Not Just a Puzzle

Woke up Saturday and the house was quiet. Wait, that isn’t exactly how it went. Actually, Coco woke me up early as she always does and then left the room to find her yaya. I closed the door and tried to go back to sleep but that was futile so I got on the computer. After almost two hours of quiet I went to see if they had gone to the playground and I found Coco in her yaya’s room completing a puzzle.

This made me smile because I love that I got some quiet time and I love that the yaya has learned a way to occupy her to allow me to sleep if I wanted to but it made my heart leap with joy because completing a puzzle independently is a huge milestone for Coco. More on this later but, without being totally cryptic, another Ethiopian adoptive parent recommended puzzles to me as a way I can help Coco with some of the behaviors she displays. I wasn’t sure how it would go over because as recent as her birthday Coco wasn’t able to complete a puzzle. She just didn’t have the attention span for it. In fact, the Sponge Bob puzzle in the photos above is the puzzle she wouldn’t couldn’t do. Even with my help she would only spend about 2 minutes on it, if that.

Undeterred and going on the advice I received, I bought her four or five more puzzles when I was home over the summer. Somehow between June 7th (her birthday) and August 20th (today) she has learned how to do puzzles independently! I did each one with her once or twice before going back to work but then I put them in her toy cabinet in the living room and promptly forgot about them. Clearly her yaya has had her working on them and/or she’s been doing puzzles at school because now she can do them from start to finish all by herself. I was seriously floored –so much so that I didn’t even believe it when her yaya told me she could. But it’s true. She can now complete a 25-piece tabletop puzzle in about ten minutes. I can’t even tell you how amazing that is to witness in an extremely active child with a low attention span! I can’t wait to get online and order her some more!

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