You might not have heard of Beyblades. They’re these toys that spin sort of like a top. (Though, DO NOT CALL THEM TOPS IN OUR HOUSE. We have had many, many “Beyblades are basically just tops” arguments that have lead to me making a family rule that you are not, under any circumstances, allowed to call Beyblades “tops.”)
As I was saying, they’re basically tops. They come with a launcher that makes them spin really fast. Put two Beyblades together and you have a battle. You win when the other Beyblade explodes, gets knocked out of the arena, or stops spinning.
Why all this Bey-ducation? (Sidenote, from here on out “Bey” refers to Beyblade and not the other “Bey,” Beyonce.)
Because Thomas is obsessed with Beyblades.
And what is a MommyBlog for if not chronicling kid obsessions?
I can’t remember exactly when he learned about Beyblades, but I know that they were on his Christmas list in the “Things I really want” column. Tom’s mom got him this Beyblade Arena, and I pulled a super-lame-mom move — I looked at it and thought it looked complicated, so I put it to the side and figured he’d forget about them.
GUESS WHAT!? HE DID NOT FORGET ABOUT THEM!
I keep trying to think of metaphors to describe his obsession, but the only appropriate comparison is to just describe what it is: a kid-obsession. He’s obsessed them like kids get obsessed with things.
We’ve all seen kids who wear the same shirt everyday, read the same book over and over and over, or memorize everything they can find about horses (ok, that one was me).
When Thomas wakes up in the morning, he sneaks downstairs and starts to Beyblade. Once I woke up at 6:30 with the arena on my chest, Thomas peeking over it, whispering, “Hey, Mom? Wanna Bey?”
(No. I do not want to Bey. Thank you for asking.)
For our family, this particular obsession is the bar to which we’ll measure all future kid-obsession. Especially since he started to run out to the bacykard adn do this. He says it’s Beyblade training. Strengthening his hands and eyes.
I remember once a preschool teacher told me that Thomas’s love of sensory play would really strengthen his hands for writing when the time came. She was wrong. It prepared him perfectly for the complex fine motor requirements of Beyblading.
I say that because Beyblading isn’t easy. Each Bey is made of three pieces that fit together in a very specific way that closely resembles a child safety lid on a medicine container. The launcher is even harder. It has a plastic piece you have to thread in a certain direction. All of this has to be done in a particular order, too. You have to insert the string, then the Bey, then lock, then launch.
If you twist it the wrong way, load it incorrectly, or it doesn’t work. This is why if you Google “How to launch a Beyblade” you get a lot of message boards from frustrated parents who didn’t know they were buying a toy that required a degree in mechanical engineering.
Thomas doesn’t Bey in the stadium much anymore. Instead, he likes to challenge himself with every single other surface in our house. (Bowls, the bathtub, the stairs, the entire kitchen floor, etc.)
He has names for each of his Beyblades, he switches out the pieces, and he loves giving me replays of his battles, “MOM! Did you just see my Bey? It flipped like this and then went back down the side and then POW!”
In that way, I love this obsession. Thomas is my scientist, my explorer. He spends his day setting up Beyblade experiments.
He brings his Beys everywhere (the bus stop, school, Chick-fil-A), which is mostly annoying because they’re easy to lose, but it’s just an extension of his experiment — what happens when you launch a Bey on the road? The sidewalk? Down the play place slide? (Answer: you lose your Beyblade and have to ask an employee to unlock the back of the play place to retrieve your Beyblade. Twice.)
Thomas loves taking his Beyblades to David’s basketball games because there’s a ramp in the building that he can launch his Bey down — and up.
One morning he was playing with his Bey and he attracted the attention of these girls. They are all in third grade and up, and they gathered around my four-year-old and started oohing and aahing over his toy.
They tried to launch the Bey and couldn’t figured it out, so when Thomas showed them (again) how to do it, they oohed and aahed even more. Wow! Cool! He makes it look so easy!
The whole scene played out like a high school rom com — the older girls fawning over the younger, earnest boy. I couldn’t help but laugh watching them.
Thomas seemed unaware of what had just happened.
OR MAYBE NOT. Look at that confident, satisfied smile. Perhaps Thomas isn’t just a master Beyblader. He’s an all-around master of everything.