Three days in pieces

Published 6:19 pm Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My four-year-old daughter, Lizzie, loves putting puzzles together. Ever so often, Tiffany or I will buy her a new one because she’s put them together so many times.

Last weekend, Tiffany bought her a new Disney puzzle. However, an oversight left Lizzie with a 750 piece puzzle. When she got it home, Lizzie was itching to start. Once we opened the box and realized what we’d gotten ourselves into, my heart sank.

I enjoy putting together puzzles with Lizzie – the 30-40 piece puzzles that take a few minutes and all I have to do is flip the pieces over. With a four-year-old staring down a fresh puzzle, there’s no way you can explain to her that this one was too hard. “We’ll get you another one,” I told her. “This one’s for big girls.”

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This puzzle, with pieces the size of a dime, was going to be a challenge. Tiffany and I – with intermittent help from Lizzie – worked most of the day Saturday in the living room floor, managing to get almost halfway finished. Our efforts were stunted later that night when Lizzie made a “puzzle angel” and blew the thing apart.

We started over late Sunday night. We got about halfway finished before deciding to call it a day – this time with the puzzle tucked safely away on the kitchen table. Monday night, at approximately 8 p.m., we let Lizzie place the last piece.

So I’d like to offer a little piece of advice to the parents of young children: Pay close attention to those little numbers on the front of the puzzle box. The higher the number, the longer it’s going to take you to do it.