30 November 2009

I wonder!

My mother, my sister and I have long known that every now and then, babies go crazy and become very difficult. When they emerge from these stages, they are doing a little more, understanding a little more and are slightly more grown-up than before.

But until Mrs Accident commented, I had no idea it was a "real thing."

She commented:
"Is he having a wonder week? Apparently these developmental weeks, when the kids go nuts and regress badly, are explained by health nurses to mums in almost every other state except Queensland. I reckon you should google it. It doesn't make him sleep better, but at least you know that it is a phase, and when to expect them!"

and I googled and found (from here):
Recent research has shown that there are predictable times during the first few years of a child's life when the child may be more demanding (fussier) than usual. These fussy times have been called the 'Wonder weeks' by some writers, because it is during these more difficult weeks that babies are making big steps forward in their development.

Thanks Mrs Accident, I have hope! That's exactly what I've found in the past. The problem is that once I've worked out that a baby is having a "Wonder Week", I promptly forget what the grouchy period usually means, and get surprised by the next one all over again. My brain is so small, and can only hold so much.

I think the term "Wonder Week" is brilliant. Because when you're in the middle of one, you WONDER how you will ever survive it.

Sometimes, things sail along nicely. Sometimes, it all gets hard at the same time. And that would be NOW.

I am still recovering from last week when Mr de Elba was away, but finding that during the days when he is at work, the deal is pretty much the same. And that's the way it should be, I guess. I am glad for his job and that he is so good at doing it.

But as many of you could relate to, when my husband is away, I am the sole receptacle into which the children pour their words, their words words words (my, these children can talk!)

I am the sole carer and the sole person who deals with every cry, every problem, and every whimper (except for the ones I choose to ignore.)

I am the sole audience for every fight, every tantrum and every cute thing that is said.

I am the sole cleaning lady, the sole nanny, the sole cook and the sole event manager.

I have poured myself out for the children, and the children have a tendency to take my availability and squeeze me out further. Then they twist up the remaining shreds of me and wring the final drips of sanity from my tortured soul.

Well, it's not quite that bad. Or is it?

As well, the dog is killing blue-tongued lizards, rats and blind worms that come in our yard (yay! about the rats, boo! and eww! about everything else.)

And Joseph continues on his Path to Wonder.

If this was a paid position, I'd qualify for stress leave. But to qualify for removal of responsibilities and allocation of time to rest from my current position would only come after some dastardly act of insanity, say, if I roamed the streets naked and shooting people at random dragging a little wagon of small, dirty, unfed de Elbas behind me.

But that sounds like a lot of hard work.

Instead, I'll hang on until things are easier. Nat and Anna-Lucia will cool off a little, and the dog will be wearing a muzzle 24/7 (if I have anything to do with it.)

And sweet little Joseph? He will be fully Wondered Out.


CraftyMummy said...

The Wonder week thing is fascinating! Makes so much sense. And I totally hear you about being the "sole parent" sometimes. It's not easy. I feel like I didn't exactly sign up for it. But I keep going nevertheless... Hang in there.

The Accidental Housewife said...

So glad I was useful!

"Then they twist up the remaining shreds of me and wring the final drips of sanity from my tortured soul."

That's an excellent piece of writing, if not an excellent feeling.

When I get like that I think about taking a bath. I never *actually* take a bath, but it's a nice thought. I imagine juggling three kids instead of one, it is probably even more likely to remain just a thought for you...
If we were in the same town, I'd get you a take away mcdonalds coffee (decafe for me) and we'd sit in the park, watch the kids run wild, and spin yarns.

Tracy P. said...

Had I not been a teacher in my former life, I might have seriously considered going back to work full-time during many a Wonder Week. Spending my days with a roomful kids and then returning to my own never sounded like an especially good deal for anyone.

That is a really good description of what is going on--I've never heard it explained that way!

Heather said...

I also had not heard of the term "Wonder Week" before, but I do recall our pediatrician telling us that 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months were all points in which babies make huge leaps developmentally and physically. I know that held true for my kiddo, wonder if that was our ped's way of explaining Wonder Weeks?

Hang in there my friend, and remember the invitation is open should you ever decide you need a week or two off.... :D

Jen said...

I had no idea about this either. How interesting.

Hairline Fracture said...

The wonder week explanation makes a lot of sense--I think I have post-traumatic stress syndrome from those days (now almost four years ago, wow!) I had to laugh when you said that roaming the streets naked shooting people sounded like too much work.

Jodie said...

Actually, I think you do qualify for a night of stress leave. Let's go out for that coffee next week!

Crazy Sister said...

Most people I know write it up to "growth spurts". I guess that can mean intellectual and developmental growth, too!

When both my babies went a little nuts at 4 months, introducing solid food made a big difference for them, but I know that not all kids settle instantly with some rice cereal...

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

Wonder Week!!! I love that thought! Hang in there. It's all worth it! BELIEVE me!

Swift Jan said...

Sorry life is tough for you at the moment. I wish we were closer so I could take the bigger ones off your hands for a while. Luff you xoxo

stefanie said...

I never heard of the 'wonder week' before. I did notice that my kids made big developmental leaps when they were sick. Maybe those were 'wonder weeks with bonus snot'? I still like to watch The Wonder Years. So do my girls. Generally the talking is a minimum when they watch, which is sometimes a bonus for all involved.