I Went To Grab Her Hand, but She Wasn’t There…

There are so many tiny little turns that occur every day in my house…probably yours too. These tiny little turns can suddenly alter the outcome of our day, our week, our month, our year, or our life. Most of the time, they go our way…
Sometimes they don’t…
The Crazies were exhausted from a weekend away. They woke up late from their naps and I let them. I knew how tired they were and we didn’t have anywhere to be. They woke up slowly…their sleepy little heads embedded in their pillows…their reluctance to let go of their lovies…their quiet little voices that you only get to hear when they first get up.
Then Daddy got home. I was ready for all hell to break loose like it normally does, but they were unmoved. Were they happy to hear his voice? Yes. Were they jumping around like maniacs? No. They were more than happy to listen to him greet them from downstairs.
He came up and they were a little more interested. Matt started grunting at him from his crib (his new greeting) and Hailey’s little smile got all scrunchy when he came over to see her. We finally got them out of bed and ready to head down for a little snack before dinner.
Matt went down with Daddy, but Hailey needed her diaper changed (at least that’s what she told me…it wasn’t really true).
We still have a gate at the top of our stairs because I am a little freaky about stairs. We have hardwood stairs and hardwood floors and not much is stopping them if they fall besides our front door…ouch. The Crazies have been traversing the stairs for a good 6 months now, but I typically get on the first step before them and “spot them” while they’re negotiating the gate. It’s a little tricky, but they do really well with it.
Somehow, Hailey got on the stairs before me and as I went to grab her hand or the back of her shirt or anything, she was gone.
She was just gone.
My sweet little girl…in her navy shirt with colored hearts and jeans…with her soft blond hair…with her loving “Daddy smile”…and her quiet little voice…was tumbling down the stairs head over heels and there wasn’t one damn thing I could do to stop it.
I wasn’t able to see very much, as it happened so fast. The one glimpse I did catch was her beautiful little face smashing into one of the very hard wood steps. All I could do was yell for Husband…nothing else.
I don’t do helpless very well.
Husband got to her fast and picked her right up. For some reason I was upset at this because in my head (which has been brainwashed by various hospital television programs), you’re not supposed to move her. What was the alternative though? Let her lie on the hardwood floor scared out of her mind at the bottom of the stairs? Nope…he went with his gut.
I followed them around the house completely helpless like a lost puppy…he soothed her, she cried, he asked her where it hurt, she cried, he checked out her tiny little body with his hands, she told him that her “finger was okay.”
Yes, she had a cut on her finger that has finally healed.
Matt got upset. He brought me a piece of the gate that had broken…guess it shifted when she went over and that’s what caused her to lose her balance. I picked him up. It was all I could do.
Once it was apparent that she was okay, I tearfully asked Husband if I could hold her (like I pushed her down the stairs and was asking for forgiveness or something). He handed her over and she told me her face hurt and she needed ice.
After that, we continued to evaluate her for any signs of head injury, memory loss, slurred speech, dilated pupils, and all the other really scary stuff that we’re all ready to do on a daily basis. She was fine.
She was absolutely fine, needed ice in her sippy, and she needed a snack.
Our whole life could have changed with a simple reversal…Hailey going down the stairs before me.
These are the little turns that scare me the most…a child putting a snack cup on the counter right next to the stove (which happens to be on the highest setting boiling water, of course), a last minute hand coming down when a child loses his balance right before his teeth hit the porcelain, a cutting board that is pulled off the counter leaving the knife behind, the last minute grab of a baby as they roll off the changing table. Accidents happen…they’re scary as can be, but they happen.
My posts are usually upbeat and humorous, but this really struck me as something that we all go through on a daily basis. I’m sure that there is some mother out there reading this whose child will go to preschool with a nasty shiner tomorrow…oh wait…that’s me!
If you want to read more about how the Crazies came into being, you can click here. If you want to read more about my daily adventures, please join me here. We’d love to have you and promise not to push you down the stairs…there’s your grain of salt for today.

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16 comments

  1. There are so many close calls in parenting. I had a close call that wasn't a close call at all – my daughter choked on a piece of her dinner and died. She was resusitated, but is now a different child. One with a severe brain injury and severe disabilities, I am THAT parent, the one that the accident happened to. It could have been a near miss but it wasn't. It was a hit. Then again my child is still ALIVE, and i am grateful every day. Accidents happen to the best parents. It sucks but it's true. And i am absolutely a better person and i have learned so much from her.

  2. Oh my….as I was reading this i felt a little of that fear you felt. Of course it was nothing compared to the fear you must have felt! Then I too started thinking about all the could have happening! I am so glad everything it fine.

    On a second note I love reading you upbeat and humorous posts daily! You always put a smile on my face!

