Well played Dear Daughter, well played. We spent the first day of half term scouring the beautiful city of Bath for... fidget spinners. She manhandled our emotions in just the right way so we fell over our feet to get her one. She never actually ASKED for one, but would simply drop into conversation that she was the only person in the playground to not have one. She informed us how her best friends were giving her turns because they felt sorry for her. 'Such and such has a GOLDEN one don't you know!'
This is the first time we have been manipulated by a craze, somehow we have avoided the 'must have' toys each Christmas because our daughter generally has her heart set on something slightly obscure. Fidget spinners, however, finally sucked her in. I had been dreading the moment when advertising and peer pressure forced us into buying something. I have never enjoyed being told what to do, it suits me down to the ground that I am my own boss now, and I am keen to raise highly spirited, independent young ladies that don't follow the crowd if they don't want to. Therefore I admit there was a slight lip curl on my part when we finally found this lump of plastic and metal my little girl so had her heart set on.
'That's it!?' My husband whispered to me, 'that is what all the hype is about?'
I had to admit, there really wasn't much to it, an object you hold between your fingers and spin. I'm not sure what I was expecting but someone out there was making a killing. So, we reluctantly handed over our pounds for not one, but two of these crazy contraptions (because the toddler needs everything her sister has) and we went on our way with a feeling akin to being conned.
Then we watched our children play with them.
That evening we stayed at Grandma's house. There was no complaints at the lack of toys at Grandma's. There was no fighting, there was no demands for I pads, phones, CBeebies. Instead there were two little girls sitting side by side comparing how fast they could spin their spinners. Early the following morning as they climbed into bed with us, I was prepared to hand over Moana on various devices in the hope my husband and I could close our eyes for just a few more moments. You know what, they didn't even ask! Both sat quite contently spinning once more until hunger got the better of them. If this was what fidget spinners were all about I wish I had succumbed sooner.
Fidget spinners are not a new invention. They have been around since the 90's and I can honestly say that although I have only come across them now, I certainly am reminded of my childhood, before screens became such a huge part of our lives. Although my children have a very limited amount of time on screens, they are always there. I am aware it is what they WANT to be doing, plugging in. They beg me to watch TV when I make tea. They rely on the I Pad on long journeys (and so do I to be honest) and it takes my persuasion to convince them to go upstairs and play with something from the rooms full of toys we seem to possess. Until Fidget spinners arrived that is. We are now five days into Fidget Spinner ownership and the novelty hasn't, as yet, worn off. I am reminded of my own love of yoyos or pogs back in the day, and the fun we had with them as kids, and now I feel a complete killjoy for writing off crazes before we have even become involved. So yes, I still hate being bombarded by advertising, and resent the targeting that they do on my children. But next time my daughter mentions a new craze that she really wants to get into I won't complain and judge it, I will allow her instead to just be a kid. To take part, have fun with her friends and simply embrace play time like we used to.