Dylan has this Melissa & Doug box that has separate containers for four small jigsaw puzzles. Each puzzle is supposed to be stored in its own little section of the box, like so:

puzzle1

The problem, of course, is that he’s constantly dumping the whole thing out so there are puzzle pieces all over the floor, and I’m the one who always sorts through every damn piece in order to get them back in their proper container. Imagine, if you will, the time-consuming process of sifting through a pile of these things on, like, a DAILY BASIS. The painstaking effort of making sure the school bus puzzle is in the school bus puzzle area, the fire engine puzzle is in the fire engine puzzle area, and so on. Basically assembling each and every puzzle, each and every time, all the while grumbling about messy preschoolers and the never-ending cleanup jobs they cause.

puzzle2

Yesterday afternoon as I was rooting through the discarded pieces for the frillionth time, I suddenly noticed a tiny shape printed on the back of one of the pieces. Huh, I thought. I turned over another piece, and what fuck, that one had a shape too. Only it was a different shape.

puzzle3

Slowly, a dim bulb in the recesses of my brain began to flicker. I stared fixedly at the puzzle piece, breathing heavily through my mouth as I tried to chase down the creeping thought that there was something . . . something important about these shapes. Something that served a purpose. Something I maybe should have noticed many, many months ago.

I was kind of starting to get a headache from all the thinking, so I ended up just tossing them willy-nilly in their box and forgot all about it. Until approximately 11:12 PM, when I suddenly dropped my book, shot upright in bed, and moaned out loud, “OH. MY. GOD.”

puzzle4

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Janet in Miami
Janet in Miami
10 years ago

ROTF !!! THAT IS GREAT

Thanks for the laugh. Its 8 PM, I’m still at work and I really really needed this.

Kelsey
10 years ago

Does it help to know I knew exactly where this was going because I also had one of those moments of discovery?

I did.

Danell
Danell
10 years ago

Ha ha ha haaaaaaa! Oh, I love you.

Kristin
Kristin
10 years ago

Haha! I like the end of the story!

Jenny
10 years ago

LOVE. THIS.

deanna
deanna
10 years ago

i give you credit for having the strength to continue to put the pieces back in the right “cubby” in the first place! i would have long ago been “f it, theyre just gonna dump them all out and mix them up anyways!” and thrown them all haphazardly into the container.

that said, this is hilarious. also, i am clearly SUPER LAZY.

Bren
10 years ago

I was so ready to get to the end and comment that you should just put marks on the back of the puzzle peices to easily sort the puzzles – but DUH they did it for you! Too funny!

Maureen
Maureen
10 years ago

Melissa and Doug=GENIUS! They actually get what it is like to have small children, I am totally impressed!

Fredlet
10 years ago

In amazon description:
Backs of pieces are shape-coded for easy sorting

LOL
Clever designers!

Nothing But Bonfires
10 years ago

Wait, what are the shapes for? I still don’t get it.

(HAHAHAHA.)

Jackie
Jackie
10 years ago

We have these puzzles and I’m dying!! HA!

willikat
10 years ago

OMG. Awesome.

Mary
Mary
10 years ago

That’s hilarious. Also the reason why I, after my toddler ransacked the tupperware drawer for the frillionth time, numbered the tupperware and it’s corresponding lid with a permanent marker. Not that I don’t get lazy and just toss them all back in there randomlike anyway.

Annabelle
Annabelle
10 years ago

HA! This makes me think of the evening when I realized that I could dry off my daughter while she stood up on her own after a bath instead of trying to juggle a slippery baby and a towel. She was 18 months old and had been standing well for 6 months. Those no-sleep months change you forever.

Michelle M.
Michelle M.
10 years ago

Ok, I’m laughing my ass off over here because we have the same freaking puzzle and it was my son (who was THREE at the time) who told me, “Mom, we don’t have to put it together. Just match the shapes!” *drool*

holley
holley
10 years ago

YOU ARE SOOOOOOOOOOOO FUCKING FUNNY!!!!!!!!!

Aubrey
10 years ago

Thank you for sharing these moments of motherhood that remind me other moms have better-late-than-never a-ha moments too.

Penny
Penny
10 years ago

God you crack me up. The mouth breathing part had me rolling.

laura
10 years ago

I LOVE THIS.

Amy N
Amy N
10 years ago

Fucking hysterical!!! I have had those manic moments trying to sort/organize/clean toddler mess. They have progressed to legos and now I’m wishing for the Melissa n Doug days.

agirlandaboy
10 years ago

*condescending head pat*

Angella
10 years ago

True confession: I had to click through to read the comments to see what the answer was.

Ohhhhh.

/smrt

toni in florida
10 years ago

Ah, the “Garanimals” method of puzzle sorting. I like it!

Annie
Annie
10 years ago

Oh, hunny, you’re so pretty…

Jen
Jen
10 years ago

Oh yes. Yes!

Jessica
Jessica
10 years ago

I am an organizational freak and as I was reading my mind was going crazy with the ways that you could make the task easier…paint the back of each puzzle a different color, number them, make a mark on the back of each etc. That was until I got to the end! LOL! And no, I don’t work for Melissa and Doug – but maybe I should!!!

