2014 to Mar 2016

A Puzzling Day

We had a New Years’ Day (and sort of belated Christmas) party at the Blue House Turf Club outlet with our SPOTT family today. I had a lot of fun as usual whenever I hung out with my multiple mum-friends and the kids really enjoyed Blue House.  We try to meet up at least once a month, and depending on the venue size, we rotate between keeping it intimate and expanding it to our extended multiple parent-friends.

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So two super crazy things happened.

First, Secret Santa was a roaring success because everyone bought and exchanged gifts with each other and I was actually in-charge of the Secret Santa roster.  For some inexplicable reason, I didn’t put my name in (or I did but the online generator didn’t throw it into the mix) and so we ended up without presents and someone else received two.  That someone else gave us one of the presents, which turned out to be puzzles suitable for 3 year olds.  I wasn’t sure if Livia was interested in them.  Actually, since I’m on a quest to be minimal in life, I wasn’t feeling too awful that we didn’t get presents (even a bit relieved).

Livia though, tore into the presents at home and she wanted to do the puzzles right there and then.  She had not napped, she was extremely tired, and she haven’t had a proper meal.  I should have foreseen what was going to happen next.

The puzzles were a set of 10 and each set were made up of 5-7 pieces. I actually thought it was complicated for her but when I saw her figuring it out and putting 2 then 3 together, I was honestly surprised.  We play so many open-ended toys at home that I never really gave her a toy that had a specific end-point.  Now, as focused as she was on playing the puzzle and she really had razor focus, she did not take to the puzzles well at all. Every time she could not figure out a critical piece,  she was mighty frustrated (and tired and hungry to boot). She typically couldn’t solve past the first 2-3 pieces.  I’m not the kind of parent to tell a child how to solve the puzzle.  When I see parents do that, I remember that poster I read on Facebook that said, “when you do something for a child that a child can do, its just telling the child that you are better at it than them.”  I did, however, give her some general guidelines like to observe the photo, start with the corners, and take note of the shapes and where they fit.  But she would have none of it.  She went into crying fits.  She would throw the pieces back into the box. She was so angry she couldn’t figure it out.  I said encouragingly, puzzles are frustrating, you just have to keep trying.  I also told her its suppose to be fun. But she just cried with big blop of tears rolling down her cheeks as she looked at the puzzle helplessly.  I then went to bathe and by the time I got back, I realised she took the puzzles back out of the box and solved 2 sets already in the short time I went to get a bath. I complimented her on her effort on solving the two puzzles and we high-fived.   Then a few seconds later, she started breaking down again when she started on a 3rd new puzzle set and I told her its time to sleep and rest and when she feels better, she will feel more clear-minded.

Anyway, the same thing happened again in the evening.  She went for the puzzle first thing when she woke up and it was a never ending back and forth between tears of frustration and determined resolve to solve the puzzle.  And everytime she solved, she goes wildly happy and wants to start on a new one immediately only to cry again 2 minutes in.  The whole thing was amazing because I was watching resilience-building in action.  I decided I need to get her more puzzles, this was true character-building in progress.  I know its somewhat torturing her but it seems to be a benevolent sort of torture.  I think before the week is up, she will probably be a super expert in this 10-set piece at the rate she is currently going.

So for the second crazy thing that happened…we completely FORGOT we left the triplets’ only pair of shoes at the Blue House after we left.  I was going through the photographs at home and I looked at one video where they were playing with balloons and they were still in their socks.  Then my mind goes..why are they in socks, they should be in shoes and then I screamed to my husband, GASP WE FORGOT THEIR SHOES, ITS STILL AT BLUE HOUSE.  I found out Blue House didn’t close for another 1.5 hours so he rushed back, rescued the shoes and got take-out dinner since he was at Turf City and there was lots of delicious things to eat.  We could technically have bought new shoes but its really hard to find them comfortable shoes at affordable prices.  Their feet is really small for their age and we were lucky we found something from Amazon.

Suffice to say it was a puzzling day indeed.

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