Status Report re: Operation Best Parents Ever


(Yes! Still talking about it. Like anyone is surprised.)

(Overreaction: It's what's for dinner.)

I'm feeling much better today, thanks to your comments and generous doses of brackets, and also all the wine I drank last night. Which was probably a little much for a Monday. Or a Friday. Or for the average human liver.

I still can't stop reliving it: the metal clang, the mysterious thumps, the terrified wails, the feeling of my feet skidding on the Pergo as I dashed around the corner, the sickening sight of that open gate and then...oh god oh god...my little boy lying facedown at the bottom of the stairs.

I know, I know. "BOY" is the operative word there. He's going to fall down the stairs and off his bike and the roof and trees and roller coasters and God knows what else. But you know, indulge me here, since I'm not used to this injury shit yet. Or the sensation of my heart leaking out my ears. That's definitely a new one.

As I tried to comfort Noah and convince him that everything was okay (even though I had no idea myself and was desperately trying to squeeze various body parts and check his pupils and feel for his teeth while his nose leaked snotty blood all over my shoulder), I babbled on about getting his Boo Boo Bear, which is an ice pack. (Which is actually shaped like a dog.) (Don't ask. I'm a moron.) After hearing the word "boo boo," Noah obediently and miserably put his hands over his face for the most pathetic game of peekaboo in the history of the entire world. So it was okay. He was okay.

Jason walked in the door right as I was administering a sippy cup of juice and the ice pack, and this was my signal to completely melt down and cry as I told him what had just happened. Jason was, of course, infinitely NOT HELPFUL, since he refused to believe me that the gate was latched ("You must not have closed it right") and quizzed me on my medical training ("You know not to move him, right? If his neck was broken and you moved him you COULD HAVE KILLED HIM"), and that's when I left the room, because we were in the kitchen and THAT'S WHERE ALL THE KNIVES ARE.

Anyway, Jomama requested that I share the brand of the baby gate Noah opened, and this is one of those moments where I really wonder why I compulsively invite the Internet to witness my endless supply of idiocy, because OH MY GOD. This is so embarrassing.

At our old place, we had one whopping baby gate, blocking the stairs up to the loft. When we moved here, we realized we'd need at least three more to block off both flights of stairs in every direction. So when we noticed the previous owners had one at the top of the basement steps, we asked if they'd mind leaving it. You know, to save ourselves 50 bucks or so. It's nothing great and is, in fact, totally ghetto, since it's all jury-rigged with extra blocks of wood and nylon ties.



They used this gate to keep their dog out of the basement. And we, in our infinite laziness, thought this would be sufficient for our child. Our child who can, at 15 months old, operate our TV remotes, remove batteries from his toys and jump start our car.

Oh, and only the top part latches. Yeah.


We actually bought two retractable gates, but after installing one at the top of the other stairs we discovered that it is a royal pain in the ass to open and close, since it requires two hands and coordination and thinking. So we returned the other one and decided to stick with the ghetto-ass gate. Because the other gate was hard to open. Which. You know. IS KIND OF THE FUCKING POINT.

But! But! Before you pelt me with batteries, let me explain! Noah really knows how to go up and down stairs! He knows to climb down backwards! We wanted a gate here more for just a general deterrent than a safety thing, since the basement is currently the most un-baby-proofed area of the house since we've pretty much just been chucking boxes and Random Things We Don't Know What To Do With Yet down there.

So okay, that explanation is still totally devoid of logic, since Noah opened the gate by accident. (I think. Because I was not watching him. Because...I had...stuff to do. On the...Internet. Yeah.) I'm pretty sure he was leaning on the gate and noticed that the latch is very button-like, and if there is one thing Noah loves more than peanut butter crackers, it is a good button to push. So he pushed it, and the weight of his body was enough to push the gate out of the groove and swing open. And ta-DA! Headfirst down the stairs.

Anyway. That's the entire, overly-detailed story of The Time My Kid Fell Down The Stairs, Which Will Now Never Happen Again Because I've Learned Lessons And Shit, And In Fact, I Am Fairly Confident That He Will Never Injure Himself In Any Way Again.

Right? RIGHT?




He'll find a new way to freak you out next time:). And I think you handled it beautifully.


I guess this is what I have to look forward to as the mother of a little boy? But wait a second, my six month old will never get into ANY mischief when he becomes mobile. Right???


P.S. I am very glad your sweet little boy is OK.


I just had a heart stopping parent moment with one of my twins. You can read about it here www.parentingourchildren.com or just know it happens to all of us and it never ends.

Now pass the wine.


Glad he's okay - hope you don't have a wee Houdini on your hands! I think I would have a really hard time getting used to all the rough and tumble little boy stuff, too. I'd want to wrap him up with bubble wrap :-P


Right!! Just swaddle him in pillows attached with twine, plunk a football helmet on his head and he's off! I bet the other kids won't even notice at Gymboree.

