Saturday, January 23, 2021


I keep seeing posts by people about how their pandemic accomplishments have fallen well short of their expectations. First of all, I have a hard time imagining HAVING pandemic expectations beyond keeping the children fed and from killing one another. Anything more is icing.

That said, I HAVE spent some money over the course of the pandemic trying to keep them busy. We’ve replaced broken gaming devices (probably broken due to overuse), but we’ve also bought A LOT of puzzles, several board games, and so many sticks of butter and flour for baking I don’t even want to think about it.

Y’all know working on a good puzzle has been one of my coping strategies for awhile now, but it turns out that puzzles are helpful for the kids, too. Turns out we can all be hanging out in a room together working on a puzzle, and we don’t have to talk. And, not talking goes a long way in helping reduce the number of arguments. There has been at least one puzzle, and sometimes more than one puzzle, in progress for much of the last ten months. 

Currently in progress.

Feelings about puzzles fall into two broad categories at our house. There are those of us (me, Stow, and Sky) who like doing them and find them therapeutic. We’re also the ones who are able to make quick work of a puzzle. Then there are those of us (Ren and Falcon) who think puzzles are fine so long as they don’t have to help. Ren claims he just can’t see where things go when he’s trying to help on a puzzle, and he’s amazed when we put the pieces in like we’re conjuring magic. Falcon says they give her a headache. In her defense, she has recently developed migraines, so she’s probably right—poor kid!

Doing so many puzzles wouldn’t be a bad thing if any of us could agree to break a puzzle up and put it back in the box when we’re finished with it. Problem is that NO one wants to do that. Instead, the puzzles get glued. And, sometimes they get framed. I have no sense of interior design, but I’m pretty sure there’s a tipping point after which it’s just plain tacky to hang puzzles. Not only that, I have a feeling that tipping point is either one or zero puzzles.

We have WAY more than zero puzzles hanging in our house at this point. And we also have glued puzzles still waiting to be hung (I can no longer afford to buy frames for them). Worse, I can’t figure out how to keep enjoying doing puzzles without also being compelled to glue those as well.  Is there a name for this condition? Do you know an effective plan for treatment?

Lest you think I’m exaggerating, these are all of the puzzles we've done during the pandemic. 

First, Sky's room:

Second, Falcon's room:


Magic cats -- had all of its pieces before it fell off the wall

Dragons -- had all of its pieces until Falcon left it on her floor for days

More dragons

Finally, Stow's room:

WWII planes

Wooden tank puzzles

Exploding kittens

And these are the puzzles yet to find a place:

This wooden puzzle is pretty amazing.

One of MANY Pokemon puzzles

More Pokemon puzzles

If we didn't already have some puzzles hanging, I'd feel better, but we already had these even BEFORE the pandemic:

Our first wall puzzle.

National Parks

You remember THIS one. (If not, look at this link).

I think the takeaway is probably that we are all getting through this crazy time the best we can. And, also, if you want a puzzle, let me know!

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