Tuesday’s Little Thing

We have been amusing ourselves by working on a new puzzle.

It is the world’s smallest 1000 piece puzzle. It’s true. It says so right on the box.

When I bought the puzzle, I chose itbecause the picture was gorgeous, the tin box it came in seemed so much smarter than a cardboard box whose corners regularly rip, and in my head, I knew the kids found 1000 piece puzzles well within their skill level.

Why it didn’t dawn on me that a 1000 piece puzzle in a box the size of my hand would necessitate very tiny pieces is rather beyond me, especially since it states quite clearly on the box that this is the world’s smallest 1000 piece puzzle.

Despite the tiny pieces, puzzle-building is going well. We tend to work on puzzles a little bit at a time over the course of a week or so until they are done. A few pieces placed while waiting for breakfast to finish cooking. A few more after dinner. Another one or two before bed. Anytime someone walks by the coffee table in the living room where the puzzle is set up, they go to work, even if only for a minute or two.

Sometimes, visitors spur us into a burst of productive puzzling, and we work away for a half hour or so while we visit. Visitors tend to fall into two categories around here. First, there are the ones who, upon seeing our tiny puzzle, exclaim out loud (and often repeatedly) that they can’t believe we are working on a puzzle with such insanely small pieces. The kids, inevitably, have to prove that yes, they are working on such a puzzle thank-you-very-much, and so they set to work rather industriously in order to show this sort of visitor that they are perfectly capable of putting together the world’s smallest 1000 piece puzzle.

The second sort of visitor starts out exactly the same as the first, with a somewhat stunned look and the inevitable comment or ten. But, where the first type of visitor merely spurs us on to action, this second sort of visitor can’t resist getting their fingers on a few of those tiny puzzle pieces themselves. So, instead of half an hour of puzzle building accompanied by a spectator and some good conversation, we find ourselves with another pair (or two, or three) of willing hands and sharp eyes and the puzzle-making becomes not a show of prowess but a shared challenge undertaken with joyful abandon.

We’re almost done the puzzle, and I find myself wondering what should fill the coffe table next. We are still too deeply immersed in winter’s thaw to bring out the nature bowl – not unless I want a table full of mud and muck. I don’t feel any particular desire to put out St Patrick’s day decorations or anything else of a purely decorative nature. The scrabble board is a distinct possibility, or maybe the wooden Brainstones game.

Nah.

I think I’ll reach into the cupboard and dig out the other smallest 1000 piece puzzle in the world.

Yes, it’s true. I bought two.

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