Kelsey (@kels.sib)(30), an American working at Heineken, living a chaotic and beautiful life in Amsterdam with her Dutch boyfriend Rolf (38), stepdaughter Lily (5) and daughter Charlize (born Oct 2017)
Let me tell you something
Whenever I visit The Wonder Weeks discussion groups, I see some common questions:
- Help! I’m in Leap 4! Is it the worst??
- Which Leap is the hardest?
- I barely survived the grey period between Leaps 5 and 6, please tell me this is the worst!
Well I can answer all of these questions by revealing: LEAP 10 IS THE WORST. Okay, okay, I have to of course include the obilgatory ‘Every baby is different and will handle leaps differently’. But I can assure you, when it comes to Charlize: LEAP. 10. IS. THE. WORST.
It’s as if Charlize wanted to commemorate the occasion of her ‘final’ leap by selecting all of the awful signs of her previous leaps and displaying them all at once. Crying? Check. Clingingess? Check. Crankiness? Check. Absolutely no sleep? Double check.
For me personally, the terrible sleeping is the hardest part. Ever since this leap started, Charlize has stopped sleeping through the night and wakes up at least once but more often 2-3 times a night. And it is not just a ‘Oh give me milk and I’ll fall back asleep’ moment. It’s more like ‘Hi, it’s 3.30 in the morning and I want to watch Teletubbies and stay up for the rest of the day’. So
Rolf and I have been taking turns every night staying up with her while she plays as if it’s the middle of the day and we are struggling to keep our eyes open.
For Charlize’s daycare, the worst part is the crankiness. I know Rolf and I are biased parents but we can say with certainty that Charlize is one of the favorites at the daycare.
They love how friendly, social, and cuddly she is. They even tell us that if they had a baby, they would want it to be like Charlize. However, ever since Leap 10 started, they look incredibly grateful when we come pick her up. They say ‘This is not the Charlize that I know!’ or ‘She would not stop crying!’ or ‘She wouldn’t let me put her down all day!’.
But with every rain cloud, there is of course a silver lining. The ‘leap’ she has made mentally has been amazing. She is talking non-stop and she is exploring everything. She is building towers, singing songs, and doing simple puzzles. She is really able to interact and communicate at such a high level compared to before the leap started. The pride we feel when we see all the progress she has made makes all of the leap difficulties worth it.
Knowing this is my last ‘official’ leap makes me feel a bit nervous because I am used to having my trusty app to explain why my angel has turned into a monster. I need to start reading the last chapters of the Wonder Weeks in hopes that they will give me some tips ‘Beyond the leaps’.
Goodbye the Wonder Weeks
It’s been a pleasure to blog for the Wonder Weeks and to share my experience! To all parents struggling, just know you are not alone! And as soon as the leap is over, you will wonder what all the fuss was about. I have a secret theory that these leaps help parents go through development leaps as well. What do we develop? Patience, patience, patience.