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Oct
06
2010

Ever since we moved into our house, I’ve been paranoid about the stairs. I don’t know why. It’s not like I coated them with butter.

But I guess they’re just kind of steep and foreboding.

I kept envisioning falling down them in the dark of night. And then I worried that by envisioning myself falling down the stairs, I was actually willing it to happen. So then I started to imagine that I would fall down the stairs into a pile of money. So at least if I was bumped and bruised, I’d be rich too.

But then it sort of happened.

Yesterday, I was carrying both twins down and I slipped on the final step. I came crashing down onto my knees and Harlowe knocked her head on the hardwood floor.

My little baby girl.

No cash to cushion the fall.

Just the hardwood floor.

I was in a rush to get Chase to his GI doctor and it just happened.Β  Harlowe started crying. I began hyperventilating.

All I could think about was….

Natasha Richardson. Brain injury. Didn’t get medical treatment. That story still haunts me.

Within minutes, Harlowe had calmed down and was even smiling. She didn’t even have much of a mark on her head. I brought her to the pediatrician who confirmed that she was completely okay. I told him to check again. He promised. She’s okay.

You know, I spend my days trying to protect my children and in one moment, I almost did the most damage.

Please forgive me Harlowe.

I will be more careful. More mindful. Less rushed.

I took this picture later in the day…

Harlowe is the one on the left who looks happy and like she still trusts her mom.

Chase is on the right and he’s not so sure anymore.


45 Responses to another moment of parental anxiety

  • Tiffaney says:

    Mission accomplished: Harlow, like all daughters, will need something to use as guilt against her mother when she becomes a teenager. How else do you think she’ll (blackmail to) get a car?

  • Elissa says:

    we are staying in a corporate apartment at the moment and it has stairs – i hate them. i slipped on them the first week with the baby in my arms. luckily i grabbed the rail and caught myself – but i landed funny on my right toes and jammed one of them pretty badly – it’s still purple. no stairs in our next apartment!

  • scrappysue says:

    she’s saving the memory for later – like when she’s a teen so she can throw it in your face!!! all your girls have the same gorgeous smile – they are so aiike!!!

  • Jordana says:

    One of my favorite pieces of advice in a parenting book is if they are smiling after an injury they are okay. I’ve never fallen with them on the stairs, but it’s probably only because we didn’t have stairs.

  • Meredith says:

    I’m so glad you are all ok. You might have to give up the double carry on the stairs! BTW I slipped down a flight of stairs while my kids were watching last year. I pulled the banister out of the wall, thought I was a goner & remember thinking how can I teach them to call 911 if I can’t move. And as I tried to stop hyperventilating at the bottom of the stairs I heard, “mooooom I waaaaaaant soooome miiilk!” clearly they were distressed.

  • Jodi says:

    These are numbers three and four and you’re still beating yourself up for the little mishaps that happen? That alone makes you a good mom. You probably caused increased blood flow to the part of the brain related to artistic ability and she will be a great singer/actress/painter/designer. After she finishes medical school. And law school. But before the Nobel Prize.

  • Erin says:

    Maybe one of those chair lift things that hook to a railing is just what you need – you’d look much better in it than the 80 year old lady in the commercial πŸ™‚ Your babies are precious.

  • I also have stair anxiety disorder. I’m sure that’s a real disorder and apparently it’s genetic. Although we don’t have stairs in our house we have four very treacherous ones that lead to the garage. I have developed a safety method (OCD tick) to navigate stairs without incident. I say “Step, step step, step”with each stair. My 23 month old does this also. That’s how I know it’s genetic. πŸ™‚

  • red pen mama says:

    Beautiful picture of those babies!

    Try not to be too hard on yourself. I know how hard it is β€” I literally dropped Flora once when she was 4 months old, and it’s still a traumatic memory for me. (We went to the ER and everything. She was β€” and IS β€” fine!)

  • Daphne says:

    I’ve fallen down stairs more times than I can count. And trust me — you know when somethings not right with head injuries — 3 concussions in I feel like I can reassure you of that at least.

  • So glad she’s OK! I know the stair phobia feeling too. We have a spiral staircase in our condo, and since my son was born, almost 2 years ago, it has plagued me. Of course, my son’s first head injury was caused by me smacking his head on a large, heavy lightfixture while hoisting him up to smell for a dirty diaper. Nice.

    On a lighter note, I am so happy I found your blog on Minimunchers. It has me cracking up at Starbucks every morning I read a new post. Thank you for my little working-mom break!
    -Kate Armstrong
    Bella Mi Design Boutique

  • Heather says:

    Such cute babies!
    UGH! Stairs, I fell down a couple of ours the other day while carrying planters. I still feel like I broke my elbow! I’ve heard there’s some stuff you can get to mix w/ paint (or polyurethane) to make stairs less slippery. In the meantime, I’ve vowed NOT to wear socks around anymore.

  • Oh, oh, oh. My heart is heaving reading this. I’ve been in the ER twice with my son, because his head is like a hardwood floor-magnet. The good news is he’s brilliant and I like to think it’s because all that pounding opened up new portals in his brain. Yes, you can use that.

  • Once I tripped getting out of the car and pretty much slam-dunked my baby into the pavement. She was okay, though.

