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?




If I could list the things that have happened to my 13 month old son I'd be here all day. LOL!!! Between falling off the couch at 3 months to getting his first bloody nose the othr day, where do I begin?
You handled the situation so well!


Oh, and I forgot to mention that me or his daddy were right there with him every single time something has happened. argh..lol


I'll never forget the one and only time (so far) my oldest son fell down the stairs. It was at my mom's house and he and I were rolling a very large beach ball back and forth in my parents livingroom while I was holding his days old baby brother. Anyway, the ball ended up going down the stairs into the entry way. I told him to stay at the top of the stairs while I got the ball. Of course did he listen? No...and down he came tumbling. I tried to grab him without dropping the baby but I didn't get to him in time. My mom came running up the stairs from the lower level (split level house) just seconds after he hit the ground. I practically tossed her the baby to grab my then screaming two year old. Thankfully he wasn't seriously hurt and came out with only a good sized goose egg on his head. It took me longer to compose myself than it did him. Moments later he was wanting to play ball again. We both must have learned something from the experience because he's now eight and neither he nor his two younger brothers have had a spill like that since.


"Random Things We Don't Know What To Do With Yet"

Baby's favorite things!!!


Almost every child I know has fallen down some sort of stairs at least once, twice or three times in their lives.

It happens!


Having a girl doesn't save you from dangerous situations - what a weird and sexist thing to say, people.


Some of these comments are so infuriating, I give you all the credit in the world for not lashing out with a big "FUCK YOU ALL," seriously.

In fact, it's taken me until now to be able to comment, because I was half tempted to call individual people out, but HELLO, not my place, nice to meet you. Granted they are a very few, but still.

You're a great mom, and even with the half-assed babygate (which totally would be something a normal person would do, for the love of God, SERIOUSLY, I mean, how would you think he'd open that? It looks so complex!), and kids, dude, they fall down stairs, as the hundreds of stories here and everywhere demonstrate.

I'm sure you're over this, and I am now getting righteously indignant on your behalf, so, ah, sorry.


Uh, I mean some of yesterday's too, which I now cannot find. Righteous indignation put away for now, as well as any stray "fuck yous"

(Seriously, someone take my computer away. I don't deserve it.)


Oh... there won't be any tell-all book. Like most kids, I can hardly remember anything from before I was at least 4-years-old. So you have some time still before you can do any real permanent damage. Besides, unless he's actually walking around repeating: "FALL DOWN GO BOOM!" then he's already forgotten it.


When my sister was a baby, she was in a walker on the second floor. My parents forgot to close the gate at the stairs and of course, my sister went for the stairs and went tumbling down along with the walker. Her face got bruised. Nothing permanent. One another time when I was 2, my Dad accidently knocked my head which caused the corner of a coffee table to hit my eyebrow. Had to get 3 stitches.

Anyway, my point is accidents happen. I doubt there's anyone that has never got hurt.

Long time reader, first time commenting. Love your blogs & you're such a fun mom!


Your problem isn't the make-shift babygate. It's that the gate opens the wrong way. Any gate at the top of a staircase should open inward. The old owners didn't care about this rule because they weren't worried about their dog falling down the stairs, but if you install a new version, you should. If the gate can't swing forward, then the baby has to pull it open and crawl/walk around it to even get to the stairs, instead of falling head first.

I know you didn't ask for assvice (oh, how I hate that word), but there it is.

I'm glad Noah's ok.


I'm glad he's okay!

I don't know if 20 people have told you this but I have that gate. You can open and close it one handed. All you have to do is the push button in/out mambo and then it "unlocks" the scroll and you can do it. But if you screw up and it locks again you can just do the button again. Takes practice, yes.. still a pain in the ass, yes...


In the interest of posterity, and, ah, not much else, I feel compelled to point out that I misread three or four comments entirely incorrectly, assuming they the unsolicited assvice variety complete with rude assumptions, leading me to a wild, PMS-induced comment that I can not now figure out the origin of, other than my own lack of reading comprehension skills, and you know, ability to understand complex concepts such as sarcasm while on the phone at work.

Good lord. Sorry.

So, you know, carry on.


Thanks for the stories.... My husband has been putting off babyproofing cause it's a couple months from even being here. I think I'll send him to this site and see if it persuades him to help me.

