‘The Wonder Weeks’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Do The Young Parents Come To Terms With Their Families?

Set in the Netherlands, The Wonder Weeks, or Oei, ik groei! showcases three families of young parents and the highs and lows of raising their infants. Directed by Appie Boudellah and Aram van de Rest, the movie stars Sallie Harmsen, Soy Kroon, Lous Talpe, Katja Schuurman, Yolantha Cabau, and others as young fathers and mothers who try to understand the best ways to raise their kids. With multiple laugh-out-loud moments and some deep messages, The Wonder Weeks tells the story of what the necessities are to help raise kids. Here’s everything that happens in this light-hearted comedy/drama movie.


Spoilers Ahead

Who Are The Parents?

Three moms give birth to three children in three separate families, and thanks to the proximity of the local daycare center, they become friends quickly. On the one hand, there’s Anne and Barry and their little daughter Mia, while the Moroccan Sabri and his Dutch girlfriend have young Samih. Lastly, Roos and her wife Kim have Roos’s best friend Kaj as the donor as Roos prepares for her third pregnancy. Each family has different issues and different ways of life, but there’s one thing quite common in every family: crying babies keep parents up at night. While Anne and Barry are exhausted taking care of Mia’s incessant crying and the obtuse pediatrician who keeps finding faults in their baby’s weight, Mia struggles to find a daycare center, but all of them are full. Meanwhile, her job as a lawyer is often hampered by coming back after her pregnancy, and Barry has trouble handling the baby all by himself.


Elsewhere, Kaj wants to be a part of the two children he helped create and wants to be involved in Didi and Teun’s lives. Despite Mia’s objections, Roos decides to give him a chance, and Kaj really tries, but his initial steps are replete with errors. It’s necessary to get a certificate of conduct so that Kaj is cleared to take care of the kids, so he tries the illegal way. To hide his decade-old criminal past, he pays a guy to create a false certificate, and this is where Anne comes in. She gets the order passed, and Kaj is allowed to take care of his kids, taking the pressure off Roos and Kim, although his best friend’s wife isn’t too satisfied, given how Kaj gets Teun locked inside the car or almost has an accident driving with the infant.

Finally, Ilse is a little less than happy to find her Moroccan mother-in-law coming over with many more people and demanding that her grandson Samih get a circumcision. Ilse is horrified at the idea of mutilating her child, but she’s forced to accept it because Sabri insists this is part of their tradition. As if that’s not enough, there’s a massive sheep in the bathtub because Sabri’s culture also asks for a sacrifice.


How Does Trouble Begin In Families?

Back in Anne and Barry’s household, Kim arranges for an attractive nanny named Hester for Mia, but both the personal and professional lives of the parents are troubled as they try to keep up with Mia. Their conjugal life begins to suffer, while Barry is unhappy that Mia spends too much time at work. Although she was at the office examining Kaj’s certificate of conduct, which she found to be fake because Kim had promised her a spot in the daycare, Barry decided to finish dinner with Hester. As Didi and Teun were taken away from Kaj, Anne was disgusted by looking at the baby monitor, where she found Barry pleasuring himself in Hester’s pictures. However, she had to keep that to herself because Anne had just been declared partner at her firm, and she came home to discuss her husband’s behavior, but her anger was temporarily suspended because Mia finally rolled over, meaning her development was happening the natural way.

How Does The Ceremony Turn Sour?

At Samih’s circumcision ceremony, Kim reminded Anne that Mia could start daycare the following Monday and asked her to put Teun in the nursery. On her way to the nursery with Teun, Mia was angered to find Hester and Barry getting closer, and her frustration increased. Later, when Barry confronts Anne for firing Hester, she calls him out for his indecent actions within Hester’s earshot, straining the husband-wife relationship further. Meanwhile, Ilse couldn’t stand and watch an innocent animal being slaughtered for traditions, so she took the sheep to a farm to release it there. Hilarity ensued as Sabri’s bumbling elder brother Hicham mistook Teun for Sabri and took him to the ceremony with his face covered. While Sabri fought with his mother because he wanted to wait for his wife, the circumcision was completed. As Kim thundered at Anne for failing to look after Teun, she retorted back with how Roos’s wife is a selfish autocrat who bulldozes over others’ wills, and Kaj stepped in to support the argument. However, he turned against Anne upon learning that it was Anne who found discrepancies in his certificate, while Sabri’s mother left, unable to tolerate the actions of her daughter-in-law. Barry had to move out, and Kaj’s newly furnished home for kids was empty, while Sabri took Samih away, pained at his girlfriend’s actions.


How Do The Young Parents Come To Terms With Their Families?

Slowly, reason sets in after anger seeps out, and each person realizes their mistakes. When Mia says “mama” for the first time, and Anne can’t share it with Barry, she realizes that she’d become too obsessed with trying to be the perfect mother and ignored everything else around her. Mia went over to the park where Kaj and Roos were talking, and she promised to help Kaj get her kids back, but everything needed to wait because Roos’s water had just broken. As Kaj took Roos to the hospital, Mia dropped the kids off at Kim’s daycare and took Kim with her. However, Roos needed a C-section, but, in the end, everything worked out fine, and they were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. Kim not only let Kaj hold his daughter but also asked him to look after Teun and Didi for the few upcoming nights so that she and Roos could look after their newborn. Anne went over to Barry’s workplace, and they made up as she requested him to come home, while Ilse was met with Sabri’s mother, who agreed to waive the sheep sacrifice, while Ilse agreed to the circumcision. At Mia’s birthday, all three families gathered together, and Ilse announced Samih’s circumcision party. By now, there were no more hard feelings; the young mothers had finally come to terms with their families.

‘The Wonder Week’ Ending Explained

This feel-good movie by Appie Boudellah and Aram van de Rest achieves the goal it sets out by showcasing the highs and lows of young parenthood from three perspectives. We’ve got a lesbian couple and the relationship of the children with their donor, i.e., the father. There’s a cross-cultural family where the opposing traditions create the possibility of a collision between the two distinct cultures. Finally, there’s the family, where both mother and father are busy with work, and their quality time with the child suffers. In this case, both sides of the parents have a lot to learn from each other, and raising a child can never be a mother’s sole job. Unless the father steps in to help, it’s impossible for a woman to do everything by herself. Other than this obvious message, the subtext also includes the necessity to understand that diversity is what creates unity, and we need to be more accepting of what initially appears strange.


Ilse is initially terrified at the thought of circumcising her son but finally gives in, realizing that she’s not alone in raising him and that it’s her boyfriend’s son too. Similarly, Sabri accepts that no animal shall be slaughtered because Ilse doesn’t want it, and that should be how every family should function: communicating and achieving a middle ground so that no one is hurt. Lastly, Kim realizes that her excessive need to dictate everything was pushing away her wife, so she accepts Kaj as the father of their children, and this is the message in the end: accepting others and growing together. The Wonder Weeks is a light-hearted and happy movie that makes for a beautiful afternoon watch, with some loud laughs and a few learning moments. But despite being a movie about raising kids, make sure to keep kids away, and this is best enjoyed by adults only.

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Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh has a master's degree in English literature from Calcutta University and a passion for all things in cinema. He loves writing about the finer aspects of cinema, although he is also an equally big fan of webseries and anime. In his free time, Indrayudh loves playing video games and reading classic novels.

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