Scott brought home a puzzle the other day. We won it or maybe earned it with points from a local hardware store. I’m sure I caught Scott off guard with how happy I was when he showed it to me. I had a couple puzzles in the Amazon cart at one point but deleted them because I wasn’t sure the kids were old enough to do a family puzzle. We’ve done a ton of youth puzzles but adult ones are more difficult and take more than an hour to finish.

Surprising to me the boys were anxious to get started on it. So, after dinner we cleaned the table and opened the box. Barrett asked Scott if he wanted to put it together with him and Scott’s response was, “I’m not big on puzzles Barrett.” Well, this “not big on puzzles” guy sat at the table for around 2 hours helping put it together. Kierran was probably the most determined out of all three boys. He sat perched on top of the table putting pieces together the whole time. Merrick was the least helpful. He would pop in, make someone upset, get in someones way or start dropping pieces on the floor then disappear. Barrett stuck around for a while, but the TV show Merrick was watching lured him away a couple times.

As we neared the completion of the puzzle, that same night, Merrick approached me and asked if he could speak to me. He claimed it was important and it needed to be in private. I rolled my eyes, got up and walked to the back of the house. He started to make this fake cry face he makes when he wants to show me that he’s sorry, but he can’t really muster the tears.

“Umm, I took a piece of the puzzle because I wanted to put in the last piece. I uhhh, tried to hide it in the slats on the side of the microwave and when I went to check on it the piece fell in and….(fake crying so hard but still can’t make tears) and, and I’m really sorry.”

My response, “Shut up Merrick.”

“No, mom. I’m serious.”

“What in the world makes you think that you get to sit back and watch us do all the work on this puzzle and you deserve to swoop in and place the last piece? What were you thinking?”

He likes to play the role of a super hero. He will purposefully hide things and when someone is frantically trying to find said item he will “save the day”. It’s not funny in most situations. Especially not tonight with a single missing puzzle piece. Merrick offered to take the microwave apart and was quickly shot down. Scott gave up shortly thereafter. The boys (Merrick included) and I worked on it for a bit longer but they started arguing so I sent them to bed. It was a wonderfully, peaceful evening for me as I sat there alone working on the last bits of the puzzle. All but one piece remained.

Come to find out this puzzle piece hiding gene runs in families. My dad said he and his sibling used to do it all the time. Well, that night I shook the microwave for a couple moments and the piece dropped out. I REALLY wanted to place the last piece, but thought if I had any chance to lure Scott into another puzzle I should let him have the satisfaction. So, I left the piece near the coffee pot inside a note for Scott to find it in the morning. Merrick was most relieved I found the piece.

I’ve purchased another puzzle since and no piece was hidden. My dad and I did the majority of it and I got the satisfaction for placing the last piece!

One thought on “Puzzling

  1. I’m pretty sure my brother & I used to hide pieces too. & then really go really slowly at the end when it was becoming obvious that there were pieces missing. Sometimes not even joint puzzles, but ones we were doing individually.
    Just before lockdown I wandered into my local library & they had a “community jigsaw” where anyone could have a go. I placed a few pieces all the while wondering whether anyone had hidden any so they could get that crucial last piece. & if so just how many people had. The jigsaw was out in the open & not monitored / manned. Then lockdown & we moved so now I’ll never find out.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it as a family activity. My dad would do jigsaws with us but I don’t remember my mum ever joining in.

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