In my previous post, I told you about how I couldn't do my craft shows without my husband's help. Now it's time to talk about how we manage setting up my booth with an inquisitive, short-attention-span child in tow.
I've been exhibiting at craft shows for about four years, which means it all started when Zack was two. At first, it was rough -- I'd have to walk Zack around in the stroller to keep him occupied, or I'd have to hire a sitter (which I think I only did once, because I couldn't bear to be away from him).
As he got older, though, things got easier, because he had distractions that didn't involve constant parental attention. For instance, he discovered the joys of a portable DVD player or my iPod, and snacks are ALWAYS a welcome diversion...
Indoor shows are a lot easier for managing children, I think, because I don't have to worry about Zack getting run over by a car. Outdoor shows, on the other hand, require a different method. The battery on the iPod only lasts so long, so we pack up a tote full of puzzle books, markers, and such, and park him in a spot with a stern command to NOT MOVE from that spot.
Let's take a closer look....
Zack "borrowed" the plastic box from my booth and plunked himself and his favorite stuffed rabbit in it. He then contented himself with books, stickers, and markers, as well as quacking at the ducks that ambled by.
Fortunately, once the tent is set up, the guys go off and have fun doing whatever it is that guys do for fun. They come back when it's time to help me shut down, and we go enjoy dinner and the evening together. I love having them around, much preferring it to sleeping alone in a boring hotel room.
I'm lucky to have my two Best Guys. They're both so supportive of what I do for a living, and I love them dearly for it and for a gazillion other things.
Lori Anderson travels the east coast exhibiting at craft shows with husband and child in tow. You can see and purchase her work at www.lorianderson.net.