many people, and that I might need to carry him. It made more sense for me to do a character who would more logically be tactile with McQueen. So I ended up in dungarees and a plaid shirt as Rule 63/Gender-Swap Tow Mater.
I’m exceptionally grateful to the kind Gopher in the ‘Green Room’ waiting for the masquerade to begin, as he helped entertain HRH to keep him from bursting out of the room to go and find P-chan (you think I’m joking, but I’m really not! P-chan what have you done to my son?!). In addition to keeping him entertained, the lovely Gopher fed him chips from his meal, so HRH thought he was amazing. To be fair, he really was. Between said gopher, and young Freddie the mage, HRH was very happy, and almost forgot about P-chan. Almost.
The masquerade itself went very quickly for us. HRH was a little overwhelmed by the amount of people there, but he gathered himself together as we reached the front, and beamed at the judges before clapping along (well, everyone else was after all). Scooping him up onto my shoulders so he could see to the back of the room (and they could see him) we did a slow exit and sat down. We were able to watch the next three entries, but soon HRH became fractious (even with comparing dummies with Freddie) and I thought it prudent to remove him before he started disturbing others.
I dislike missing the Minamicon masquerade, as there are always a number of fantastic costumes and skits. However, HRH is only three, and I had promised him a swim in the hotel pool. So off with cosplay, on with swimming costumes, and into the pool. Much entertained, HRH stayed in there for about forty-five minutes before removal, bath, and bed.
There came a bit of an issue. My Mum had forgotten to pack HRH’s monitor, so from roughly 20:00 I was confined to the hotel room, meaning I missed a lot of things I would have liked to do. In addition, it turns out HRH is most capable of taking up the entirety of a double bed all to himself. After the third headbutt-to-the-face I had to wedge a blanket between us to prevent myself from being too badly bruised in the morning!
Sunday morning was spent out of cosplay for me, but HRH refused to wear anything but the Lightning McQueen outfit, so that was that. After breakfast we socialised a little, before he was retrieved to go home (asking where P-chan was all the way to the car).
It was a really enjoyable time, even with missing things I would have liked to do, and I would definitely look at doing this again. I think that next year I shall be bringing my Mum along so she can have HRH on the Saturday night, so I can do things like the karaoke and other social events.
As for what he’ll be cosplaying next year… Well, he’s taken to running around yelling “I’M BATMAN!”, so I fear that may be an indication…
(I suppose at least he’s not trying to cosplay P-chan?…)