I have MANY stories from my own childhood of being hurt (burnt, tripped by an adult in church... that ended with a seriously sprained neck) or the time my sister stabbed her wrist with a fork on accident (I was not allowed to call a doctor, that would cost money) or the time my brother fell down cement stairs in a saucer walker thing cause dad was too busy yelling at me for not planting the flowers in the correct color arrangement....

Anyway. In all the stories I have, the child who got hurt is always at fault. I pulled a pot of boiling water down on top of myself with 3 generations of women watching... that's still somehow my fault. that sprained neck when I was like a year old.. that's my fault. john falling down the cement stairs is his fault.

Your kids will recover, just don't tell them about it when they're older. I rememeber these cause everyone loves to relive them so much.


I'm glad Noah's okay. I'm glad you're okay. You're a wonderful mother.


Poor little man. I'm glad he's fine even if mama is a little shaken up.


I'm so glad he's okay and that you, more or less, are too! I don't have any little ones of my own yet, but I've had a few moments like this with my godson. It will definitely happen again but hopefully less scary and just as benign.

"...THAT'S WHERE THE KNIVES ARE" was the funniest thing I've heard in a while. You're hysterical. Also, what Jason said sounds exactly like what my husband would say. He's such a blamer. oy


i want wine just reading this and all the comments. phew, shit happens!


I was going to give you wisdom from one who's baby is going to turn 16 in April. But I see that I am commenter #118 so I doubt you'll read it anyway. And also, I'm still not all that wise.


It's not just boys, let me tell you. But this part:

"I Am Fairly Confident That He Will Never Injure Himself In Any Way Again."

Yeah...see, we just take our kids to the emergency room once a month and have them put stitches in somewhere, because we figure they're going to need them anyway.

My kids have broken Kevlar.

Auburn Gal Always

When my Stinkerbell was a baby, just starting to roll over - good puppy - she rolled off our bed in the middle of the night. The thud! and screaming woke me up. The light suddenly illuminating the room, woke DH. He sits up and asks what happened.

"She fell off our bed!"

"Did she bounce?" snore

He didn't remember ANY OF IT the next day. Still swears I'm making it up.

This was only the 1st time she fell off the bed. The next time, I witnessed every eternal second of her falling off, landing on top of her head, next stiff and flopping belly down onto the floor. Much like a cartoon. She screamed. I was convinced she was paralyzed and that the flailing arms and legs were her final muscle spasms EVER.

Nope. She's fine.

Still flailing, but fine.

And DH? He still says stupid crap in his sleep.


There's a magnetic force at the bottom of stairs. Not your fault at all.

Mitch McDad

I keep my kids in a rubber room.

Black Belt Mama

Husbands are just fabulous sometimes, huh? I had to laugh at your knife comment. I know the feeling. We have a great gate (on the second kid so we've had our share of not so greats). It's from The First Years and is clear so the baby can see through and it has no foot holds so they can't climb it, although my daughter sure does try.

Kids are super resiliant. He'll be fine and so will you!


Dude, Noah totally has street cred now. My friend's daughter lost a tooth early (she's 6) because she lost her footing and fell face first out of their car. She's fine, and shows off her gap in her smile like a trophy so don't beat yourself up too much. I have two boys and they are still amazing me at what they can get into (at ages 8 and 5, no less).


I would be talking about it for days too- I was when Abbie fell and broke her arm a few months ago. It is scary.. especially the first injuries! hang in there! We will listen all you want about it!


Okay this so bossy of me, but put the gate (or gates if the stairs are accessed from two directions) in the hall, NOT at the top of the stairs, that way if he breaks thru he has time to get in position to back down.

I agree boys do get into trouble a lot, but my DD is a gremlin of activity. She has had stitches and charcoal drinks (for eating Daddy's Klonopin, long story) at the ER too many times, while neither of her brothers have.

These things happen. Hang in there.

Beth F.

Right, he'll never fall again.

*wink wink*

And that gate is one of the safest gates out there, the previous owners installed in wrong. (my husband read your post and totally wanted me to tell you what exactly is wrong and how you could fix it, but I'll spare you. By the way, he thinks you are hilarious.)
We've had the same gate for over three years guarding the stairs down to our basement, we have a 2 and 3 year old and have never had a problem.

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