I remember the day before Ella turned two. And she ran out in to a busy road. Thankfully, nothing happened, the traffic stopped, but it took me a while to calm down. I blogged about it (you can read the post here) and it really helped me to get over what happened, getting it down in writing.
Yesterday, something happened that I similarly feel the need to release as it is playing on my mind A LOT!
In our old house, we never bothered with stair gates when Ella was a little explorer. The stairs were in our lounge area, so we could pretty much see when she was heading up. And, until we thought she was confident enough, we would go up with her, holding her hand or standing behind her ready to catch. We didn’t have a stair gate at the top either. It just wouldn’t fit on our banister. She was soon great at coming down on her bum too. And she never fell.
When Sienna became mobile and discovered the stairs, we had moved. The stairs were now in the hallway, and we couldn’t see every time she was heading up them. So, we decided to fit stair gates top and bottom. Being the stubborn little lady she can be, she’d fight to get out of our arms as soon as the stair gate was open, and would make her own way up with us following close behind. She never fell. Then, over about the past two months, she started to come down on her own too on her bum. Again, we’d help her along, but she had no issue at all.
Slowly, we’ve started to leave the bottom stair gate open when we go upstairs, and she’ll often follow us up. She’s nearly 18 months now, and has proved that she’s well able to cope with the stairs. Well, the stair gate is now back to being closed after yesterday’s events.
I went upstairs yesterday at about 5pm to put some washing away, and left the gate open. Sienna inevitably followed me up and was playing around upstairs. I headed back down and she came with me, taking each step on her bum as usual. Then I went back up again with more clothes (if only it wasn’t for the endless washing!). Again she followed me up.
We have a main flight of stairs, then Ella’s bedroom to the left, and then the last three stairs up to the other bedrooms and bathroom. I was in the spare room sorting, and watched Sienna come up those final three stairs. She clung on to the bottom beam of the (open) stair gate, leaned back, then let go. My first reaction was “s**t”. I thought she was just falling down the first few stairs on to the mini landing outside Ella’s room. But she somehow managed to round the corner and went down the whole flight of stairs. I shouted (I think the word began with f!) and ran down, at the same time as Sean throwing Ella off his lap in the living room and running to the bottom of the stairs. He said he knew straight away when he heard the thud and me shout.
Sienna was laid on the floor at the bottom of the stairs flat on her back, and luckily screaming her little heart out. I was so glad to hear that scream and see that she was conscious. We scooped her up and held her close, first Sean then me. She quickly calmed down. We took her clothes off, and there wasn’t a mark on her. She got up and was running round laughing. I washed her hair in the bath not long after, massaging every bit of her head to check for any tender points. She didn’t flinch once. A friend said to check her eyes, as one pupil will be larger than the other if there is a serious head injury. Both eyes looked the same.
So it seems the only thing that was damaged in her falling down the stairs was mine and Sean’s nerves!! It took ages for my hands to stop shaking and my heart to stop pounding. I couldn’t stop reliving it in my head, and still can’t. I checked her a few times in the night, and she was awake a few times crying anyway, as she often is. She woke up this morning, happy as can be.
We are so lucky. It could have been so different. The force and speed she fell down the stairs, my heart instantly assumed the worst, and that was just the most awful thing as you can imagine. She’s had extra cuddles this morning. Extra kisses. Loving anyone is the most amazing feeling. But it brings with it the fear too. A fear I don’t even want to talk about. Thank god Sienna is fine. Not bothered. Still fighting to walk up the stairs on her own and come down on her bum. For now, though, she’s going up in my arms!