Oh, BTW.....another un-thought of danger.......new shoes. Slippery, slidy new shoes. Cost my kid 2 teeth and a fractured jaw at age 4. Pillows, helmet, barefoot. That should do it for the next 4 years or so.


Crap happens. Don't beat yourself up over it. Every mother has had her child fall off of something and if they deny it it's either because they're a lying liar or that their kid is a newborn. My toddler fell off the changing table when he was a baby right as I bent down to refill the stupid diaper stacker on the side of the table. My husband had the same reaction and I wanted to slap-fight him.

P.S. I also fell all the way down the basement stairs as a toddler and I'm a-ok! Hope you all feel better.


P.P.S. Forgot to say that Noah looks both cute AND tough with the black eye.


Put him in a bubble, it's the only way to keep him safe... but then you have to remember to change the oxygen...


I dropped my two-month old on his head off our very high bed when I fell asleep nursing him OUR SECOND NIGHT HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL. He's fine. I've dropped and/or failed to properly pay attention or anticipate countless other injuries over the years - they are all still alive and in my custody, so run of the mill stuff here. Kids get hurt - smarter ones find more creative ways to do it, but it happens, and your heart stops every time - but they do eventually outgrow most of it, unless they play football. Glad Noah's okay and don't beat yourself up about it.

Oh, yeah, and we have a jury rigged gate on our stairs too - off to fix that now.


OMG I totally had one of those moments when my daughter was right around Noah's age. Back then (she's going on 5 now, so yeah, they do survive our stupidness) when I would take a shower, she would just sit on the floor in front of the glass door and play. One day she wondered away to her room right next door to get another toy (I know this because I was like calling her name and she talked really young and she said, "I'm in my room..." Ok...no biggy right? It was "just for a second" and I was almost done. So then I heard an earth shattering CRASH and screaming. Well, we had bought a little people armoire (from IKEA btw - lol) and it was supposed to be like bolted to the wall or whatever and my husband and I were like, "um bolt it to the wall????" What for???? How could a little person like knock that huge thing over???? Well, let me tell ya how! She opened the door and climbed it like a ladder....knocked it right down on top of her. Thank god the way it landed, the big open part fell on her, so she was like cocooned inside of it when it fell and just ended up with a scratch and bruise on her back. I, of course, had a heart attack and cried for weeks whenever I thought about THAT SOUND and THE SCREAMING BABY! That night - yep, you guessed it, we bolted the damn thing to the wall. Sorry so long, but seriously Amy, you and Noah will get through the "stupid" moments just fine....we've all had them!


but what we really want to know is...is ceiba ok?


Amy, we have that gate but ours opens the opposite direction. Still I am freaking out - Will is very smart too - he can turn TV on and off, open doors, and sits and tells us no everytime we ask him to do something. The important thing is that he is ok. My husband said the entire time I was pregnant that babies are tanks, and I am SLOWLY starting to believe this... SLOWLY!!! Hang in there, wine defintiely helps...


You know what my son did one time when he was 3? Well, we were packing for vacation and I had the car parked in the carport and had the door open loading stuff in. Can you see where this is going? As I was in my bedroom doing whatever to get ready, my son walked out the door and jumped in the car! He knocked the car out of gear and then JUMPED out of the car as it rolled backwards almost hitting the neighbors house before it lodged itself in a ditch down the driveway! I still shake thinking about it. Boys just do that kind of stuff and I learned to never underestimate those little buggers! I've been to the emergency room 3x for my son and zero with my daughter..I figure I'll go crazy with here when the dating years begin! Hope you're both feeling better.

Heather B.

Yeah, those gates require thinking and logic and the ability to open shit without staring at it for 45 minutes wondering how in the world one opens the damn thing. So instead, I place the child over the gate and then step over it myself. Everyone's a winner. And once again, I am an idiot.


I think that definitely qualified for the copious amounts of wine it seems you drank. And don't worry. Every parent does something that in hindsight seems like an obvious bad idea, but no one's perfect and anyone who gets on you about this should have any past or future mistakes rubbed in their faces. Noah's fine and that's the most important thing.


I think you should just cover all staircases with a giant slide and put a tumbling mat at the bottom. I really think it is the next best thing to a firehouse pole.

Also, I thought about you a bit last night and remembered someone telling me once that this is the age where kids will have a constant array of bumps, bruises and scrapes.


I'm going to have my dad scan the pic of me with my shiner at age 3 and send it to you. After you see this thing a group of big kindergartners gave me (by throwing rocks at me) you may feel better about his. May being the operative word- at least you won't have people giving you the accusing looks my mom got (I bruise easily).


My son propelled himself down the stairs at day care when he was just barely crawling. He wasn't injured, but talk about a freak out! I was not prepared for that phone call at all. One of the older kids had pushed the gate down while trying to climb over it and no one noticed. As soon as he started walking I was working on how to go up and down stairs with him.


