How to (Still) Rock Out with a Newborn

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Parents, how do you strike a balance between the rocker (slash partier) in you of pre-child days and the Mom/Dad caregiver you are today? If you're reading this, you, like me, probably feel that Rockabye Baby does that with music we love...but how do you do this in real life? I just came back from my first big trip with our newborn, Little D, to San Francisco, where we were visiting my sister, Linda, and her husband, Dan, who don't have children yet but are in training with a 5-month-old Chow.  In advance of our arrival, Linda suggested seeing some bands at Oyster Fest in the park and going on some wine-tasting tour. Um...don't you love it when people forget about your new plus one? "What do we do with D at a concert? And, you know, I'm allergic to shellfish and that I'm breastfeeding, right?" I told her. "Oh, that's right," she said. "Well, we can at least go to the park and check it out." So that Saturday afternoon we ventured into Golden Gate Park to see what the festival was all about. From a far distance we could already see hundreds of rowdy people packed too tightly inside a fenced enclosure that also included a huge stage, tons of beer stands and port-a-potties galore. You get the picture. No way was I bringing D into that scene of drinking, seafood-eating music fans...though I did long to join them. Whoever organized the Oyster Fest either wanted to piss off parents or was one because this party scene took place right next to the biggest playground in the park, Koret Children's Quarter.  Best. Idea. Ever. When bands Young the Giant and Minus the Bear rocked out on stage, we couldn't see them, but, wow, could we hear them. Our view was of kids and parents frolicking about on, hands-down, one of the best playgrounds I've ever been to. I wondered who was having a better time...the people on our side of the fence or the Oyster crowd? Little D got to attend her first concert with her parents. And, I think, "Cough Syrup" might be her new favorite song. For me, it was the perfect balance of party and playtime, and from the expressions on most of the parents in the park, they felt the same way. We got to rock without rolling. Ha. Thanks, little sister.

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