If you don’t have children under the age of 15 you may not know what a fidget spinner is. Count yourself lucky not to be caught up in the madness. It’s a toy with spinning discs that was developed 20 years ago to help kids with autism, ADHD and anxiety to concentrate, but it’s also the must have playground toy. Read more about the global phenomenon here. They’re not currently banned in Irish schools that I know of, correct me on that. Here’s my experience with them over the course of the last week.
Diary of a Fidget-Spinner-Seeking-Mom
I was in a local shop and the owner was talking about a product that was in high demand. He took a phonecall with a supplier while the assistant served me. It was clear that the mystery product was the latest fad and incredibly popular. “Spinners” were what he was talking about, I visualised windmills and joked that since they were in stock I should buy some. But I’d never heard of them and what would my kids want with windmills?
2pm: My six-year-old told me about this really cool thing that a kid in school had called a fidget spinner.
3pm: My eight-year-old told me about this really cool thing that a kid in school had called a fidget spinner.
3.01pm: The penny dropped.
My son’s best friend is apparently getting a fidget spinner after school
I met a friend who had gone into every stockist in town but they were all sold out of fidget spinners until Tuesday. Her sons looked sad. I was glad that mine weren’t with me. She told me of a shop that would have stock on Tuesday morning. I filed it under “things I will no doubt forget at the relevant time”.
Attended local music competition, where a friend showed my three kids all the tricks he could do on his fidget spinner. They were all enchanted. Agreed with children that if they were very very good for the rest of the weekend that we would consider buying them on Tuesday when they were back in stock.
First day back to school after the long weekend I was working from home and definitely had the opportunity to go buy fidget spinners on my break, except for I completely forgot about them.
When I collected the kids from their childminder they asked had I bought the fidget spinners. Yikes. We rushed home and found a window between eating dinner and going to GAA training to visit every potential stockist in town looking for fidget spinners. Many already had signs in the windows explaining that they were out of stock. None to be found but one shop was expecting a consignment “first thing in the morning”. Of my day off.
9am: Kids safely dropped to school I found myself waiting for a local shop to open so that I could buy three three-sided fidget spinners, two white and one blue. But the shop didn’t have them yet and expected that they would be in around 10. The very nice lady who was fed up looking at me at this stage offered to take my name and I pre-paid for three to secure my goods.
12pm: Me, small girl and buggy went back to collect our fidget spinners. There was a queue! A queue of parents like me who were embarrassed to be there and to be seen as partaking in the hysteria but had made promises or bribed their kids with the low cost gadget as the reward.
12.05pm: It wasn’t a long queue. Proud owner of three fidget three-sided fidget spinners.
12.15pm: Almost-four-year-old small girl realises while playing with her three-sided fidget spinner that her brother was right that a three-sided spinner would be too big for her hands and that a two-sided one would be more appropriate.
1.30pm: Collected six-year-old from school to be greeted with “Hi Mam did you get the spinner for me?”. Hug received in exchange for fidget spinner. I am an amazing parent.
3.14pm: On way in to collect eight-year-old from music I heard a roar from the six-year-old. “I dropped my spinner. It’s broken. WAIL”
3.15pm: Collected eight-year-old while six-year-old is still in damage assessment mode
3.16pm: Eight-year-old asked if I bought him a fidget spinner and where it is and said “thanks”.
3.25pm: Six-year-old asked where the sellotape is
3.35pm: Six-year-old declared sellotape useless and asked where the superglue is. He was not impressed by my refusal to let him have it.
3.40pm: Eight-year-old said his is broken too. He had a cunning plan, he has the same colour as his sister so he’s going to swap them.
3.41pm: Small sister is no fool and refuses to swap. I threaten to remove all fidget spinners from the house.
3.42pm: Eight-year-old realises that his isn’t broken at all, he had put it together wrong.
4pm: Six-year-old plays with his broken one, despite lack of superglue.
5pm: Small girl asks if anyone has seen hers. Both brothers accused of stealing. I threaten to remove all fidget spinners from the house.
5.05pm: Small girl’s spinner found on the windowsill in the downstairs loo. Questions of handwashing follow and discussions as to whether hers is now to be considered “germy”.
6pm: They still seem to like them. who said this was a short-lived fad?
6.01pm: Dad arrives home early, all three show him their spinners.
8pm: The kids go to bed, I think back over my day and question my sanity, my parenting, and my purpose in life.
9pm: I write a blogpost about it and feel slightly better.