Last October, I had my first child. A few weeks after he was born, I came across a book called “The Wonder Weeks.” The book asserts that all babies during their first couple years of development will go through predictable fussy periods that generally occur right around the same weeks for all babies. These fussy periods are referred to as the “wonder weeks.”
The book teaches that the reason babies may seem more agitated or more whiny during certain weeks is because during these periods, there is significant learning and skill development taking place.
A few months ago, my little boy seemed especially fussy. So I cracked open the book, and sure enough he was smack dab in the middle of one of his “wonder weeks.” As I continued reading, I realized his brain couldn’t understand that when I left a room that I would come back. Previously, he was too little to consciously realize I had left the room. His brain was in the process of learning that people can come and go from rooms. As he was first learning this, his brain would often feel fear and abandonment when I left the room.
Understanding that fear was causing my baby to fuss more helped me have more patience with him. I felt so grateful for this book that enhanced my perspective and gave me a clearer picture of what my baby was experiencing.
Throughout our lives, all of us will have periods of learning and growth. These periods of development can be hard and sometimes can cause us to act in ways that may be frustrating to others.
Watching my baby grow and recognizing that learning can create negative (but necessary) emotions caused me to realize that I need to have more patience with all people. I think sometimes I hold people to an unfair standard. I don’t know what sort of learning and development those around me are experiencing through their life experiences. When someone cuts me off in traffic or says something unkind, I need to extend more grace and patience. Perhaps they too are going through their own “wonder week?”
One scripture that means a lot to me is from the Sermon on the Mount when Christ says, “And whosever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” We need to extend extra compassion when people’s actions cause us to metaphorically walk a mile. The Savior knew that we’d all have periods in our lives when we would need extra love, patience, and compassion because of the learning and growth we would experience here on this earth.
Just like I want my baby to learn, grow, and develop new skills, even if that creates more challenging periods in my own life, I should want all people to have those same blessings of growth and development. After all, we are all brothers and sisters, children of God.
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