My daughter loves her some cat, but man, give her a button and she's in her own private nirvana (much like Noah...). And I can totally relate with the not-so-helpful husband in this situation. My oh-so-wonderful significant other just happens to be a little obsessed with safety and Jason sounds like he's stolen a bit of his playbook. ANYWAY, what I came here to say is: if we never made mistakes or poor judgement choices we'd never learn, which is just as bad :). And Noah, dutifully playing peekabo even while injured--cutest thing evah!


oh yeah, and I forgot to meantion yesterday the time my 6 month old rolled off our king size bed, b/c he had never rolled before.

As I said before, we have all done it. In fact, we should start a stupid ways my kids got hurt contest!


At 3 months, my daughter (who's almost 10) rolled off the bed and crashed to the floor...totally my fault. I was dressing her in the cutest little jumper and, as usual, it was too big cuz she was a tiny thing. So I was saftey pinning (another horror story there) the backs of the straps down for her and instead of just getting up while keeping a hand on her or picking her up and taking her with me to get something on her changing table, I leaned over to reach it and she rolled right off. I *almost* caught her by the straps, but remember they were too big and safety pinned? Ya, they busted and the pin poked her back, hello, shrieking infant...she was ok and is ok now, but my heart STILL catches when I think about it. I am sure Noah will be perfectly fine...and what was said about football in a previous comment is completely true, don't let him get into it, lol.


My daughter fell down our steps around that age. And, um, at least you had a gate. We were always, always with her, so we procrastinated regarding installing the gate that we had leaning against a wall (and we had a door going the stairs, that we always kept shut). My husband turned his back for one moment, and apparently, my daughter thought she could fly (she didn't know how to climb down the stairs). You know the rest. I think her eye looked like Noah's for awhile. That was all. Other than our hearts being in our throats for awhile. That took a little longer to go away.


So our next question is...

Did you replace the baby gate?

You know...so that it really will never happen again?


AMY: You're a fantastic mother. I know you already know this, but we all need a little reassurance every once in a while. Think back to the days when parents just barricaded the top of the stairs with boxes or furniture and padded the bottom of the stairs with pillows and blankets. What? Your parents didn't do that? Yea. Mine didn't either.

To make you feel better about your stellar parenting skills...or at least to give you a chuckle: Let me paint the picture of my childhood. I'm the only daughter (I have 2 brothers) of a PEDIATRICIAN and nutritionist-turned-OR-Nurse.

Regardless of our parents' employment at our local hospital, the ENTIRE ER staff knew all of us by name. They even knew which flavor ice cream/sorbet we preferred. Why? Because one of the three of us was in there at least once every 6 months for the removal of a foreign object, stitches, x-rays, tetnus shot, SOMETHING...The three of us have at least 4 full charts at the hospital, not to mention what records our dad has. The only other kids with 4 full charts are the seriously ill children...think leukemia. The boys and I are perfectly healthy.

There are pictures of the three of us in diapers, drinking beer from a longneck with a nipple on top (my dad's brilliant idea). I'm sure that CYS and the Medical Licensing Board would love to see those.

The icing on the cake...the one I still remind my father about when I want something...
My dad (the PEDIATRICIAN) thought I had the flu when I was actually having syncope attacks. Yea, that's right...I had a freak (non-congenital, not preventative, just FREAK) heart attack at 18. And he told me to take TUMS and go to sleep.

No matter what you do to protect your children, the most important thing you can do is be there for them when that protection isn't enough. My brothers and I spend at least a holiday a year recounting our favorite ER visits...and how our Mom sat in the waiting room with us, alternating between yelling at us and consoling us. Kids will be kids...and boys will always be boys :)


I am sorry to hear about Noah's fall. You are right. He is a boy and will someday willingly jump off of things and bump and bruise himself. But it is hard the first BIG crash. I think Jason had the typical Dad reaction. I can hear my husband saying the same things in that situation. And I think it is a good ides that he learn how to go up and down stairs safely. That is why we never had gates. My boy just learned and then I felt better about him navigating the house. We've all been there!


Injury horrors. I will share that I sat my daughter on the kitchen counter while I was getting a drink from the refrigerator and she flipped off. Yeah. Onto the hard tile. and had not one, but two huge bruises on her face. Guilt doesn't even begin to describe how I felt. And my husband did the same type thing, "why would you do that? why didn't you set her on the floor??". We also were in the kitchen, but he survived. Anyhow, the point is, it happens to probably most all of us at one point in time. And while we do our best to protect our kids, sometimes we make mistakes. It's ok. They will be ok, and so will we. My daughter has gone on from that and been totally fine. :)
Noah is awfully cute, even with the bruise. He's such a sweetie.


Glad you're all okay now. And loving the dramatic overcapitalisation :)


Jes - Jason has orders to stop at the store today and buy the biggest pain-in-the-ass-to-open baby gate he can find. Then, you know, give us a couple weeks to take it out of the box, and find the screwdriver, and take the old one down, and then maybe think about putting the new one up.


