There is a parenting book I didn’t read when Walden was a baby that I should have, because it explains SO MUCH that made me borderline insane.
The Wonder Weeks authors Frans Plooij and Hetty van de Rijt identify a series of leaps in mental development that happen in babies at very specific times in their growth. These leaps unfurl a baby’s understanding of his environment and the world around him, allowing him to understand his place and stretch his capabilities. This is great and all, except the leaps are all preceded by a period of “fussiness.”
In our house, “fussiness” means refusing to eat, refusing to nap or go to sleep, clinging to me (even more), waking up at night (more), throwing selves on the floor, and lots and lots of grumps. And perhaps some wine. It’s exhausting, but it ends (for a little while, eventually).
I didn’t know any of this with my first son. That was even more exhausting.
The Wonder Weeks app tells me that Bertie is between leaps right now. I can put him in his crib at nap time and he babbles to himself, sometimes for an hour. He usually wakes up happy. He’s particular about his eating but eats. He’s sweet and smiley, he likes to clap and wave and dance. He pretends to talk on the phone. He’s really very cute and pleasant to be around. [Unless those pesky teeth are bothering him, then... well.]
I know this is pretty much the last hurrah, though. The Eighth Leap looms, two weeks from now and just two weeks shy of his first birthday. He’ll be walking soon. He’ll be a toddler soon. *sniff*
It’s difficult not to project my experience with Walden here. As soon as Walden could walk, he was off. There was no need for snuggles. There were many demands. The morning nap vanished and life was all “PLAY PLAY ENTERTAIN ME!”/keeping the kid from hurting himself.
This will all come; I’m not ready for it.
I’m trying to psych myself up with promises of ways life will be easier, but I’m falling pretty short. What was your experience with two children as your youngest reached toddlerhood? Am I delusional in thinking that a year without sleep is far from the hardest thing about being a mom of two? Or is it all pirate dance parties and giggly mud pies from here (please?)?