  3. So many moments that we remember that scare the crap out of all of us, and we wonder what we could have done differently. But, accidents are meant to happen, and thankfully, this is one that just left a little bruise.

  4. MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs)

    As parents I'm sure we've all had our share of "what if things had gone just a little bit differently" moments? What if things hadn't turned out just fine?

    We had a scare with one of our girls when she was about 8 months old. When I told the pediatrician about it, he said, "…and that's why God builds their little heads like ping pong balls."

    I certainly don't want to go putting that one to the test, but I do think it speaks to kids' resiliency…and thank God for that!

  5. Wow. I just can only say that I'm sick to my stomach *for* you. I actually broke out in a cold sweat reading this. And to be honest, it makes me feel really vindicated in my "carefullness". I don't wrap my kids in cotton wool, but I am pretty careful. Now the next time my MIL tells me I am being too protective, I don't think I'll even wonder for a second if she may be right like I usually do.

    ::gulp::

  6. Marcia (123 blog)

    Oh dear.

    I am far more careless than you, don't worry. Although D makes up for it in SPADES!

    Poor Hailey – I can just picture the blur of cuteness tumbling… they really do it in slow motion, hey?

  7. I can just imagine that horrible feeling of helplessness watching her fall. It gives me chills. So glad she's okay!

    My kid is going to school with a big blue knot on her head today also…from falling headfirst into the chair leg. (She cried for about a minute.) I am constantly amazed how tough these kids are!

  8. First, so glad sweet Hailey was okay. Those scary moments are the worst. I am freaking out over just the idea of having another little one around soon and all he might get into

  9. I've suffered through a few of those terrible near misses. So scary to think your whole life can change in one second. After a frightening episode, I called my mother in tears, telling her that parenting is too scary. That was when my Mom (a mother of 8) told me, "If you're going to raise a large family, you'd better believe in guardian angels. Somehow all eight of you made it to adulthood safely, and I thank God and your guardian angels for that."

    So glad Hailey's guardian angel protected her on the way down those stairs.

  10. I can't even imagine how you felt when that happened. I remember just not that long ago the girls rolling off the ottoman and screaming in pain. They hadn't been able to roll yet so it was a shock to me and I felt horrible that I looked away for that split moment. 🙁 We all cried and eventually came to the same conclusion they were fine. It's so scary what we get to go through as parents. I'm glad they are she OK 🙂

  11. I'm so glad Hailey is ok! One of my boys did the same thing just a few weeks ago at a friend's house. The stairs were carpeted, but the gate wasn't up at the bottom and his little head hit the metal wall bracket. I hate how head wounds bleed. We got 3 stitches at the ER and he was fine otherwise. I didn't see him fall, but the thump-thump-thump and the scream that told me it was my child was absolutely horrific. Being a parent certainly is hard! My faith is the only thing that gets me through!

  12. Fabulous post girl … though I am not used to you being serious … hahah!!
    I saw an Amber alert on the freeway sign today and got a little sick to my stomach … while these have always bothered me, now that I have my own littles it really hurts. I can't even imagine … and I don't want to. It's scary stuff being a mommy!!!

  13. Fabulous post girl … though I am not used to you being serious … hahah!!
    I saw an Amber alert on the freeway sign today and got a little sick to my stomach … while these have always bothered me, now that I have my own littles it really hurts. I can't even imagine … and I don't want to. It's scary stuff being a mommy!!!

  14. Fabulous post girl … though I am not used to you being serious … hahah!!
    I saw an Amber alert on the freeway sign today and got a little sick to my stomach … while these have always bothered me, now that I have my own littles it really hurts. I can't even imagine … and I don't want to. It's scary stuff being a mommy!!!

  15. Oh babies bounce, you have to remember this, they are so tough!! We had stairs in 2 houses & no gates, they just knew how to get up & down, it was too dangerous for gates as they were climbers & we all know twins have a boost up with their nearest & dearest sibling!! Anyway, they'd have a little tumble at times, as they would aged 4 or 6 or 8!!
    Knowing your regular blog posts, this was so soft & gentle, it's really sweet. I had to giggle when you checked her for memory loss, he he he, from how far back?? He he he, love your work, love Posie

  16. so glad she was ok and I'm so glad we have carpeted stairs! we live in a multi-level house so we have 3 sets of stairs here and we wanted the kids to learn how to safely navigate them pretty early on. Amazingly, we've only had a couple major falls on them – about 1 per kid. Sarah took a good fall when she was about 15 months and did cut her head open but thankfully not too bad.

    I try not to be a worry wort as a mom…but there are often times when there's a close call and i find myself tearing up just at the 'thought' of what could have happened.

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