I'm glad Noah is okay. I can only imagine how freaked out you must have been. It goes without saying that you shouldn't blame yourself, and of course this will just be the first of many such incidents. (My kid is only three months, yes, but I have younger siblings, so I know. When my youngest sister was a toddler we called her "The Butterfly Queen" because of the number of butterfly bandages she went through. And my parents were very good parents; some kids are just accident-prone.)

To make you feel better I'll share my own I'm-a-bad-mother story: When Camilla was a couple weeks old I was in bed burping her after a feeding, with her sitting up on my lap, her chin in my hand, the way they teach you to burp newborns. Somehow, I dozed off, and when I woke up a few minutes later she was bent in half, face-down in my lap. Yes. I almost suffocated my baby. And I was horrified, but I bet I'm not the first person who ever did that.


Poor Noah! I hope he's doing well. We have a retractable gate at the top and bottom of our stairs and one time, Kalayah (then about 2 years old) was leaning on the gate and I was in the playroom helping Shea do something and I turned around just as I heard a weird sound and saw feet heading down the stairs. She fell on top of the gate and basically surfed down the damn stairs and landed face first into about 3 garbage bags full of toys to take to the salvation army. I couldn't help but laugh since I'd witnessed this wonderful new surfing technique AND the fact that she was ok! It doesn't mean your a bad mom, things happen when we least expect them to. So what kind of gate did you end up buying then?

Wacky Mommy

OK I cannot even read comments today cuz I will hyperventilate. Girl, you must stop beating yourself up or you will freaking lose your mind. I know.

ps everything Jason said could have been uttered by my spouse.


I am confident that you are NOT a bad parent! so far with my 4 kids, I have left my 18mo. daughter outside for like 10 seconds and she split her lip open with a plastic wagon, left a hot humidifier on and the door open where my 9 mo. old son crawled over and pulled up on it, resulting in a 2nd degree burn on his shoulder, let see...told my daughter to go give her brother a sippy cup in his crib and he threw it at him and gave him a shiner, let my 5 year old play with a metal bat at softball practice and she got hit in the face and almost broke her nose, and most recently, my Dad took our 4 year old to the park on CHristmas eve and my son broke his elbow trying to reach for the monkey bars. It happens to the best of us...hang in there!


Darn! I was expecting the WHOLE POST to be in all CAPS.... (from a "CAPS LOCK WHORE BITCH") like yourself!

Glad everyone is OKAY!


I think you need the boo-boo bear. The only thing that made my feel better when my son (on my watch) and one years old split his lip open and got a huge deep scratch across his face from falling on the stero speaker is finding out that it happens to everyone. On the morning we were leaving for the beach. ER- baby papus (sp.), stitches and HUGE Guilt. Not the best way to start a vacation.

Why he slipped? Because he was in those stupid slippery feet pjs, had only started to walk and I did NOT feel like opening the luggage to get non-stupid slippery feet pjs out.

Jen C.

At my son's third birthday party, he was hit in the forehead with a swing and we had to leave the party to go get 8 stitches. We actually went back to the party and finished up cake/ice cream/presents for Jacob. He was fine. I needed a fistful of Valium. My mom hugged me and whispered, "The first cut really is the deepest." So true.
Glad your little boy is doing well. Stuff happens in an instant when you have little boys, huh?


If the bruise doesn't go away by next Gymboree, you could totally use it to your advantage: "Noah said duck in sign language and I bopped him."

Kidding! Just kidding! I totally know you wouldn't bop your toddler...but maybe Super Genius Sign Language Baby's Mom doesn't...

The first time I went out to a girly thing with my mominlaw after my son was born and he was in the care OF TWO ADULT MALES (hub and dadinlaw), I came home to find him with the biggest dang goose-egg ever on his forehead. We are talking goiter size here. Apparently, hub was looking at a magazine and dad was looking at the tv and my son decided to fall directly into the bar on the treadmill. Huge ugly bruise that lasted for about 2 wks. The looks I got in public with that child, and the fault wasn't even mine!

And if that doesn't make you feel better, would you like to hear about the time we lost our son in DISNEYLAND? WHEN HE WAS FIVE? DISNEYLAND?!?

You are going to have to do some seriously bad parenting to top that.

Maxine Dangerous

"...that's where the knives are" -- LOVE.IT.

Glad Noah is okay. Poor little boo!

*insert comforting noises, hugs, and alcohol here*

*insert blackmail cash for Noah for the tell-all book he's going to write when he, well, learns to write*



this has nothing to do with baby ijuries, but then I only have a cat. But this cat had to go to the vet today. So I was peed on and scratched while trying to get her in her carrier. Then she had to get the anal gland thing done, (stinky little bugger) then I came home and the toilet had been stopped up. So the amount of piss and shit I've had to deal with today qualifies me as an honorary mother I think.

I'm taking notes ladies so when my turn comes I'll know I'm not alone.


My fourth baby (so I should totally know better, right?) was playing in my bedroom while I showered. Apparently he learned how to open the door and tumbled down the stairs. We had no gate because I always shut the door, and our bedroom is on it's own floor of the house. He is totally fine. Accidents happen. Just make sure it doesn't happen exactly the same way a second time. Because if you are asking if my son tumbled down a second time weeks later, I would swear that never happened. Ever.

