The Wonder Weeks: Leap 9… AKA Purgatory

The blog has been quiet for the last week or so because I’ve been furiously house hunting & prepping for & attending three job interviews.

And dealing with the baby from hell thanks to Leap 9.

Never have I been less mentally prepared for an interview in my life.

One morning last week, she screamed, writhing & rolling around on the floor, sobbing her heart out for nearly an hour and a half. She had had her MMR the week before as well, so it could have been a reaction that; but the truth is, I don’t really know.

If I went near her, let alone tried to touch her she just screamed louder & crawled away from me distraught. Eventually, this ended with us both crying on opposite sides of the room. By the time my mom arrived at midday, I was a frazzled mess, in no fit state for an interview. And I can confirm, I did not come across my best…

We’ve also had more night wakings in the past couple of weeks; a few nights Baby Girl has had us up for three, even five hour stretches. She only settles if in our arms, which as we’ve been so successful with gentle sleep training, we’ve been loath to do. But my god, when you’re that tired & after that long in the dead of night, no doubt having woken up all the neighbours, the silence that comes with sitting in an arm chair with a toddler in your arms is too great. Even the OH – a diehard sleep trainer – gave in a few nights just to stop the crying!

I’m not usually one to be negative on the blog. Who wants to read about the miseries of parenthood – experiencing them for yourself is bad enough! And if I am, it’s usually in a  light, let’s-find-the-laughter-instead-of-the-tears kind of way.

But the truth is, even just writing this, I feel quite emotional at how difficult the last couple of weeks have been.

It’s been really tough. No, scratch that. Leap 9 has brought with it some of the hardest days of parenthood to date. And last weekend my mom actually had to take Baby Girl to her’s for 24 hours while we had a break as I was nearing my wits end, my patience shot & my energy levels nearing zero; the OH could barely function at work on how little sleep we were getting.

This weekend, we’ve had a busy one. We were at a friend’s house last night for his birthday. We took Baby Girl with us & stayed the night so we could enjoy the evening not worrying about dashing home to relieve a baby sitter or grab last tube.

And she has been a dream, charming everybody at the party, going to sleep on time & pretty much sleeping through. You wouldn’t believe she was the same child.

The Wonder Weeks app tells me we still have fourteen days to go until the end of leap 9 but tentatively, I wonder (hope!) if we might be starting to regain some equilibrium as Baby Girl begins to get a handle on her new skills.

But what is Baby Girl learning? Leap 9 opens up the world of ‘Principles’ to Baby Girl. She’s no longer a baby, getting a grip on the world around her & mastering the previous leaps fully.

Leap 9 allows her to;

  • Play with emotions, facial expressions & behaviour. (Tick… What a joy…)
  • Wants to do things by herself. (Yep; if I touch her spoon during mealtimes it’s met with screams & her throwing her bowl on the floor. Good times! There’s that wilful personality shining through… Sadly only myself to blame for this one.)
  • ‘Playing house,’ pretending to clean or take care of her toys.
  • Thinks ahead & makes plans
  • Temper tantrums & nagging to get her own way. (Oh yeh; Baby Girl has reached this stage in a big way.)
  • Understands the concept of ‘mine & yours’ (the trick is getting her to share…)
  • Starts negotiating & bargaining
  • May have irrational fears

Leap 9 is the penultimate leap in The Wonder Weeks. I can’t believe it. It feels like only yesterday I downloaded the app! There’s light at the end of the tunnel.

And then I realise that she’s only fourteen months old and we have toddlerhood, childhood & the teenage years yet to go…

That light is dimming somewhat…

See more Finding Our Feet The Wonder Weeks posts.



12 thoughts on “The Wonder Weeks: Leap 9… AKA Purgatory

  1. upsandbumps says:

    Eeeek! Sounds like hell. According to the WW app my little girl is 6 days away from leap 9…and what’s funny [read:making me cry and pull my hair out] is that over the past week or so I’ve thought that we were in a leap already as she’s been an utter nightmare! I only checked after I read your post..Better stock up on chocolate [and ear plugs!] then

  2. whizzawoo says:

    I’ve not come across the Wonder Weeks app – sounds like it is spot on though. My daughter is nearly 3 and has occasions when she totally insistent on climbing the stairs herself, putting her shoes etc… It’s all fun and games but I wouldn’t change them for anything #MBPW

  3. lynda says:

    I’m going though the same thing right now. Please shAre how it resolves!! I don’t want to set bad habits!!

    • amiecaitlin says:

      Hi Lynda, I actually wrote this post nearly a year ago, I can’t believe it, it feels like only yesterday!

      However, that means I can answer your question.

      So, it seems she did have an adverse reaction to the MMR vaccine, which you can read about here:

      But with regards to Leap 9, as ever, she did indeed calm down and level out over the next few weeks after I wrote this post. Hang in there. Leap 9 is one of the worst.

      We’re now in the throws of Night Terrors and the terrible twos….

      • Lynda says:

        did you cave in to holding her to sleep, or let her CIO? i’m looking for tips on how to get by the next few days… trying to balance having everyone sleep (we live with in-laws) and not creating bad habits. *sigh* night terrors and the terrible 2s, totally not looking forward to it. THANKS SO MUCH for replying! i really appreciate it *tears up*

      • amiecaitlin says:

        Hey, so sorry I didn’t reply yesterday. All three of us have a terrible cold this weekend so not been online much.

        We do tend to ‘give in’ during hard times. For example, Little Miss had chickenpox the other week and she spent most of the nights either in our arms or even in our bed. My advice would be, you know your baby and you know their personality and your limits.

        For example, we’re lucky that Little Miss under ‘usual’ circumstances is a good sleeper and once the ‘unusual’ circumstance pass, she tends to resort back to her usual sleep habits without too much trouble. It took a while for us to learn that but it gives us the confidence to do that. We’re not diehard sleep trainers though at the best of times, we took a very gentle approach to it anyway.

        My gut feeling is that if bambino is distressed, they need comfort. And only you know at what point are they ‘trying it on’ or not.

        I hope that helps 😦

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