Monday, October 8, 2007

The perfect puzzle pixie

The pixie has finally gotten her own time to be the boss of the house. With Alena at preschool two mornings each week, Alivia has gotten a taste of what it's like to rule the roost. Preschool starts at 9:15 a.m., Trace and Alysse typically go down for morning naps at 10 a.m. That leaves the little pixie at least one hour when the world's all about her.

Given this free reign, I ask each day what she'd like to do. Nine times out of ten, her response is "puzzles" as she's mid run to the spot where they are all kept. Then, for the next hour I watch (and sometimes provide some very limited coaching) as she completes puzzle after puzzle after puzzle.

As much fun as she has solving these "problems," I have more just watching her fit each piece together ... turning, thinking and maybe turning once more. In the puzzle arena she excels and really, she's quite amazing to watch. With each piece she picks up, you can just hear her thoughts considering where it might fit and which way it needs to be turned.

We started out about a year ago doing very simple put-piece-in-hole puzzles. Those became so rudimentary, that she graduated up to Alena's 12-piece simple jigsaw puzzles this spring. Now the little pixie can put together 28-piece jigsaws that I'd be willing to bet most four- and five-year-olds would think about while working.

What makes her so talented with puzzles, I can't quite put my finger on. While I'd never say it out loud, I think she could out puzzle Alena most any day. She just has some gift. Until I piece it together, I'll keep watching my puzzle pixie and savoring our time alone.

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