Wacky Mommy

ps -- We have the boo-boo bear at our house, too. Right next to the vodka in the freezer.


Well, it appears your steps have carpet down the center! That probably helped a lot to keep from more injuries happening!

Kill Jason.

Samantha Jo Campen

You are frickin' hilarious. I'm a new reader and am now addicted. You're the first blog I read every day.

Moving on.

I am in NO way mocking you at all, but when I become a mom I want to be like you. Seriously. You are hopelessly addicted to your son, but when things don't go perfectly you have a sense of humor about it. And I can only imagine that that's the only way to get through it.


This last summer, while carrying my then 16-month-old daughter, I slipped in a puddle of diarrhea (seriously!) and dropped her on her head. We both had a good cry and a loooong bath!

mary ann

I have a brittle bone disease. Which requires extra "don't fall down" vigilance. I still went down the stairs and gave myself a black eye before I was two. (Family party with at least 5 children under two. Who would notice when the quiet one wandered up the stairs?)

My sister managed to escape from her crib during a nap and then attempt to climb her dresser... ending in the entire dresser coming down on her. She's fine.

These things happen.


Chicks dig scars.

Silly Hily

Words can't describe that feeling that you got when you realized what had happened. I was watching my nephew one time at my parents house, upstairs, in my room. I turned for two seconds and heard, thump, thump, thump. He fell all the way down the stairs. I all but plunged myself down the stairs trying to catch him but it didn't work. I think I freaked out more than he did. He stopped crying long before I did and just thinking about it makes me shake.
I now have kids of my own and ask me if either of them has fallen down the stairs while being watched by me (notice that they have fallen down stairs while watched by someone else)? No. My point? Mistakes happen. Accidents happen. To everyone. We learn from them. It's all part of this f-ing parenting shit we go through every single day.

He'll be fine long before you will be. He'll never remember this. You always will. But HE is fine.

Oh, and hey, at least you didn't leave him in the car. Right. (nudge, nudge)

Amy M

That must have been sooooo scary, but I think you handled it really well. In the not killing of the spousal unit thing. They don't seem to realize how unhelpful those comments are! Just remind him of the time he left Noah in the car when you went out to eat. (No - I'm not a stalker, I swear - I just remember weird things about people...)


Here's the gate that we use and love:


My 4 year old and my 2 year old have yet to figure it out.

Use it with this to install it on your railing.


Hope this helps.


So glad Noah's ok. If this makes you feel any better, and it most likely won't, but I would have reacted the exact same way. Except I probably would have thrown a heart attack in for good measure. I'm just sayin'.


See, right now what I am picturing is a conveniently-placed banana peel and Jason taking a little slide down the basement stairs. Gaahh, husbands!! When my DD was one day old (still at the hospital after a completely normal birth), she had what we thought was a teeny-tiny spot of blood in her diaper. Turns out it was just that "brick dust urine" that newborns pass. But what did DH do? Not calmly page the nurse while soothing his poor wife WHO HAD JUST HAD NATURAL CHILDBIRTH AND TORN LIKE WET TISSUE PAPER. Ahem. No, he looked at me and said, "Wow, I hope we'll be able to take her home!"

Calvin, I mean, Noah, is a smart boy who is going to outfox you the moment you have the nerve to blink. (Really...I once lost sight of a BF's boys when I sneezed! I looked up and they were GONE.) Jason will learn that lesson himself when Noah pulls a stunt like that on his watch. It only feels like your "fault" because you're with Noah more often. Just make sure Dad knows where the booboo bear and the vodka are ;)


Ours was always pretty cautious with things he perceived as dangerous, so we took down the gate since we figured out that he wouldn't go down the stairs until he figured out how to do it well. It paid off, since the few times he did roll down them (only a half flight, thank goodness) he just whimpered for a moment til I hugged him and went on his merry way. Rolling down, I've concluded, is safer than head-over-ass falling down.

He's now learned how to make himself dizzy by spinning around and thoroughly likes doing next to the damned coffee table! Good thing he's hard headed.


Like every other person on here has said, this happens to all of us.

It is in no way a reflection on our ability to love and protect our babies. It just happens.

Don't think too far into it and don't beat yourself up over it. You're a loving mother and Noah is a lucky guy to have parents like you two.


Oh, I so feel for you sistah. We all try our best, but I have to admit Ive occasionally slipped into that mode of "well, he hasn't done THAT yet so we don't have to worry about it" brand of babyproofing. Sometimes I have to remind myself that the CHILD should not actually be the one to direct the parents as to what needs babyproofing (like what am I actually waiting for?)! We've all been there, and Im glad that Noah's ouchie wasn't severe. Nothin' a little blues clues, sugar and tlc can't make better!


