By David Hawkins
Phenom-A-Mum called me in the middle of the day to say, “You’ve got to check out fidget spinners, they’re the new big thing! Perfect for a Dad-review.” An awkward silence followed as I tried to work out what she was talking about. “A fidgety spinster?” I replied, “Can’t see them being that much more popular than the non-fidgety ladies. And probably not the thing to be giving to our toddler.”
By now I am sure you have heard all about the raging craze that is the Fidget Spinner and how schools nationwide are banning it with catholic-style condemnation. If you don’t know, Google it, because all you need to see is a two-second video of the spinner’s eternal revolutionary revolution to get the whole concept; it turns around a lot, very fast. That’s it. Oh, and you hold it between your thumb and insult (otherwise known as ‘middle’) finger.
I’m guessing that you’re getting ready for an old man grump-off about kids these days and how we did fads better in my time, but you would be wrong. Whilst I was initially stumped with incomprehension of how something so inane could become so popular, I threw a decade (or two) off my shoulders and decided to try it before I bag it. So I hopped onto Gumtree and had a trio of smoothly designed gadgets in my wrinkling palms before the end of the afternoon. Yep, that was the beginning of the end.
Minutes after my initial tampering I found myself making a shopping list only to discover that I was unconsciously spinning one of them in my unoccupied hand! And then I just kept on spinning. Staring at the spinners is interesting for a minute or two, as you watch pretty patterns flicker past, and would probably hold attentions for longer if you bought the pricier LED light-up versions, but it is the sole act of having it spin that gets you.
It feels nice; constant, repetitive, reassuring. Some of them make a little whizzing or rubbing sound that starts out as annoying and quickly becomes noticeably absent when you put the spinner down. The throbbing gyration in your hand is what really gets you, and you can get that filthy image out of your mind! This is an innocent and puerile toy that I now understand.
My four year old is already wanting to play with them all of the time, losing his temper when the fidget spinner knocks against his teeny hand and grinds to an abrupt halt. And this means that our one year old is equally hungering for them because whatever big brother likes, little brother steals.
Don’t listen to the naysayers and grumpy old f-ers who want to spit on anything that’s newer than the penny farthing. It is not a lame hula-hoop rip-off (states a man who has never managed to hula the hoop) nor a toy for stupid people. Join the hordes of tech-wannabe business folk, who pay upwards of a hundred dollars for fancy executive models, and enjoy something that is nothing much more than a small comfort.
Or join the really cool school kids and see if you can use them to do tricks. Balance a spinning spinner on your nose or flip it from one elbow to the other. I will admit that it reminds me of the yo-yo mega-fad during the 80’s but without the difficulty level that always kept this uncoordinated tease-target from ever managing to walk-the-dog. See, perfect for me!
David Hawkins is a Peninsula based stay-at-home-dad who realised that he needed to improve his Dadding. So he set himself the simple task of being an Awesome Dad. He now challenges all dads to be awesome dads, by doing something out-of-the-ordinary with their kids.