Mommy, Please Promise You’ll Never Spin Me Again

Jeff says I’m not allowed to do any spinning with the kids anymore.  And he’s not referring to indoor cycling.  What he’s put the kibosh on is me actually having any part in the children moving in a circular motion. I may be on probation with swinging them back and forth as well.

And I see his point.

Sunday night we visited a park with some friends.  Each of the six children gathered took turns sitting in that salad spinner thingy that’s at the park.  Have you seen this? It’s like a bowl that turns around maniacally, and it’s got some design feature that can harness centrifugal force that allows a single rider to spin infinitely or until an adult helps them out.

We didn't have this in suburban Dallas in 1980.

We didn’t have this in suburban Dallas in 1980.
image credit:

We didn’t have these spinners when I was a youth.  We had dirt, rocks and pin worms.

So, what do I know about spinning children in a centrifuge?

It was all laughs and shouts of more! my turn! faster! when the other parents were playing Wheel of Fortune with the kids.  Then I took a turn.  Sadie was going around and around, but suddenly I gave her an extra heave-ho, and she somehow spun out and landed with a thud on the wood chips.  Her landing position was a face-down, spread eagle, belly flop.  And it was my fault.

I was so shocked that’s she’d spun out of the bowl that it took me a second to grab her to be sure she was ok. I made it in time to see her pluck two wooden splinters off her tongue.

“MOMMY, you pushed me too hard and made me fall.”

I couldn’t really argue with that.

In bed that night, Jeff trod gently on the topic of how I almost mutilated our child’s entire front side.  In the darkness, he was embolden to mention the following: “Weren’t you spinning the kids in a chair the other night when the chair toppled over on Sadie?”


Yes, that had happened.  I walked into the office where Jeff was overseeing some good old-fashioned “fun with the office chair.”  I wanted in, so when Jeff stepped away the kids agreed to let me spin them.  “Wheeeee! Look at us . . .  <crash!<crash!>>

“MOMMY, you didn’t do it right and now my side head hurts real bad.”

Again, I don’t deny my children’s reality (but I really want to correct their language usage even when they are hysterical) so I just nodded in agreement and offered to hold Sadie while she sobbed.  She declined, citing fear of suffering further bodily harm.

Do two spinning incidents make a pattern? Is the prohibition on my spinning the children warranted based on the facts?  I’m not certain, but Sadie sure is enjoying retelling the story of all the times her Mommy fucked up when spinning her around.  It was awesome to go to the back to school night and learn from her teachers that she’s already told them the story. Twice.


30 thoughts on “Mommy, Please Promise You’ll Never Spin Me Again

  1. As a friend, I can say, “Oh, hon. These things happen. You’re not a fuck up. You’re human.”

    If you were my husband, I would have divorced you by now. Because he’s the rough one who always has the kids crying and me gently suggesting he should perhaps consider the laws of physics before playing with them.

    But you and I aren’t married, so you (and your children) will be fine.

  2. All that playground equipment scares me to death. I don’t like to watch all the what ifs going on around me. I once spun my kid till she barfed. On a tire swing which seems more dangerous than the salad spinner. Except it’s obviously dangerous so they know to hang on for dear life. I get queasy just watching spinny things. Kids are resilient and sturdy for a reason, but you may have to listen to the stories for a good many years.

  3. I was obsessed with spinning as a kid. Do you remember sit and spin? I would go off in a corner and spin myself insane. I distinctly remember the feeling in my belly as I spun and then laying down and watching the room go round and round. I hurt myself on more than one occasion. I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself. If kids love to spin, they will find a way! (I know because my daughter is obsessed too, despite my worrying).

  4. The bright side: if your children ever need bloodwork done, the bill could be discounted, since you’ve already had their blood stirred in a home centrifuge.

  5. I just can’t be fazed. No way.

    Our daughter refused to play on playground equipment when she was a little girl. She insisted on crawling on the outsides of chute slides. She has two family photos of her, on Flickr, with a bruise over her eye. First time, a neighborhood kid accidentally clocked her with a bat. She smiled as my father-in-law took a photo with his high-end camera. Second time, some years later, she hit herself on her loft bed same FIL made her. Found her quietly crying, but she told me she was okay. What I didn’t know is she stole our camera later and took a selfie to show the bruise. But I was strangely impressed when I discovered the capture, and uploaded the photo anyways.

    Both of our kids love to climb trees. My wife freaked when our son fell out of the twisted willow. She came rushing to me and I said something like, “Oh, he joined the club.” (I figure that most kids that climb trees will fall out of one at some point– I did.)

  6. 🙂 okay so that damn spinning thing at the park? WHY is it there? Lovie wanted to go on it one time so on it she went and i was clueless that it would keep spinning faster and faster and she ended up flying off before i could stop it and she cried and i cried inside (but i also laughed inside too bc she flew off the thing- it was crazy). she won’t even LOOK at that damn thing anymore 🙂

  7. Zaid likes to spin HIMSELF until he’s dizzy and I don’t stop him. He then falls into the wall or a chair or the cabinet and…yeah. Mommy didn’t stop him. BUT. Um, there was this one time, outside, that I was spinning Zoe in the air and sort of lost grip on her hands and, well, oh.

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