After 23 grueling days of Countdown, I’m going to take a break from the rigorous analysis today to share a more personal story and hopefully get some feedback from all of you with some of your own stories.
Long story short, the Eastern Washington game next week will be the first game I attend with my daughter. She’s my wife’s and my first child and she was born in July. She will be about eight weeks by the season opener- tiny enough that we can keep her in one place long enough for us to watch at least some of the game. More importantly, I’m excited to have her in a place that means so much to my wife and me. I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences with your kids. Hopefully you can all help me make the most of the experience.
What I know
I have spoken to some friends who have brought babies and young kids to games to get input on how to handle the situation.
We have lots of gear- purple headphones to keep the noise down, two different baby carriers so we can take turns holding her, and plenty of ways to keep her out of direct sunlight. We have a diaper bag that has insulation to hold 2-3 bottles. I know that security has exceptions to the “no bag” rule for these situations.
I know there are nursing/mothers’ rooms in the stadium and I have been told they’re actually quite nice. Those will double as changing rooms.
We are going to be ready to leave early if necessary. We live within a few miles of the campus, so we would normally bike or take public transit, but those options are out for now.
We have a large group of tailgating friends. We’re not going to abandon them, but we plan to show up about 90 minutes before kickoff to see them briefly without stretching the baby too far.
What I don’t know
Where is the best place to park? When I’ve driven before, I haven’t had a problem parking close to a mile away. If we need to make a quick exit, I’m not sure where the best option would be.
What is the best way to approach security? Does anyone have any tips on how to prepare the diaper bag and bottles to get through efficiently and without any major confusion?
What haven’t I thought about that’s going to be a major problem? I’m sure there’s something.
Logistics aside, I can’t wait to share this experience with my family. It’s going to be part of her life as she grows up and this is just the start. I know that others have great stories about passing UW fandom on to future generations, and I hope you’ll be willing to share in the comments.