If it makes you feel any better, all but one of my kids fell down the stairs at one point. That's four kids toppling down stairs. And they all lived to tell about it. Only they were too little to remember so they can't really tell you about it. ;)

I remember when my oldest fell. I was terrified. I was sobbing. Keaton had a big goose egg on his head, but he was calm. I was a basket case. I called the pediatrician, in tears, convinced he had a concussion and would surely need surgery. The doc had me bring him in. Told me to put ice on it and watch him. Of course by this point Keaton was running around like nothing ever happened. It's usually much more difficult on the mommy then it is on the kid.

Now with my youngest trying to keep up with the bigger kids, we've made some frequent visits to the ER. And I don't freak out like I used to. It gets easier, I promise.

Miss Britt

The first "Oh My God that is my child's lifeless body" moment is the worst. I promise.

I mean, the rest all suck totally - but that is the worst. ;-)


At least you got the first time under your belt. It's the first trip to the emergency room that really makes you want to throw up. I was all calm and together while my 8 year old sat there with a broken collarbone (sticking out through his shirt, ick) and calmly answered every question the nurse asked until she came to the very complicated issue of my phone number. Which I could not remember. Which I had had for 15 years at that point. She had to ask my almost passed out kid what our phone number was. And he knew it thank god.

He broke the same collarbone again five years later. And that time I knew my phone number. I wanted to be sure the cops could find me so I could prove I was not a delinquent mother.


At least you were able to walk away from the knives. My husband (having uttered those words) word have needed more than a Boo Boo bear.


I don't know if this helps any, but almost the exact same thing happened to our 14-month-old, Cohen. My husband's a stay-at-home dad, and it happened while they were at home one day. They were upstairs, and my husband thought - THOUGHT - Cohen was right behind him. In truth, Cohen was fidgeting with the baby gate, managed to open it, and fell head-over-heels down the flight of stairs. My husband said he almost had a heart attack, but thank God Cohen emerged from that without even a scratch. It could have been SO much worse.

Hang in there! These things do happen to even the bestest best parents...even dads!


If it makes you feel better -- that is the exact gate they use at my son's daycare. Luckily it is just to seperate one toy room from another, but don't beat yourself up about it too bad.


OH MY GOD. He didn't really say all of those things to you. Because if he did, I would totally support you throwing HIS ASS down stairs, head first.

Too soon, isn't it?

ANYWAY. Mine figured out how to unbuckle herself, sneaky like, while in her high chair and when I took her tray, she launched out like a cannon and pancaked facedown on the kitchen floor when she was six months. There was a bloody nose, and it's by far the scariest thing that's happened so far. All of this is to say...I'm amazed you're able to form complete sentences after this. I would still be in a corner marinating my liver.


When my little guy was playing in his room he pulled up on a toy. It slid out from under him and he fell and bumped his nose. It started bleeding and a deep bruise instantly started to form. It was bad enough that he was hurt and I felt like the worst mother in the world because who lets their child play in their room??!! Alone??!! But my husband started in on how he should never be alone and why wasn't I watching him and if we bring him to the doctor, they're going to have to report it and then child services will be involved. Yeah, he was helpful. He apologized later for being so dumb, he just didn't know how to react to his baby being hurt. ummm...yeah...me either, but somehow I knew that ice and hugs were better than placing blame.

They're kids...they get hurt. It sucks royally.

Jenny H.

I have news for you, it gets worse!! I have two boys-the oldest will be three on Thursday and the youngest is sixteen months. I cannot tell you how many times they have fallen and busted their lip or given themselves black eyes. One of them could not have his picture taken because of it!

The first time you see them really hurt IS super tough. It doesn't get easier, you just become a little calmer.

Bring on the frickin' wine!!


I cannot believe he said that when you needed him to be supportive!!! I sure hope he apologised later...

*walks away fuming...


Oh. And something about "it happens to all of us". Because it does. It really does, hon. He'll be just fine and you are a fantastic momma.


It's happened to us all, or something similar. And it sucks. And oh by the way, I WOULD have killed your husband. That was so not what you wanted to hear-----! Oh my God!

I'm so glad that Noah is okay. And yes, if he's accident prone (as is my 2nd), there will be more. My daughter busted her forehead open climbing up the stairs the first full day we moved into our current house. She ran smack into molding on the steps. So it happens. She had 3 minor scars on her face by the time she was 2. :(


Amalah: I've been reading you for a year, but never commented but I thought I should pipe in now and make you feel better about that gate. It is actually one of the best gates out there, but the previous owners in their infinite wisdom installed it wrong - the bottom has to latch and the gate should definitely not swing out over the stairs. When it is sold it comes with a gizmo that makes it STOP swinging out over the stairs so that what happened to Noah, doesn't happen. So, don't feel bad. The gate is actually great (and worth about $150 retail.. .yes, I have two). But, your moronic previous owners forgot to read the instructions. The wood is fine by the way... according to said instructions.


My 18 month old son rode his john deere tractor down the stairs just last week.
Guess where I was? on the computer.
now, i can never yell at my husband.


