If your toddler is like mine and monster trucks are his/her thing, or anything fast and loud come to think of it, then you’re probably looking at attending a NASCAR or Monster Truck event sometime in the near future. You’ll do it to ensure that they get those amazing experiences that you want them to remember and cherish forever, and you’ll do it out of the goodness of your own heart. You might even enjoy them, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Here are a few details for you parents, as you get out there and enjoy one of your very first events with that little person you love so much. We’ve done it a few times now and have enjoyed it by following a few simple rules:
1. Go In With The Right Frame Of Mind
There are a million things that can go wrong the day of a big ticket event like a monster truck show. Your toddler could fall asleep on the way there, he/she could be hungry/angry (hangry, amirite?), he/she could melt down completely at the event, or your dog could bark and that could freak everyone out.
Which is to say, anything could happen and events with a toddler tend to be very different then events with another adult. They just work out differently and it’s not likely you’re going to make it through the whole event unscathed. If you know this going in, you’ll be just fine. However, if you go into this with the expectation that this is going to be a bed of roses, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
2. Don’t Buy The Best Seats
Listen, I know you’re swimming in money (which is why you’re on this free resource site), but you don’t need the top line seats. Your toddler is not going to notice the difference between the first row and the 20th, and they’re not likely to remember everything (if anything) about the show. Now, I’m not saying you should be a cheapskate either because if you’re sitting in row 205, you’re not going to hold a toddler’s attention for very long. Dots on the horizon just won’t do it for those under 5. When you buy your tickets, keep in mind that there will be a lot of things that could cause you to leave early.
If I had to suggest a seat area, it would be the 2nd “class” seat at any event. If you’re in a hockey/football arena, then I’d be in the 2nd level. If you’re at an outdoor track, don’t be exactly center or at the front, but don’t be at the top and don’t be well away from center either. Moderation, people.
3. Bring Hearing Protection, And Snacks
I can’t stress this enough; bring hearing protection and enforce wearing it. Need proof? Here’s a chart from http://chha-nl.ca/be-noise-aware/. Note that the article we’re pointing to also states that “Parents also need to be aware that children are more vulnerable to damage due to their immature auditory development.”
So bring hearing protection, and make sure it’s made for a toddler. Your ear muffs meant for skating on outdoor rinks just won’t do. Look for something like this: Baby Banz
Now, this is likely something that you’re going to need to prepare your toddler for well in advance. I would suggest talking this through a few times and let them know that they’re going to wear some big ear muffs when the trucks start. I’m sure as a parent you know how crucial it is to go through something like this in advance of getting to the event…or I hope you do.
Oh, and don’t forget the snacks thing. That’s crucial to your success; even if it’s only a little snack, it’ll save you from having to leave in the middle of the best part. A little granola bar (or two), a fruit squishy pack, or if you’re feeling like you have this nutritional thing down pat…bring a chocolate bar.
4. Mom Was Right, Layer Clothing
Not for yourself, silly. You’re old enough to make your own (poor) decisions. I’m talking about the clothes your child is going to wear. You should make sure that kid of yours has a few extra layers with them in a backpack. If backpacks aren’t allowed at the event, then at least put the sweater on them and let them pull off the layers as you go. Nothing will end your day earlier in a worse way then a cold toddler.
Actually, come to think of it there is one thing that will end your day earlier than a cold toddler. A cold toddler without a diaper who has to pee.
Monster Truck Shows are just plain silly. Take the time to really enjoy this, hug your toddler, answer their questions, and make this event a memorable one. You only get so many of these days and you should live them to the fullest. There’s nothing like your toddler telling you about the “monsa twuck sow” two months later.
And just one more thing…if you can’t get to a Monster Truck Show itself, why don’t you just watch some of the YouTube videos on our Top 10 Toddler Monster Truck Videos blog post.
Till next time, stay classy San Francisco (or more appropriately, world),