Day 2 – Technology Challenge – Low Tech and High Insanity

a puzzle 1

All it took was one teeny puzzle to shred my last atom of sanity.  You won’t believe this story, but I have the photos.

It looks like a run of the mill puzzle.  However the activity I selected to fill yesterday’s tech break was so insane that you would not believe it if I didn’t have photos.  Had Willy Wonka strolled by and seen what I was doing, he would have raised a serious eyebrow and then steered all of the lucky golden ticket winners to a different part of the factory.  The build up and ultimate culmination in yesterday’s insanity explosion proceeded as follows:

Last week, I wanted the kids to put down the phones so I pulled out some unopened jigsaw puzzles.  My son picked this innocuous looking Star Wars puzzle.  He is smart as a whip, but for some weird reason, he absolutely stinks at these and always manages to stick pieces where they don’t belong.

puzzle 2a

Finished!  Or so I thought.

So as expected, I eventually had to get involved.  It took me a while to undo his incorrect pieces and then tackle the leftovers.  At last we finished the puzzle – yay!  But then – no yay.  Big big no yay.  Because we were totally missing a piece.  One frickin piece.  Everyone converged to search for the missing piece to no avail (as my two-year old walked away suspiciously…she has still refused to confess to the crime).

puzzle 2b

Back at ya Boba.

 

 

 

We have never ended with incomplete puzzles despite the numerous jigsaws we have tackled together.  We even have a spot at the new house to hang them.  Not dorky at all, right?  It’s in a back hallway where cool people aren’t invited so zip it!

puzzle 4

So now we have 2 puzzles.

 

 

 

 

 

I tried to forget it but the stupid thing got under my skin every time I passed it.  It gnawed at my brain for days.  But then I remembered how the kids had griped about how we somehow ended up with two of these!  I could find the piece and be done with the madness!  I dug through the game cabinet and found the puzzle…the puzzle that was NOT THE SAME PUZZLE.

a puzzle 3

For anyone keeping score at home with limited counting skills, I am at 3 puzzles.

By this point my crazy behavior generator was really kicking into gear.  I was hell bent on tracking down that last piece.  “Hello Amazon!  Prime delivery you say?  Yes and thank you.”  Two days later, I received the other other puzzle….the other other puzzle that once again did not match the puzzle I had purchased as shown in the item description and seller photo but that did match the incorrect other puzzle I already had in my possession.  I had the wrong damn puzzle AGAIN.

a puzzle 4

Yes – the double pack requirement put me at 5 puzzles.  1 original, 1 matching from the double pack, and 3 unwanted alternates.

“Hello Amazon?  About that puzzle.  I am having an inexplicable nervous breakdown and therefore need the actual puzzle I ordered….  Uh huh…  I see…  So to make sure that I actually will get the one I want, I will need to order the double set?  So I’ll have a third unwanted puzzle plus a whole one and one missing a piece?  You’re effing kidding me, right?  Also I want a return label asap for the initial wrong puzzle hose job.  Yes yes of course via prime!”  Argh yet again!!!

I received the replacement puzzle(s), returned the incorrect listing offender, and rallied the kids into action.  Which one of us would be the THE ONE!?!?!?  Who would find that piece before the others and have all of the nerd glory???

***Spoiler alert – NO ONE AT ALL.***

a puzzle 5

It would take some portion of each of these five pieces to complete the one missing spot.

Yeah.  We tested all of the hundreds of extra puzzle pieces in the spot.  None fit.  The kids almost took up drinking right then and there.  I was so confused and started to look through them again as the kids realized that their lives were too precious to waste any further time on this shiznet.  I’m a slower learner it seems.  But I did learn one thing I had not known before The Puzzle Situation.

Puzzles with the same picture on them are not necessarily cut the same way.  ARE YOU FRICKIN KIDDING ME.

Obviously just chucking the old puzzle or being even more rational and not worrying about the last piece at all was out of the question.  I contemplated cutting the five relevant pieces and sticking them together to fill the gap.  That was laughable so I quickly dismissed that thought.

And then technology turn off time rolled around, and the only reasonable alternative came into play.  Rather than have one puzzle missing one piece, I would fix it by putting together an entire other puzzle and yet still maintain the original puzzle with a missing piece.

a puzzle 6

I’m at a loss for words here folks.  There is no appropriate caption for this madness.

It was like watching myself through a two-way mirror as the person on the crazy side did the second puzzle above.  I had to finish it.  Did it change the missing piece in the other puzzle?  Clearly no.  Did it give me the sense of completion I wanted so I would then be able to discard the original?  You must be kidding.  After all we have been through together, I am going to ask to be buried with the damn thing.

