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April 28, 2011

The Wonder Weeks

Shortly after the girls were born, the book The Wonder Weeks was recommended to me.

It describes eight developmental milestones each baby should reach within her first eighteen months. The theory is that the verge of these milestones is a very vulnerable time for a baby…she knows something is happening to her, but she doesn’t understand what…and this generally leads to a period of fussiness as she organizes her newly-acquired skills into her control.

I didn’t actually get much use from the book. The milestones were outlined – of course – with the gestational age of a baby…and since preemies typically “catch up” between nine and 18 months, I was too overwhelmed at trying to gauge what would likely have been a sliding scale for the girls…times two.

Nonetheless, I appreciated the premise of the book. It makes sense to me in thinking how certain changes could be perceived as pretty overwhelming in the life of a child.

I hadn’t thought about the book in probably more than a year.

My sweet Baby A hasn’t quite been herself lately. She’s fine during the day – in fact she seems to be having a BLAST participating during the Potty-capades. :)

But waking up from naps and in the morning has been another story. My girls have always been content to wake up, chill out, and talk to themselves / each other for a little while. One of my favorite things during the past few months has been to listen to them for a few minutes over the monitor…you never know what you’re going to hear!

Baby A has been waking very abruptly, and crying right away, a very scared cry…nothing close to a “cry it out” cry where I think she’ll likely go back to sleep after a couple of minutes.

When I go in to see about her, she just wants to be cuddled and held.

It dawned on me a few days ago that she’s probably pretty uncertain about the changes her body is experiencing, and her new “responsibilities” in wearing big girl undies.

Potty training is not one of the developmental milestones outlined in the book, but I would gander that that logic still holds.

Like all the many milestones before these, I’ll continue to give Baby A lots of snuggles and reassurances…while I continue to reassure myself, like the fussy periods we’ve survived to date, that this, too, shall pass.

As my blogger friend Sara said a couple of days ago, “Potty on!

(And can I tell you how much that made me smile…once upon a time having been a big Wayne’s World fan…not to date myself, or anything…)


Julia said...

Love the Wayne's World reference!

You can do hard things, Mandy! So can A & B! :)

Double the Giggles said...

I'm dealing with the same situation, (only during the night) with one of my little guys. Usually 4-5 nights a week, he wakes up scared and crying (I really don't think it's night terrors). Holding him or rubbing his back (basically letting him know I'm there) is the only thing that calms him. I can't help but wonder where I stop being in control, and he starts running the show. I keep him in his bed even though taking him to my bed would mean a better night sleep for me. I think I convince myself that I'm not being taken advantage of mainly because it's not 7 nights a week, *yet*. Hang in there. As you said, all we can do is keep hoping this shall pass and be there for our babes during their growing exhausted as we may be!

Cottongirl7 said...

So glad to make you smile. :) It really is hard to imagine all of the new things our little ones must be taking in and trying to make sense of on a daily basis. I'm hoping for the rain to break for a few mins today and follow your lead and take a walk around the neighborhood. We are all a little stir crazy. As you said though, the rain has been helping our potty work too. I'm pretty sure all I can smell anymore is toilet cleaner tough! Once in a while my little ones will have a nightmare and I always feel so bad because they just don't really understand that dreams are not real you know? I agree, this to shall pass. Hopefully we will still have some hair attached to our heads and the lack of sleep will not have driven us completley crazy. Nice to know we are ridding the same Crazy Train.

Christina said...

I swear the girls went through this too! It totally worked itself out though. Stages are confusing aren't they? ;)

reanbean said...

I had that book too (just sold it at the last Mother's of Multiples Sale), but didn't follow it all that closely. I was too busy worrying about eating and sleeping (the babies AND me) to worry about the various other things they might be crying about. But another MOT reminded me about the fussiness around milestones when I was sharing about the craziness that is my life these days at our last support meeting. She said that at my guys' age, the milestones can be small and go unnoticed, but they might still cause a bit of fussiness or disagreeable behavior. I think that may be very true in Buba's case. He's making some gains with language and his desire to communicate is way up, but he's also extra fussy if he can't get his thoughts out quickly or if he can't be understood. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot I can do to help him, so I just try to snuggle him a bit more and drink a big ol' cup of patience at every meal. :o)

Hopefully A will return to her normally cheerful wake-ups soon. But in the meantime, it sounds like you're doing a great job trying to comfort and reassure her.

reanbean said...

p.s. I was thinking about you all day as the news talked about the monstrous tornado that ripped through Alabama. I know you went to school there, but couldn't remember if you still have family or friends down in that area. I hope all your loved ones are safe and sound after that horrible tragedy.

MultipleMum said...

Sounds like an interesting read. I hadn't heard of the book you referenced, but I do agree with the grizzle before the mastery theory.

In my experience, toilet training can be very traumatic for kids. It is a 'letting go' thing.

As hard as it is, you have to stay relaxed and in control of your frustrations (and it IS frustrating!). Like anything else, set boundaries and stick to them!

They will get there (eventually) and you can sigh with relief when they do!

Still wishing mine would show interest! x

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

How could you possibly date yourself with a "Wayne's World" reference? It's so modern! LOL

I have a feeling that you're right...why doesn't anyone write books like that past the first 18 months? That's when it gets really hard, right?