Thursday, June 10, 2010
Way back on Monday I was explaining the significance of the puzzle on Birthday Day (very different than Birthday Week, etc, etc) as crucial to the briefly rainy portion of the afternoon. Some people laughed- Oh hah, aren't they being quaint- doing a puzzle with a mallard! Others might have thought I was playing up the dork factor for effect and never actually engaged in any sort of cryptic mallardy activities.
The Mallard is real. And, as I have recently discovered- the mallard has babies.
We set up this diversion on our front room coffee table and played with it for the requisite ten minutes. And then the sun came back out. So long, panoramic duck.
But that night...long after the birthday dinner of Pinot Grigio and cupcakes eaten on paper towels (to be fair, it was the fourth "dinner" of the evening), I found myself standing over the table (probably getting crumbs everywhere, too) eyeing the purpley waves hitting the shore where the gently lit cabin rested. I started searching for my duck, recently discovered and set aside. But...there were more feather pieces lying about. What kind of madness is this, Master Pieces Puzzlemakers (Having Fun One Piece At A Time)?
So I went to bed. But I think we all know to where my mind drifted.
Not to the dishes crowding the kitchen counters, nor my daughter- unbathed since Friday afternoon- not even to the stacks of books and magazines (ahem, periodicals) that I say I'm trying to work through.
It's the Mallard.
All through the work day on Monday I felt my mind slipping back towards that bright pile of strewn puzzle pieces- waves and down and impossibly electric flora. Between securing diapers on wiggly smallish humans, jotting notes on the back of my hand, and extricating stickers from hair...I allowed myself to daydream about a puzzle.
That night, P.J. joined me. Oh sure, he pretended to be working on his laptop, poking around with files and "finances," but I saw him seeing me looking at the puzzle. And he took a section of foliage. And I kept up with the serene mallard of lore.
And that's when I saw it- the "mallard" had three ducklings trailing behind "him." (I also finished enough of "his" body to realize that the coloring was all wrong.) The MALLARD was a HEN- or, as we commonly call them- A DUCK.
There is no actual mallard in the puzzle we've been referring to as the Mallard Puzzle. (But ask me if I'm gonna stop calling it that. No really, ask.)
And I'm ashamed to admit how late we stayed up that night, just long enough to "finish this end section here." The next morning I was shocked and more than a little rageful to discover that one of the cats (maybe both) had decided to sleep on the coffee table amidst the pieces. (It is comforting and all.) But in their quest for legroom they knocked entire [recently finished] end piece sections onto the floor and under the couch. That night the name of the game was 'Catch Up.' We were a mean, green [purple], maintaining machine. And we moved the puzzle to the dining room. That's right, friends, the next time I invite you over for "dinner," you'd better make some alternate arrangements for actual places to put your food.
Thank goodness for the outdoor patio set. (That's riiiight, al fresco!) We are seriously in danger of becoming that couple. The one who shows you their Mallard Puzzle. The one taking up entire room- or worse yet, framed on the wall. Of your guest room!
I'm hoping that once we finish the soothing, slightly Impressionistic (which makes it nearly impossible to differentiate between pieces) ducky puzzle- the extra lengthy, panoramic delight for the senses that it is...that my craving will be quelled. I'm hoping so. But I'm not too optimistic. I am, after all, the person in this house that ate an entire cantaloupe (saving for one skinny slice that P.J. stole) the other morning. And my friends would be quick to tell you about the time I had to be pulled in out of the rain and the dark, away from the picnic table and my beloved crawfish, where I had been sitting. Alone. For multiple hours. And I can just feel Nat about to jump in with a tale of 'Cakey,' the birthday cake that I wouldn't allow anyone to pitch- oh, months after my birthday.
I sometimes find that I am- let's just use the word "focused." And miraculously under 300lbs.
And I apologize for the way this duck puzzle has butted in and taken over today's post. This was not my intention. (But you see? You see how it gets you?)
Poor Nora. Poor, poor, un-mothered Nora. Here's what I intended to write about today: the gal is crawling. Like, hands and knees, motoring across the room, getting that THING from you and putting it directly into her toothy mouth. Which is making way for a third tooth. Helpful, as she's plowing her way through all sorts of fruits and veggies and edible awesomeness (new favorite- a spoon of hummus. My people!) We went to the Farmer's Market yesterday with Lily and picked out some turnips and summer squash to add to her collection of yums. I was going to post about that, really I was. And how, even though I started out really carefully, blending the life outta anything with skin or texture, now I mash things slightly, letting her grab and feed as she so pleases. 'Cause she likes to feed herself. Things like broccoli and smashed blueberries (although I think we need to ease up, as her last diaper looked like she sat on a Smurf) and bites of chicken while I'm preparing Lil's quesadilla. (My Mother: Be careful/ Me: I am, Mom!)
Yep, I was going to praise my Bitsy N.J. for being quite the biggie these days- but no. I went on for a page and a half about a puzzle.
A puzzle that...even now...seems to have me in its seductive grip.
We are home today, after all. But I have writing to do. And we should leave the house. It's beautiful out. Maybe we'll walk to the Lebanese bakery.
And I can eat my way through their entire case of spinach, cheese and onion pies. That's totally better than wasting a day on a Mallard- er, Duck puzzle.
But first I need to go find the cupcakes.