Saturday, September 08, 2012

The Wild Kingdom

When was the last time you did a jigsaw puzzle? I haven't done them in years, though I remember a time when friends used to come for Christmas dinner and stay until two in the morning putting together intricate jigsaw puzzles. We especially prized those mystery puzzles where the picture on the box didn't give a clue to what the finished puzzle should look like.
I'm into much simpler puzzles these days, because I'm doing them with six-year-old Jacob. I've discovered that 100-piece XXL puzzles are what we need. In a flurry of economy I bought a 500-piece puzzle at the Dollar Store--the pieces were so small that I was totally discouraged and Jacob was uninterested. Then I bought a puzzle that changed in various lights, like a holograph or something. It was Darth Vader, and I thought Jacob would love it--but all the pieces were so dark neither of us knew where to begin. Besides, Sophie chewed two of the pieces.
Tonight we did our second 100-piece puzzle. The first was a majestic lion and it took us three afternoons after school, but tonight he would not quit until we finished and this was a more complicated one. I've taught him about straight edge pieces, but then he tries to put them together without matching the edges. It's also hard to get him to look at the picture on the box to see where the pieces go, but he's getting better. He's fitting more pieces together himself, and he's so delighted when he does that he high fives me. He learned tonight to look for the blue butterfly and then the baby cheetah and then the stripes of the zebra and the different size spots of the two cheetahs, and he kept saying two things: "This is so much fun" and "This is really hard, but we're good at it." Be still, my heart--what better way is there to spend a Saturday evening than doing a jigsaw puzzle with your grandson! Above is our masterpiece. He kept wanting to hold it up--I told him it would fall apart. Then he wanted to tear it apart, but I said after we'd worked so hard on it, we had to leave it for a day or two. And I will admit the evening, in which I had planned to get some work done, flew by. Yes, Jacob, this is so fun!

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