    We have wood stairs in our home and I never take them in socks. I’m either barefoot or in shoes (usually shoes). I slipped once (in socks) and almost broke my elbow. Keep a pair of slippers (with good tread) by your bed for those middle-of-the-night trips downstairs.

  • Kandi says:

    I accidentally left the gate open (twice!) and my daughter went tumbling down the stairs both times. I think we all have moments of panic like this. Glad Harlowe’s OK. You probably hear this a lot but she looks like you when she smiles!

  • Shana says:

    I just typed out an extremely long rendition of my horrible parenting, but it’s too long for a comment, so I will condense it to just the facts: When I was a 21-year-old mother of a 3-month old baby girl, I dropped said baby girl face first on a gravel driveway (by not belting her into the carrier and then carrier handle broke, flipping her out onto her face), because I was too busy trying to balance the bag of Popeye’s fried chicken and my purse and a diet coke when exiting the car carrying said Popeye’s etc and the baby carrier. I’d say go ahead and call Human Services on me, but she’s 23 years old and unscathed, so the statute of limitations is probably out.

  • E says:

    If it makes you feel better, Ron flipped #2 out of her car seat and onto a marble door jam and I tripped and slammed #3’s head into a dresser when she was 8 days old. Natasha Richardson haunts me too but heads are really tough. Do you have treads and a good railing on those stairs? Cuz for us grown ups and header down the stairs can really mess you up.

  • annie says:

    Your babies are gorgeous!! Glad everyone is ok!!

    I fell and hit my head on a coffee table when I was little, which really explains so much but that’s not at all my point.

    Anyway, my grandfather rounded every corner in the house after that. Every counter, table, you name it. I’m wondering if you could do something similiar and make a curly slide out of your stairs?

  • tully's mama says:

    when my nephew was almost 3, my sister was rushing him into the tub. In a hurry, she whacked his privacy & jewels on the side of the tub. Then proceeded to hit him in the head with the bar of soap she tossed in. When his 4 year old sister came next, Asa said “do not let mom put you in the tub. she’s not safe”.

  • Joining the club here by leaving my baby unattended on the bed, off of which she promptly rolled. I totally should have known better, since she was rolling all over it while we were playing before I left the room. I seriously didn’t intend to be gone that long, but a quick check on the non-sleeping twins turned into having to change a nap time poopie, and I have to say I kind of forgot about her! She was fine, the pedi assured me what to look for, and I’ll have stories to horrify her when she’s older.

    Beautiful picture!

  • Emily says:

    Harlowe doesn’t appear to be upset AT ALL! Sweet babies- they are adorable! (I would have done the same thing- rushed them to the pedi. πŸ™‚

  • johanna says:

    Amazing how resilient little ones can be. She does not look traumatized! And hey, that’s what doctors are for right? So we can rush in anytime to make sure our precious ones are okay πŸ™‚

  • CSY says:

    My mother of the year award was tarnished when my daughter was 3 months old. I was putting her in one of those backpack thingies you strap to your front and instead of putting her in the thing FIRST, then putting it on I put it on and was trying to get her into it when I put her head into a ceiling fan! A rotating ceiling fan! I broke 3 blades off of it, called my mother hysterical saying I’d killed the baby! She was only crying because I was flipping out. She’s 13 now and if she’s a little crazy sometimes, my husband blames it on the ceiling fan. So you’re a better mom than I am! Hope this helps!

  • When I was 8, I dropped my newborn baby cousin onto a concrete floor. But it was okay because when he was 4, his mother RAN OVER HIS HEAD WITH HER CAR. I’m not even making that up. He survived, not a single thing wrong with him. Just scratches! It’s all because I dropped him on his head. It toughened him up.

    Now Harlowe can become the first female quarterback for the Colts.

  • Briana says:

    The stairs is really a dangerous place in the house… especially if you have kids. Accidents happen anytime so you have to be care especially if you are carrying your kids. Good thing they are alright. They are sure looks so heavy so don’t carry them both at ones next time.

  • Snarky Mommy says:

    She looks just like you! If it’s any consolation, when my oldest was 5 months old, my husband forgot to lock the stroller at the top of the porch and it flipped end over end down five steps. He had a skull fracture! I think almost five years later my husband still freaks when bringing the stroller in the house.

  • Portia says:

    So glad it was only the last step!! It could have been much worse. The twins are just too cute for words….Instead I have to talk baby speak to the screen while grinning from ear to ear…. πŸ™‚

  • Ann's Rants says:

    3 went flying through an unlatched baby gate when he was 1. Halfway down our dreaded stair case.

    I had been terrified over the scenario since his birth.

    He was fine. And it was such a good lesson for me to settle down.

    Which is why we all now live in the basement.

    (So glad all that cuteness is okay)

  • Loukia says:

    I worry so much about head injury, too. My youngest son, when he was 6 months old, rolled off the couch and onto the hardwood floor. He was crying, I freaked out, and I rushed him to the children’s hospital because man, the crash sounded SO BAD. Here’s something I never told anyone – I sat in the front seat with him IN MY LAP, that’s how worried stupid I was. Now that I think back… wow. Of course, by the time we got to the hospital, no more tears. Sigh.


kelcey kintner


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