So there I was, heading to Rite Aid. I had just dropped my daughter off at preschool, and instead of driving right home to start work, I found my car going in the opposite direction. My mission? A Rainbow Loom. In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s a loom where you use tiny colored rubber bands to make bracelets and rings. You see, my son had to have one. HAD TO HAVE ONE. It all started this past weekend. . .
We were at the beach with some friends whose kids went to a different school. No big deal, yet their wrists were covered with rubber band bracelets, and the kids that went to my son’s school were coveting them. The bracelet kids shared some, and those who got them, well, their eyes lit up like they were seeing Santa Claus.
Fast forward to Monday, in line for the school’s morning assembly, and about a dozen bracelet wearing kids were talking excitedly about their bands, wanting to trade. My son looked up at me and simply said, “I want one.” That afternoon, my preschooler came home with a bracelet. My son stared at her forlornly and said, “Where did you get that?” “Oh, Kira made it for me,” my daughter casually replied while my son fought back tears.
Tuesday comes, and now it seems like everyone has the bracelets. It’s all they are talking about. The moms stand off to the side and say how it’s great for quiet time while developing fine motor skills. Okay, so now I think we have to get one. At pick-up, a friend tells me that “. . . they’re off to get the rainbow looms.” My son asks again, “Please, please can I get one.” “Tomorrow, I reply, we’ll go after soccer practice.”
Well tomorrow comes, and I ask my aforementioned friend, “So, did you get your looms. Are they worth it?” And she launches in to a story about how they are not available ANYWHERE, and they had to drive three cities over where they finally found one. Which makes me panic, ever-so-slightly. Because you see, I was now utterly convinced that we HAD to get one. I take a deep breath and reply, “Did you look at Rite Aid? Someone said you can get them there.”
Which brings me back to the beginning. Turns our Rite Aid was out of them, and CVS did not have them, nor did any other store in our town. So what do I do? What any sane mother would do. I call the stores in the next county down. I find one, and then call MY mom to see if she can pick it up. She does, and delivers it after school, making one little boy extremely happy (until of course, it turns out that his fine motor skills still need a bit more developing when it comes to using a crochet hook).
So what’s the point of all this? Why do we parents go to such maddening lengths to get a toy? The mentality of it is crazy. For me, when I stop to think why I’m acting like a lunatic to get a toy, I guess it’s because I NEED that peace and quiet. If I can find something for my son that will keep him quietly entertained while I finish my chores, then I will go to the ends of earth to find it. And if that activity is healthy (i.e. developing fine motor skills) then more power to it.
Take for example, Legos. When my son began playing with Legos, I spent a small fortune on bricks. At the time, my daughter was still napping and I was working from home, so to find an activity that took up two hours of his time—I was willing to invest in the retirement fund of a Danish family to get that peace and quiet.
He built kit after kit, getting so skilled, it was amazing to see. But as coincidence had it, he sold a quarter of his Legos at a garage sale we held this past weekend. It made me a little teary; it was as if his youth was being sold with those mini-figures.
So now we move on to Rainbow Looms. I don’t know how long it will last, but nothing could compare to see my child’s eyes light up as he got into line this morning, aimed to do some bracelet trading of his own.