SXSW for Kids – A Parent’s Review 2012

After I wrote Top 5 Kid-Friendly SXSW Events 2012 and ANOTHER Top 5 Kid-Friendly SXSW Events 2012 people have been asking me about my SXSW for Kids experience, so here is my official review.

Sunday

The Untold Story of American HeroinesBlue Eyes took the kids on Sunday night, so I made it to two events with a girlfriend. The Wonder Women! The Untold Story Of American Superheroines, a Benefit for GENaustin included excerpts from the documentary and a Q&A with the producer and director. It made me think about ways I can encourage my girls to be powerful and strong, especially since they seem biologically and irrevocably attached to the princess story.

Growing Up Austin

After that, we went to Red Eyed Fly for Frey’s Cafe, a gathering of SXSWi folks who tell live, true stories. Do you know that I tell live, true stories? On this night, I didn’t know much about the people or the event, I just did it, in a brave or misguided way, and it didn’t work out too well. I tried to write a non-offensive black humor story. Whatever you do, don’t do that. I was making fun of this stupid dog, that wasn’t even mine, that died in my car. But I also tried to be sweet to the dog, so I wouldn’t offend animal lovers. So people couldn’t tell if I was sad or mad or if it was OK to laugh. Maybe next year I’ll tell the story of last year’s terrible story. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Note that this is a picture of a video and I did not post the video. :))

Monday – Tuesday

Growing Up AustinI went on a vacation to San Antonio with a girlfriend and our combined four little girls, ages 2-4. Leaving town is a valid approach for families during SXSW. The trip was equal parts pure joy and madness. There were too many little girls. I’m not that strong. When I get overwhelmed, I tend to lose my keys/phone/camera/purse/laptop and I continued the tradition, leaving my phone at the hotel Tuesday morning, then leaving it again at a restaurant Tuesday night. I’m lucky I didn’t lose the car. I know in time I will remember the pure joy parts more than the rest, and there were plenty of them.

Wednesday

KUT at the Four Seasons SXSW 2012 The Punch Brothers

My girls and I made it to the KUT Live at the Four Seasons for a total of about 20 minutes. We saw a few songs by The Punch Brothers, who were amazing, but after the first song, Sparkles found cilantro in her breakfast taco. I know it is considered a good practice for a chef to add something green for flavor and color, but for some kids he might as well poop on that breakfast taco. Sparkles wouldn’t eat it. She was super mad that they didn’t have cereal, her favorite breakfast at home. She was kicking and screaming and carrying on so we left. This is also a valid approach for families during SXSW.

Thursday

[Uh, a picture of this would have been cute. I guess I got too relaxed.]

My penciled-in idea for Thursday was Guero’s in the afternoon, but the girls were playing sweetly in the driveway with their babies and cribs and blankets, getting them all to take a nap. After San Antonio and The Punch Brothers, I had started to think I might need to sign-up for The Super Nanny TV show, so I decided that I wasn’t going to mess with a good thing.

Friday

Amy's Ice CreamsThis is a picture from me and the girl’s at Roky Erickson’s Ice Cream Social at Threadgill’s. You might look at this and say it looks like Amy’s Ice Creams on Burnet. Well, Friday morning had a new set of surprises that changed our plans, so I punted on SXSW and went for a sure thing. Punting is yet another valid approach for families during SXSW.

Saturday

Growing Up Austin

We were all there. Me, Blue Eyes, Noel, Sparkles and Buttercup, at Guero’s, free parking in the garage, free live music in the patio, chips, salsa and tacos calling our names, when we got the phone call. The cable guy was on the way to our house. Did he know I was just about to order my favorite margarita in the whole world? It was a type of emergency, though, because we had no Internet at the house, which could be interpreted to be partially or mostly my fault, so I volunteered to leave my possibly only hour of SXSW in 2012 to meet the cable guy. This is a picture of our modem instead of Chris Crump.

ย Sunday

Elizabeth McQueenI told my Blue Eyes and Noel that I really wanted to see at least one show during SXSW 2012 and given our pending application for The Super Nanny, I could use some help. The five of us went to Moms Rock from Texas M.I.L.K and we saw Elizabeth McQueen. I especially liked the song about chickens which encouraged some inspired dancing. Texas M.I.L.K. did a great job organizing the event for families, with temporary tattoos, art and crafts and a bubble machine for the kids. I couldn’t decide between all the beautiful things from M Squared Jewelry, so I bought two necklaces. It was a sweet, easy and fun time and a perfect send-off for SXSW 2012, with time left in the day to relax, enjoy some time around the house and get ready for the following week.

But, I didn’t do that. I texted a friend and we headed to Peelander-Z at Springfield Farms. It was drizzly, parking wasn’t easy, the lines for ice cream were long and it could have gone bad. But lucky for me, the band was worth it in an over-the-top kind of way, with wild costumes, group limbo, just about everybody drumming and the guitarist jumping out of a tree.

Peelander-Z

Peelander-Z

Peelander-Z

Some might read this review and say it isn’t much of a SXSW review at all, just about everybody in the city saw more SXSW than me, but this is a MOM’S SXSW review and I think it is just as valid. This IS what SXSW for Moms is like. You can’t do it all, you have to go with the flow and you need to really enjoy the times when it all comes together. I can’t wait until next year. See y’all then…


12 Responses

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  1. I love, love, love all the “This is an option…” stuff! LOL!! Congrats on your brave San Antonio trip (did you ever get the phone back?) and glad you made it to TX M.I.L.K. — that was a great event, wasn’t it? Far from the maddening crowd! I hope they do it again next year!
    Lindsay recently posted..The Weirdness that is SXSW…and Austin

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    Carol Reply:

    I’ll be a Mom Rocks next year if they do it again too. It had a fun, low-key vibe and my girls are still sporting their rock-n-roll temp tattoos.
    Carol recently posted..SXSW for Kids – A Parent’s Review 2012

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  2. Katie

    This is awesome.
    I totally agree with you, btw, that there are (lots!) of valid ways to do things when you are a parent.

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    Carol Reply:

    Yeah, it wasn’t a race, I figured. I’m glad I got to see what I did.

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  3. Well, I’m glad you had a fun Sunday! We were all SXSWed out by then. To give you hope, just wait till your girls are a little older. My 9 and 11-year old loved the events, even when they didn’t care for the music. Admittedly, though, I couldn’t convince my 11-year-old to eat the waffles at the KGSR taping, so maybe some things never change ;).
    Heidi recently posted..Free Rita’s on March 20 ~ 1st Day of Spring

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    Carol Reply:

    Ah, 9 and 11!!!! I’m a little jealous. Yes, it will be easier when they are older.

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  4. Wow! I’m exhausted just reading. What a week!

    Looks like fun!
    ๐Ÿ™‚
    Traci
    Star Traci recently posted..The Mom I Was Going to Be

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    Carol Reply:

    I went back to work this morning and it was very relaxing. So quiet, nothing spilled, all those grown-up words. It was nice.

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  5. Sydney

    Love this post! Look at all the traffic your site is getting!! You are great at telling stories, written AND in person. I did way less SXSW stuff and don’t have kids…thanks for taking me out ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    Carol Reply:

    Ah, thanks! Thanks for hanging out with me and for your expert analysis of the story. Maybe I’ll do the same one again, but different.

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  6. I SO wanted to hit up some free listening on South Congress, but the hubs wasn’t up for it. He agrees with Heidi — wen they’re older, it’ll be easier and we can all enjoy it more. We’ll see! And we missed out on TX M.I.L.K. due to a ceiling fan installation mishap. It’s like the appliances were against us, Carol.
    Leigh Ann recently posted..How to get through to your preschooler without losing your mind

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    Carol Reply:

    Yeah, I’m looking forward to older too. I’m going to go check out your post now about how to get through to my preschooler, I need that info. And congratulations about Listen to Your Mother! You are a rock star!

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