Puzzles

Highlight of the day…

I started out my day much the same as I have been starting many of my days throughout the last several weeks – getting ready for work, eating breakfast with Victoria and then driving her to Carol’s house, our daycare provider. Carol has truly been a blessing to us. Victoria has been going to her house for daycare for the past year and a half. She has been running an in home daycare for about eighteen years, and has definitely earned her stripes. She shares the same core values as Marion and I, and provides an environment for learning that is worlds better then the first daycare that Victoria attended. Many times have I just sat on Carol’s couch and chatted with her about many things, and I feel most comfortable there.

After dropping Victoria off this morning she went directly into the dining area of Carol’s house, which is her typical routine. Then she usually proceeds to the play area, but today she hugged up on Carol for a little bit and then proceeded to want to play with some of the puzzles that Carol had out on the table. She started with the shapes puzzle, in which she matched the shape and colored puzzle piece with the same shape and color drawn on the puzzle board. I was surprised at how quickly she completed that one, and Carol said that she has been trying to encourage Victoria and Eagen (a boy about Victoria’s age) to work on some of the more complicated puzzles. Carol then proceeded to explain, in the most Carol of ways, why she thought puzzles were so valuable in the development of children Victoria’s age. She says it helps work on their analytical skills and encourages them to logically think through completing the task of piecing together the complete puzzle picture. Cool I thought, I can buy that.

Then I got to see Victoria put into action. She worked on a puzzle in which Grover is riding a horse. Carol encouraged Victoria to look at all the puzzle pieces and determine which ones made sense to start with. She started with the horse’s legs which were put towards the bottom of the puzzle. Then she found the horse’s head and made it fit towards the top of the puzzle. Once the perimeter pieces where in place, Carol helped her logically see where it made sense for the next pieces to fit. For example Grover’s head is blue, so she said to look for a piece of the puzzle where there was blue to match up to the other puzzle pieces. It was so cool to see her little mind working. Struggling with certain pieces, but then figuring out where it needed to be put. Yes, she needed help to complete the puzzle, but she was getting it!!! A puzzle that I thought would be way too complicated for her at this age, she was putting together. It made me feel like a kid again, and I almost wanted to sit down and do a puzzle myself.

Once Victoria completed the puzzle, I gave her a high five, like any good Dad would do, and she then proceeded to take all the pieces off the puzzle board and start the process again. Carol said she would probably keep doing it until she mastered it. She was so content, her and her puzzle. It was a special moment for me to see that, some would say a “Dad moment.” She has grown up so much in the last two years, and I can only imagine what type of things she will awe me with over her lifetime. Life is great.