Chris Wa
Chris Wa
10 years ago

As my mother would say, “Bless your heart” which is the southern way of showing pity for us mouth-breathers.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
10 years ago

HA!!!!

somegirl
somegirl
10 years ago

haha! Silly you. My kids have a ton of puzzles from when I was a kid and give me a piece and I can tell you where and to which puzzle it goes. But I can’t calculate a tip. We have a puzzle book that’s similar only there’s 20 puzzles in it and the little one always likes to dump them all together. Even knowing what goes where it still takes me almost an hour to put it together. Finally I got wise and put it up on a high shelf. Dur.

Nolita
10 years ago

Now you can point this out to Dylan so HE can sort them out (and think that mom is a genius)! Supermom reputation remains in tact!
Have a great long weekend!

Violet
Violet
10 years ago

Ha! And thank you! Now I can go home and sort those damn puzzles out. I got so tired of it I just threw them in the last time and hid the box. :). ( I’m running for mother of the year if you want to vote). I kept thinking that was a terrible design, they get mixed up too easily. Now I know the real problem was ME!

MontesMommy
MontesMommy
10 years ago

Yep, I mark the back of my kids’ puzzles, too, with numbers, shapes, leters, whatever it takes to make the process easier. In the hopes that one of these days, they will get the idea themselves and make a game out of it and sing the alphabet song or count the puzzle pieces. Hasn’t happened yet, but a Mom could dream!

dorrie
dorrie
10 years ago

LOLOLOLOLOLLLL Been there, done that, have a frillion tee shirts

birdgal (another amy)
birdgal (another amy)
10 years ago

Thanks for the Friday laugh! (and psst, I would have done the same thing too)

aimee @ smilingmama
10 years ago

OMG! I was thinking, yeah those puzzles drive me crazy but why does she put them together instead of looking at the backs?! Makes me feel better about all my other DOH! moments, though :)

Jen
Jen
10 years ago

OH, how I needed this. I did actually LOL at work, so thank you. You are a fucking riot. I have had MANY of these mouth-breathing moments. I really do think some of my brain cells slipped right out when my son was born. Well, who am I kidding? They didn’t *SLIP* out, I pushed and pushed AND PUSHED those bastards out!

Amy
Amy
10 years ago

Oh yeah, I totally did the same thing! Glad to know it’s not just me! Even with the markings, though, it’s way too much work to sort all those little things.

JennB
JennB
10 years ago

At least you figured it out before your jillionth time of resorting. Unless that comes before frillionth, I forget.

Cheryl M.
10 years ago

I’ve thought “OH. MY. GOD.” exactly like that way too many times to count! Dramatic pauses included!

We’ve graduated to legos too, and it took my son almost breaking out in tears for him to finally allow me to give him a tupperware container to keep them in rather than the box they came in which is now falling apart. It drives me crazy because he’s a tyrant about stuff like that, yet his room is constantly a wreck because he never puts anything away!

Redbecca
Redbecca
10 years ago

That was EXACTLY what I needed to read today. You crack me up!

We have a few of those at home, too. You might consider rotating just a couple of them and storing the others elsewhere so it isn’t 4 puzzles-worth you have to sort and store each time. Then when you rotate them out they will be new! puzzles! yay!

Sunshyn
Sunshyn
10 years ago

Now if only they could do that with the Legos…

D'Ann
10 years ago

LMAO!

I just want to thank you for reminding me that I’m not the only one that has these moments. My “ah-ha” is usually followed by thinking back to the incident and trying to decide if anyone else was around that may have sniffed out my brain fart.

Georgia
Georgia
10 years ago

This is so funny. My granddaughter has a Walt Disney puzzle collection that is just like this.

Olivia
Olivia
10 years ago

LOL! Well, at least you figured it out.

I HATE picking up and sorting thru puzzle pieces. I make my daughter finish one puzzle and put it away before getting another. Or really any activity with pieces has to be put away before another is brought out. Also, do the trolls come you house and steal puzzle pieces too, or is that just us?

Simon
10 years ago

Oh, Linda.

Christine
Christine
10 years ago

You are awesome. Also, way tan.

Hope your weekend is great!

Kristin
10 years ago

HA! At the very beginning I was thinking, “well, why doesn’t hers have the shapes on the back like mine?”

amy
amy
10 years ago

my husband recently bought a thomas the train puzzle like that, 4 puzzles, one box. i’m telling you that the shapes on the back don’t make cleaning them up any less time consuming!

Jen
Jen
10 years ago

BWAHAHAHAHA

Jessica
Jessica
10 years ago

We were listening (for the zillionth time) to Sesame Street Platinum Hits and the 2nd track came on. If you’d never looked at the track listing (as my husband had not) you wouldn’t have noticed the song title ABC-DEF-GHI, and when the lyrics says “if I ever find out just what this word can mean” and my husband looks at me and says, “18 months listening to this album and I cannot figure out what that word is!” When I told him, I guarantee he felt the same way you did. :)