Ok, this is totally why I have ALWAYS said I wanted girls only. No boys. Then again, much easier to deal with silly, daredevil-I'm-invincible boy trouble than "I hate you mom bitch and I'm not going to eat anything because thanks to your crappy genes I am heavy-set and depressive" girl trouble. Which started in my house when I was approximately 3 years old. And continued until I was given the "we'll pay your rent, you must move out now" message at age 18. Maybe the occasional boy accident would on second thought be just fine.


Aw, crap. I have that gate. It's attached to the banister at the top of our stairs. With wood and plastic tie doohickeys. And my daughter loves to twiddle with the nuts on the latches.

At least both latches work. And the gate opens into the room, not over the stairs. That makes it ok, right? RIGHT?


Joining the party late to tell you that while I was on the treadmill in the crappy basement, I heard my 2 year old coming down the stairs. Like a bad movie I saw it coming in slo-mo and my baby fell down the last four steps, landing against the concrete basement wall. Soon after? No more treadmill, just me and my fat ass. He was okay, but I've never been the same since and he's NINE now.


I'm glad you're feeling better. (Wine has like magic powers and shit.)

And I don't think you overreacted at all. That had to be the scariest thing ever for you. But like other people said, don't beat yourself up. It's going to happen. Whether you're watching or not. It's just how sucky life can be sometimes.

I only know you through reading about your life, but I am pretty sure we all think you're a wonderful mom and would never do anything to put your baby in danger.

And who knew Noah was a mini-MacGyver?


So glad he is okay. I've been reading for a long time, but haven't commented in FOREVER. I'm commenting in appreciation of de-lurking week. The new house is BEAUTIFUL, by the way.


Thanks to everybody who shared info on The Gate. It's good to know it actually IS a good gate, just installed completely wrong. I'm going to contact the manufacturer and see if we can get replacement plastic doohickeys to keep it from swinging out over the stairs, and see if they can help us figure out how to fix that bottom latch.

And thanks to everybody for sharing your parental fuck-up stories. Honestly, it's pretty impressive that the whole human race hasn't died off by now.


It had happened to everyone!! Okay, maybe not this exact thing? But something similar. I'm glad you are almost feeling better today and the wine did the trick last night. :)

Lisa Ann

had you had the tire there this never would've happened!

hope noah is recovering nicely (and so are you).


"Again Because I've Learned Lessons And Shit, And In Fact, I Am Fairly Confident That He Will Never Injure Himself In Any Way Again.

Right? RIGHT?"

You wish.........

Amy H.

Hey Carin--Girls do that kind of stuff also. I, too, rolled my parents car into the street when I was little. It was the early 80s so the car was a boat. Can't remember the event myself, but my parents are fond of telling it. ugh.

Amy--you and Noah are going to be fine. So sorry that this happened to you, though. I know it must suck.


Today I ran over my 2 1/2 yr. old daughter's ankle with the double stroller from Herbergers and then, when putting her in the car she managed to shove her other foot under her carseat right when I was in mid twist to plop her down in it. My ear drums broke nearly as much as my heart. My husband was about as much help too. A padded room for the children and a bourbon for us.


So glad that he's ok. My little girl fell down our basement steps twice! Once by climbing through the cat door, and after we got rid of that, by ripping off the plywood we thought we had safely in place. Wrong! She had some bruises and a couple of scrapes and of course we were scared as hell about the whole thing. She's 10 now and doesn't remember any of it. I have it all documented in the baby book just in case she has the same experience with her own some day.


My two-year old son has had so many bumps and bruises already, but that first big one is definitely the worst. The other night he managed to fall off of the bed when he started out between us -- go figure.

The Hands Free Gate by The First Years has worked great for us. The boy knows exactly how to work it, but it needs 80 lbs of pressure to work the foot pedal, so he can stand on it all he wants, but he won't ever get it open.



It could have been worse -- you could have left him in the car and then gone to dinner.

And you totally saved Noah's life on the staircase last winter!! Which, by the way, ranks as one of my all time favorites.


omigod, you gave your preshus baby peanut butter before the age of 8?


Don't worry, Amy. When I was Noah's age, I fell down both sets of stairs in our house - first the basement, then the ones from the upstairs. All kids do it. It's sort of a right of passage, I think.

I'm glad he is ok! :)

Amanda B.

It's so "fun" when they create their own trouble - just from being curious. My son (almost two) jut stuck a pony bead up his nose, and then two days later stuck his tongue and bottom lip to the icy, frosty, cold metal weather striping on the front door. Then left a little piece of himself behind. I'm glad I can laugh later.


In my kids collective 9 + 6 years there are so many BAD mommy moments I can hardly remember them all. Most happened to the older one - we do learn from our bad mommy mistakes.

There is a good wooden sliding baby gate out there that you can open and close with one hand but is to hard for little kids to squeeze and pull at the same time - so even the smart ones can't open them. We got them after my son fell through the plastic one and down the stairs.

