My son, age 3, first demonstrated his puzzle abilities at Philcon 2012, where he surprised my husband and I by matching up random Carcassonne pieces to form a little city. That Christmas, we gave him his first jigsaw puzzle, and we’ve accumulated more in the year and a half since.
As often as he pulls out Duplo blocks or his wooden train set, he sits down on the tile floor (the best flat surface) and puts together dinosaurs, ducks, and the food-laden illustration from “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” I love to see him solving new puzzles: the look of concentration on his face, the exhilaration when he finds a match.
Since my husband is a gamer, he’s also thrilled with our son’s latent abilities. I’m foreseeing a future of family gaming nights and some very special father-son time.
And special mommy time, too. In fact, as soon as I finish posting this, my Kung Fu Panda and I will be playing our version of Carcassonne. Instead of playing competitively, we draw tiles and put them together to form the most interesting little medieval land we can.
He is waiting for me right now, holding up the wooden dragon from one of the expansion sets, declaring, “I’m a dragon, rawr!” He’s also decided it’s a Komodo Dragon, because he learned about them on one of the PBS nature cartoons he likes.
Days like this, I feel like I’m doing something right.
If you haven’t yet voted for my entry in the Baby Steps Competition, please stop at the voting page and click on the box at the upper right of the preview window for my video (the preview shows my son with two puppets). If I win the audience prize for this contest, it will help pay KFP’s preschool tuition this year!