Puzzle Me This

I love puzzles, more specifically jigsaw puzzles.   When I was a kid, I kept a cut piece of cardboard under my bed with some 1000 + piece puzzle in some sort of working fashion.  There was always something therapeutic for me when it came to working puzzles.  A couple of years ago, while visiting my husband’s grandmother in a nursing home, I found myself face to face with a puzzle sitting on a table.  I’m a bit ashamed to say, but while his grandmother napped, I sat there and started working the puzzle.   It was great.

My boys have begun to pick up this habit.   Like most every parent, I bought them some sort of wooden peg puzzle when they were babies.   I coaxed them both along just a bit, but they eventually got the hang of it.   These days, they are both puzzle working fiends.

Henry works his transportation puzzle.
Henry works his transportation puzzle.

Davey’s most favorite thing to do is work puzzles.   I have to keep one packed in his back pack every time we leave the house, should we get stuck somewhere and he needs some entertainment.  Last week at the beach, this kid reworked the same three 24 piece puzzles like a champ.   Henry didn’t pick up on it as quickly, but he’s moved along.   He is the second child, after all.

Henry is learning about animals of the jungle.
Henry is learning about animals of the jungle.

The downside to being a second child means that you don’t get the one on one attention that the oldest child received.  I’m painfully aware of this with Henry on a daily basis and I’m a bit perturbed with myself that I haven’t spent the time instilling my hobby into him.   Fortunately for me, he’s picked up on the puzzle working mania of this family and can work puzzles that Davey couldn’t when he was the same age.  Perhaps it’s from watching Davey, because I know I haven’t worked with him to that level.   Shame on me.

And more jungle animals.
And more jungle animals.

Either way, my boys love a good puzzle and this makes me so happy.   Yesterday, Davey worked 8 different puzzles, ranging in size from 12-48 pieces.   He did the hardest one in literally 5 minutes.  Yeah, I timed him.   But here’s the thing with Davey, he doesn’t look at a piece and then think about where it should go, he just seems to pick up a piece, runs it through his fingers while his eyes are simultaneously looking at the other pieces, and know exactly where it goes.  It’s almost as if he has a sixth sense working these things.

Working the pig portion of Melissa & Doug.
Working the pig portion of Melissa & Doug.

As the boys have progressed, I have begun purchasing puzzles that will actually teach them things.   For example, Davey’s favorite puzzle has become his Melissa & Doug puzzle of the United States.  He asks to work this at least once a day, and is learning where the states go and the names of them.  He knows more than I do with regards to the location of the states.

Davey likes to tell his daddy which state he has.
Davey likes to tell his daddy which state he has.

The great thing about the puzzles is that it keeps them busy while I’m doing chores.  On a rainy day, when they can’t go outside and I refuse to cave into the television as it beckons my name, puzzles have become my godsend.   I’m glad these two love working puzzles.   I’ve begun to find myself looking at some of the larger, harder puzzles for myself.   What a great way for Davey and I to do something together by setting up a puzzle on the dining room table and working a little bit every day.

He knows exactly where every state goes.
He knows exactly where every state goes.

I guess I’ll be making a stop to Wal-Mart tonight.

And another state is placed.
And another state is placed.
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