Thankfully kids that age are a bit rubbery and tend to bounce rather than break...


You're a GOOD mother. You have great instincts.

Yes, typical reactions from the fathers thinking it's something we did.

When my son felled from the back porch steps,
Bill question me. Where was I?! How could I let it happened?! Questions, questions...LIKE I push the kid down!

Keep plenty of wine on hand...plenty...yea.


Well, as long as you think about putting up a new gate, that's almost as good.

Aishah Moen

How is Noah feeling today?

I have had a couple accidents with my 18 month old Ilhan.

At 6 months, ilhan he fell off the bed. Like always, we turned away not paying attention. He cried for 5 seconds and giggled seeing me offer my booby as a soother!

At 9 months he fell on his face after tripping on his own foot! He was chasing a little girl at the zoo. He bit into his bottom lip. It was the first time i have ever saw blood oozing from my BABY! I felt so sorry for the fella! The blood was oozing into his mouth and he was swallowing away! I just couldn't swallow my heart which was stuck in my throat!

It's simple, no house or environment is ever fully baby proofed! You handled it well.

You go girl!


First off, you're a great mom! I know it's hard to swallow, but accidents happen and you shouldn't keep beating yourself up about it. You sweet boy is ok and that's all that really matters. Hugs!


Oh God, you never know what kids are up to and even if you try to be there? Crap still happens. Me, my hubby and our 13 month old son were standing in a storage shed with our landlord while she looked for something my husband needed to borrow. I was holding my baby's hand and he was standing beside me. I looked down at him and he was fine. A couple minutes later I glanced at him and there is a gaping cut over his eyebrow with blood gushing down his face. He never cried and we looked everywhere but could not find what cut his face. He is 13 now and still has that scar. Yup, "Mom of the Year", thats me.


Awwww. That's why babies and kids don't have fused joints (well and so they can grow but anyway). He'll be fine and so will you!


I frequently find our two-year-old daughter by the baby gate with a notebook in hand, drawing diagrams and muttering to herself, "I WILL figure this thing out. I WILL!" I know our days are numbered.

That said, though, your ghetto gate is probably only problematic in the fact that one latch doesn't latch. Our gates were professionally installed because I am a freak who figured I could never do this right on my own, and they were professionally installed with wood blocks and nylon ties. Without that, there was no way to fasten the gate to the banister.

Congratulations on weathering the first Big Fall. And tell Jason to shut up already. ;)

Katie Kat

OMG... the peek a boo game when you said "boo boo" simultaneously melted my heart and made me snort out loud AT WORK! I'm glad he's okay. I'm dreading this very situation because I know it's bound to happen (B is 15 months old too and VERY adept at getting into trouble), and I can't stop it, but I don't want to experience my heart leaking out of my ears.

It reminds me of when she was 6 months old and I had just give her a bath... since she couldn't REALLY roll over yet, I RAN (RAN RAN RAN) to her room to get a fresh diaper, and just as I RAN RAN RAN back into the kitchen, she rolled off of the counter and onto the WOOD floor... inches from my outstretched hands. Yeah. That was fun. Try explaining THAT to the pediatrician without her raising her eyebrows and stealthily reaching for the phone with one hand to call Child Services...

Anyway, hope the little man is on the mend and your heart mends too! :)


my son catapulted down the stiars at about 20m old and from where i sat on the main floor i saw him launch out and in mid air summersault to land flat on his back and head. i was pregnant at the time. i very nearly lost all control in my fit of hysteria. i know your pain. and in your defense, we didn't even HAVE a gate up at the time because he was full on using stairs like a pro. what i learned was, when he was sleeping he was not as steady on his little feet and so gating at night had to continue for a while yet. hard lesson learned.

and my husband's friend was over when this happened. he has a boy 2 years older than ours and he kept saying oh he's okay, aiden has fallen down the basement stairs to land on hard concrete tons of times and he's fine. um, why did he keep letting his then three year old child fall down the basement stairs tons of times??? sheesh.


I am still unable to discuss The Time I Locked My Son in the Car with It Running on the Side of a BUSY BUSY Highway around a Corner that You Couldn't See Around. I am THAT mortified when I think of it, and it was 11 years ago.

(Oh yeah. Google Reader makes me a lurker now, so I'm "delurking" in honor of Delurking week.)


Wow, how awful. My little boy fell down the stairs as well, and it took me nearly two weeks to get over it and I still get nervous when he's on the landing!


Don't worry - when I was Noah's age my six-foot-three father had me on his shoulders and walked through a doorway WITHOUT DUCKING. Which caused my forehead to slam into the top of the door frame and then I tumbled backwards to the floor.

See? Worse crap can happen. Just make sure your husband is around so you can blame him for it.


My heart goes out to you.

Dear God, D & I really want a GIRL, ok? Thanks


My cousin fell down the stairs (well usually he'd get about halfways then tumble) every single day during one Christmas vacation. I think he liked it... He was one, and now he's a perfectly adjusted 24 year old.

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