It was horrible! I even 'had my eye on her'. Ha. So much for eyes... they don't have go-go-gadget-arms.
I was putting some things away around the house when I was surprised to hear a squeaky little voice excitedly squeal, "Hi!" as my near-2-year-old made her way to me from the top of the stair case.
"Hi to you! Hmmmm... Why isn't Daddy corralling you down there? Has he not noticed you're MIA?" At this time, she began to work her way backwards down the stairs again... one at a time, on hands & knees... "She's doing great!" I told myself, as I watched. She ran around the corner, so I assumed (that is, made an "ass" out of "u" & "me") that she had made her way back into play-land downstairs. After all, I was doing nothing nearly so exciting!
Suddenly, I heard her again, and she appeared to be trying to close the door at the top of the stairs. (She is QUICK! This should have been a red-flag.) Before I could react, I heard the dreaded sound of a slip-thump, clump-thump. I darted to the staircase, my heart pounding, to see her tumbling sideways down the last of the 4 or 5 remaining stairs. She landed on her back. Crying ensued immediately. I screamed for Joel, and I don't think my feet touched the stairs before I reached the bottom. I hesitated for a mere instant while considering "Is it bad to move her? What if she hurt her neck/ back?" I felt a sense of confidence that she had rotated like a jelly-roll for at least the majority of the distance to the bottom of the stairs. And, she NEEDED me! So I scooped her up, and of course Joel and I were both angry at ourselves for 'letting' it happen. Finally, we concluded that it was an accident. I was thinking just prior to the incident, "Wow. She's getting big. She goes down the stairs so well now - and needs to practice that anyway..." Perhaps we both were a bit too over-confident. It was a harsh reminder that no matter their age, size, ability, or level of achievement... you can't stop accidents from happening. But perhaps an ounce of prevention? Yeah - like maybe allowing her to "practice" while standing about a foot below her with each step? Exactly. Now, if only my heart and psyche were made of rubber...
TIP! Doors. Baby-Gates... And don't let 'em out of your sight. They aren't teenagers yet, so they don't need to "learn the hard way". You haven't yet had the opportunity to "teach them to the best of your ability, and allow them to make a few mistakes while they put those teachings into practice..." When they are 2, you just have to follow them on the stairs, not matter what. And doors. Close 'em. Had I done that before running upstairs in the first place, she'd not have made it to the peak of her 'mountain' in the first place, before tumbling back down to it's base. Oh - hindsight. You cruel, cruel trainer. So many little things... That "ounce" of prevention... Life can be distracting, but remember your priorities. And also - accidents happen. Just make sure you learn from 'em. That's the point of the 'training' part. There's no reason to beat yourself up if you are learning.
A QUOTE: "I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma." ~Eartha Kitt
WHIDFML: Sometimes if I feel like I'm "mothering poorly" (ie: they fall down the stairs!), or simply worried about their well-being/ health/ protection - I just pray about it. Then, I trust that He will protect them when I'm too unlearned, distracted, unable (ie: illness), or unavailable (ie: when sitters are with them, or over time as they increase their levels of independence) to do so myself.
God knows our needs. He'll provide. Then I can rest those worries (at least for a while!)