As an inconceivable bonus, I now find myself wrestling with the two blue jokers below.  I’m not kidding.  The stupid blue boxes sit there incomplete, and the longer they are there, the more they bug me.  I hear them calling for me to put them together…  Where is the therapist who should be making fat cash off my madness?  And is it tech turn off time yet?  I have a couple…err…tasks…I need to complete.

a puzzle 7

I want to believe that I won’t tackle the other two, but I will.  W.  T.  F?????

 

 

 

 

I’m the Adult but Let’s Be Clear – She Started It

IMG_20170618_140216_01

Irresistible

My version of a mom win can be a smidge twisted at times, but I have put forth substantial effort to earn the majority of my questionable parenting choices credits.  A few noteworthy exceptions include calling their attention to the radio when the song “Baby Got Back” came on, showing the kids how to ask the Amazon Echo to tell bad jokes, leaving my kids unattended near open paint pens, accidentally giggling when one kid de-pantsed another kid thus unintentionally creating a day packed with alternating incidences of angry pantless children, and encouraging my daughter to touch a duckling when the mother duck was in range.  I have two additional thoughts on that last point.  1.  I wasn’t using my brain.  2.  That mama bird was much faster than one might have anticipated, but perhaps the universal concept of never ever touching wild ducklings should have been enough.  And now I know why.

Nevertheless I am currently ecstatic at the sheer genius (self-designated) of the latest mealtime game that I invented yesterday.  Everyone adores it!  Correction – almost everyone adores it.

The game consists of all members in attendance at the meal doing the wave in a clockwise loop around the table each time our toddler raises her hands up.  So her hands go up and then I toss both of my arms in the air as I holler “Wooooo!!!” and immediately it continues on with my next person and the next, etc.  We love it, but incredibly, she is not a fan.  She is the wave buster and adamantly refuses to keep the pattern going.  (Why is there always one holdout section when everyone else wants to do the wave?!?!)  There is no rage or crying on her part.  Her reaction is one of crossed arms combined with an annoyed squinty irritated look that holds the same weight as an adult’s eye roll coupled with the international greeting.

wave

No, it’s not that kind of wave, but I didn’t have enough sequential pictures to give an accurate visual representation of the game.  I opted for an entirely inaccurate visual instead.

How could this possibly be a win?  I’ll send her to your house for a bit, and you can watch her rain crumbs in a ten mile circle with every upward launch of those sticky hands.  The win will become crystal clear.  Plus it’s stone cold funny.

Having a toddler is wonderful, beautiful, and, more often than you might imagine, excruciatingly painful.  I fully believe that whomever first used the phrase “loves hurts” had a little child and that those words were spoken in direct reference to something that the kid did.  As I type this, I am sporting a genuine black eye from where my own kid-shaped tornado clocked me in the head a few days ago at mommy and me gymnastics. It was fantastic when she slammed into my face while fifty sets of eyes were pointing my direction.  Because I have a “never let em see you sweat” response to public embarrassment, I responded with a veiled attempt to play it cool.  This is how we roll folks.  The gymnastics Olympians do this to their coaches, too.  No broken eye socket – hahaha.  Look away all of you wenches!!  Look away!!!

Another annoying move she has add to her endless bag o’ tricks is her recent practice of goosing us randomly in our hineys.  Even our dogs don’t do this to us.  No one knows exactly why she started this move, but everyone knows that WE WANT IT TO STOP NOW.  Unfortunately she finds our total surprise and unnerved reactions to be quite comical.  We have yet to break the pattern and may have to create a new variation of the wave technique in response to this as well.

As a parent, you have to be willing to get creative when it comes to changing certain kid behaviors.  If you are thinking that our game has less to do with creativity and more to do with passive aggressive behavior on our part, then you are wise.  I would also wager that you have no crazy small children or you have those weird well-behaved ones.  And if that’s the case, I’m jealous, good job, and fat congrats to you.  Just don’t bother trying to find that here.

I do feel compelled to add that my little game may already be backfiring on me.  Shock.  Awe.  Amazement.  Yawn.  She knew right out of the gate that we were messing with her and initially was rather displeased.  However as of this morning, she appeared to be trying to initiate a round of it.  I may have actually taught her that waving her hands in the air like she doesn’t care is the way to go to engage the group.  So I’m basically looking at five times the crumb cleanup and a small kid who will be leading the charge.  And there goes my win.  Again.

Just know that one day not too far down the road, I will be able to buy a full page ad for her school yearbooks.  Those ads will have space for sentiments of love and joy.  And photos.  Aaaaaany photos I choose.  I’m looking at you photo of dancing toddler in boots and a diaper.

I will get my win.  Someday.  Somehow.  And soon.

***MoJo***

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