Spinners! As you mosey through the school, all the kids think you're so cool

I was tidying up one of my kids' rooms  the other day, and I found this:


See it there, peeking out like a pair of mechanical eyes?

A spinner! The very same thing I had just read about in a letter home to all parents from the principal. The "fidget device" I had only weeks ago given him a hard no on? Well, maybe not that hard: I think I demurred based on the fact that it was priced at $25 at our local toy store.

In any case, I gasped like I had found a marijuana supply. I'm not going to even pretend that I know what I'm talking about and say "like I found a joint or a dime bag." Because my nomenclature is probably so dated that marijuana is at least neutral if a little square. I'm good with being neutral and a little square.

My friend Pete said that spinners are the gateway gadget to the Fidget Cube! I tried to get the Fidget Cube for a stocking stuffer at Christmas, but it was in the kickstarter phase so I thought I was doing a good deed by not buying a cheaply made knockoff. But then my kid goes and buys the cheap knockoff of the next iteration months later! (Also, would I have been just putting them right on crack, if Pete's analogy holds? Or would the kids say meth these days?)

So, what to do? I have some experience with fidget devices. I gave all the kids cute little stress relievers on time: small balloons loosely filled with cornstarch and decorated with a magic marker face and yarn hair. And one of my kids has been keeping a putty eraser handy to relieve some nervous energy in school since second grade.

But this has become a toy now (the fact that the spinner was available at the toy store is not lost on me). I'm not sure if it's just the rise of helicopter parenting (we must resolve all behaviors that lead to poor grades! If the fingers tap, their must be something I can buy to help it and by extension preserve my kid's shot at an Ivy League College) or just savvy marketing.

Whatever the case, we now have one spinner in the house, and I predict three more will soon join us. As my other friend Heather said, "A kid with a spinner in his hand can't flip a water bottle, so just be cool, will ya?"

Oh, and for some background on my title, whenever I think the word spinner, I kind of think sing it to this tune: