Blogging.. and stuff..
Long before I actually started MinkFlamingos, I thought extensively ABOUT starting MinkFlamingos. There are so many blogs out there: blogs about blogs, how to blog, advice for blogs, categories of blogs, etc. etc. I struggled a little in "finding the direction" of my blog. Every time I would think about pinning it down, even after I'd started MinkFlamingos, I'd resist trying to pigeonhole myself. If I did a parenting blog, then where would I post my thoughts on the new Star Trek movie? If I did a nerd blog, where would I post about the rigamarole of parenting? And so MinkFlamingos floated along, content to just be its own entity. I called it "commentary on all things pop culture... and parenting."
As time has passed, I've found myself really wanting to have MinkFlamingos be a resource for readers. At the moment it's largely just Life-Casting for D (the Weekly Peanut). In its earliest days, I was desperately reaching out to the future-mom community, wanting to provide them with an honest look at just what they had coming, good or bad. However I've found that, with time, parenting becomes less a shock to the senses and the whole "dear god, this kid is killing me" thing starts to fade once you get past the newborn days. So what sort of resource could I be for people? Could I be a resource, but still let myself blog about things not directly related to that content and feel like I could hold on to my readers? What is it that I do or that I feel I know a lot about that other people might find helpful?
I seemed to be getting a repeat comment from friends and family on the Weekly Peanut Posts, "Wow, you are taking that kid everywhere!" Yes, indeed we are. After the agoraphobia that went along with the anxiety of the first 8 weeks of her life, going out has become a needed escape. With a kid like mine, who is NEVER content to "just sit," going places is a way to keep her entertained without having to perform a three ring circus in my living room.
In our adventures I've discovered that some of our former haunts were just not great to take the peanut along. Or, we'd show up, and it would be ok, but we wished we'd brought some gear from home with us to help facilitate an easier time. I usually post about these adventures, and the successes and failures of going to these places with the kid, so.... why not create a resource for parents of things to do with their kids? In Orlando and even when we travel out of town? How kid-friendly are the restaurants? Who has high chairs? What theme parks have the best changing stations? This could go on forever. Since Orlando is such a tourist destination, maybe people coming to visit from out of town could come up with some good ideas for "off the beaten path" activities to do with their kids so they aren't stuck at a McDonald's, watching their kid chuck pickles at the window?
Most importantly, I asked myself, "Would I be interested in reading something like this?" Hell. Yes. I googled around, and there are some articles out there (Go to Sea World with your kids!), but little of them really explain the thinking or logistics behind why it is or isn't a good idea to take your kids to these places.
Obviously, this will not happen overnight. I don't think it will be a separate blog, probably just a separate menu ^up there, but we'll see. Should I make lists of restaurants with notes by them for people to reference? Or just blog and tag? I'd love to hear any thoughts/input/ideas you guys have of what you'd like to see out of a "getting out with your kids" resource. What should I call it?
I was largely inspired to do this by our recent trip to the Splash Pad. I kept thinking "Why the heck didn't I know about this sooner? Everybody should know about this!" There have to be other parents out there like me who don't have a whole lot of other parent friends around locally to tell them about these things, so how do they find out? Gosh darn it, I'm going to tell them about it! I hope....