Thursday, July 9, 2009

Worst Fear

Do you ever have thoughts about your kids where you envision the worst things that could happen to them? Then you hug them tight before you think "crap, I cannot keep them safe forever." I am telling you I got this fatalist attitude from my Mom. She was always freaking out about EVERYTHING, sometimes with good reason but 9 times out of 10 there was no reason at all. Just perceived horror versus real horror.

Last night when Matthew and Kevin were off at swim class I had one of my worst fears play out with Marisa. The gate at the top of the stairs was not locked into place after the last person came up yesterday. Totally a mistake - the adult in the room at the time did not check it right away after the four year old came up and I assumed that the adult in the room at that moment did check to be sure it was locked as that adult is obsessive about that particular thing (both adults are actually quite obessive about it if you must know...)

I was enjoying some one on one time with Marisa. We finished up supper than I whisked her off for a bath and dressed her for bed. It was still a few minutes till her normal bed time and we were having a nice "chat" about the doors in the house. She was "brushing" her teeth and thankfully threw down her toothbrush before anything happened. She was patting the back door and telling me how that is the door that Daddy and Matthew left from. I was standing RIGHT there giggling and chatting to her. It was barely a half of a second, a millisecond, that she turned from the back door to the gate. She likes to throw stuff down the stairs lately through the gate to see what happens and she will push on the gate just because that is what she does.

This time she pushed and there was give. As in the whole gate door gave and she fell all the way down the fucking staircase. It was all so fast and slow at one time. I remember screaming at the top of my lungs NO NO NO NO NO and I tried to catch her all the way down. Luckily, if there is a lucky in these situations, she fell down the center of the stairs. She log rolled wicked fast to the bottom and I think the only reason she cried was because I was screaming and sobbing when I grabbed her. She did not hit the walls and I practically had her in my arms before she hit the bottom.

I was shaking and sobbing and had to think about what the fuck to do. I thought about calling the Y to get Kevin and tried a friend who was with Kevin at the Y with a cell phone but than remembered the emergency line at the doctor. I spoke with the nurse and she assured me that everything was okay - basically she said you are okay, this happens a lot. I saw the fall - she did not hit her head per say. The stairs are carpeted which is a blessing I now understand. It was a straight fall. There is no landing for her to run into and continue her fall or change the direction of her fall. She was giggling and walking and happy as a clam minutes after the fall. I was not.

I have not stopped replaying the scene in my head. My red and white baby - she looked like a big doll flopping down the stairs SO FAST and I could do nothing to stop it from happening. I keep thinking what if she went head over heels. Her neck or back... What if her head hit the wall one or more times. What if we had hard wood floors? Or concrete flooring in the basement? I shudder to even contemplate all of these things.

We kept her up the requisite one hour after the incident. Then we had her up every three hours after that. Needless to say, she was a tired little critter this morning. We have to watch her for 48 hours for various symptoms.

Interestingly enough, when we told Ashley about the situation this morning ALL three of us had experiences between the ages of 3 and 6 with falling down the stairs. AND I told my boss about it and she told me how her nephew fell down the stairs when she was watching him and he did hit his head a few times. Which does not make me feel better so much as it just happens and thankfully babies are resilient, more so probably than I am...

My heart is still pounding and I have cuddled my kids so much the past 1/2 day they are probably tired of me. Needless to say we are now obsessive with the gate and checking its stability. Be careful and hug your babies today. You just never know...
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