Kat Armstrong: Celebritease


Taking Your Kids to Concerts (The Grown-Up Kind)

In a year of firsts, we took both kids to an outdoor festival and lived!


So, this has been a big year of firsts for us. I took Henry to his first live theatre, his first movie, and we, as a family, went to Riot Fest a few weeks ago in Toronto. This was a two-day, outdoor festival. Matt's favourite (and one of my faves) band, (Iggy and) The Stooges played, and we thought it would be a really fun event for our whole family. And as my friends know, I'm a serious planner, so I didn't take this outing lightly. I needed to talk to someone with experience, so I had a chat with Lauren Moses-Brettler, partner of Toronto's Polaris Prize winning Fucked Up's lead singer Damian and mum to two gorgeous boys. Lauren, upon having the couple's first son, found that there wasn't really anything on the market in Toronto in the way of ear protection for babies/toddlers, and she now sells noise-cancelling headphones for that reason. We purchased two pairs from her, and prepared for the kids first show. 

One of my biggest concerns, I have to admit, was what other patrons at the shows might think. I remember seeing a 9-10 year old kid in 2010 at a punk show (Cro-Mags for anyone who cares) and thinking, 'that dad is the best dad that ever dad-ed." Lots of other people were whispering and pointing and saying stuff like, "Why would anyone bring their kid to a show like this?" And, "UGH! I DON'T NEED TO SEE A KID HERE, I'M TRYING TO DRINK THIS BEER!" Lauren agreed with this challenge, but made a great point of telling me that while many places aren't exactly kid-friendly, she thinks (and I agree) that it's important to expose our kids to all sorts of culture at all sorts of ages.


When I asked how to prepare, one of the things that really stuck out for me is that Lauren and Daiman DO bring a stroller often to shows. I thought it would be a real pain in the butt, but as she said, "... in general I think bringing a stroller is handy even only for a holding place for all the many baby/kid things you need to bring along!" With two kids, one who gets tired awfully quickly these days, we decided there would be no harm in bringing the stroller to our first outing, so that was my first check mark. She also noted to, "bring the usual things" that one would bring out and about with kids. But of course, the biggest thing was ear protection. Since Lauren had already helped me out on that front, she gave me the best advice, "RELAX...I didn't have kids to leave them at home all the time!"

Such sage advice, I have to admit. We ended up having an AMAZING time at the show, and Henry ended up stripping next to naked, running around with a foam hand and sitting with some older "kids" (twentysomethings). He also got to have French fries and ice cream for dinner and danced until the sun went down. Lauchie mostly slept, nursed, and pooped, so, you know, he didn't hate it. Best lesson learned from this outing, besides all the amazing stuff Lauren told me, has to be this one:


If you are afraid, you may miss out on amazing memories, and things you actually want to do.

So, spill it! Would you or have you ever taken your kids to live shows for "adults?"