The day we landed with a bump

10 Oct

On Saturday night my 3-year-old daughter fell down our stairs. Never one to do things by halves, she tripped over a stair gate, fell across a landing and then tumbled down the steep stairs of our Victorian terrace. The sound of her falling is still in my ears. Just thinking of it now makes my heart beat faster and my stomach turn. She didn’t cry out, but the length of time the thuds continued I knew she’d done more than just trip and fall onto her knees as she so often does when hurtling around the house. It was a horrible moment and – like it’s supposed to at moments like this – time slowed down. As I ran to the top of the stairs I was overwhelmed by an immense fear of what I would see at the bottom. Curled on the floor she had a look of such shock in her eyes. The shock turned rapidly into tears as she realised what had happened.

Thankfully she had luck and an amazing ability to bounce on her side that night – and, for one so wee and scared, an incredible bravery I’ll not forget. Despite being taken to A&E in an ambulance all strapped up and in a neck brace, she was soon home again with just a couple of bruises, a sore head and her ever-present appetite for Peppa Pig (which we of course humoured at 1am as we were just so relieved she was in one piece).

And that is my horrible story with a happy ending. I wish it were so straightforward. This blog post is written for purely selfish reasons: because I can’t get the sound of my daughter falling out of my head. When, in tears, I told my husband this he suggested I write the experience down as a way of ‘dealing with’ the traumatic thoughts I’m having. My first cathartic post. In the grand scheme of things I know that far worse things could have happened to her and far far worse things do happen to other children every day. What frightens me most is not so much what did happen but what could have been the outcome and how easily our life could have been turned upside down by a momentary event. That is what is so difficult to get out of my head. I cannot even begin to contemplate how a parent copes with the loss of a child.

So what do I do? Do I wrap my little girl up in cotton wool, never let go of her hand and not let her learn through the mistakes she makes and accidents she has? For a parent it’s easy to slip into paranoia. As my husband so neatly put it, with a child “you bring something wonderful into your life that also has the potential to devastate it”. Yet we go on growing our families for in reality we know – or at least we have an ardent hope – that a trillion wonderful things will far outweigh the risks that giving your wholehearted love to another human being can bring.


10 Responses to “The day we landed with a bump”

  1. Mammasaurus October 11, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    Oh bless her! These things happen (easy for me to say ey?) it’s a blooming shock when something like that happens and I can completely understand where you are coming from. One of my older ones fell down the stairs at 3 yearns old and broke his nose! It still makes me shudder thinking of it. For me it wasn’t the scream or the thud but the utter shock on my Childs face.
    Thank goodness she’s alright! X pour yourself a little gin – for medicinal purposes 😉

    • Crumbs & Pegs October 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

      Good plan – it’ll have to be a little one as the other ‘little one’ is bound to wake up wanting boob as soon as he hears the clink of ice!

  2. Muddling Along October 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    Oh my goodness – I’m glad to hear she’s alright – horrible experience for you all to have to go through

    We don’t have stairgates for exactly that reason – I tripped over one at my in laws and fell down the stairs and since then have viewed them as horrid dangerous things and decided that the girls would just have to learn how to use the stairs safely very early on so that we didn’t risk any more accidents. It’s far from ideal that something that is supposed to keep you safe can contribute to accidents

    • Crumbs & Pegs October 11, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

      I’m amazed how many people have said the same about stairgates after I told them what happened.

  3. Emma @mummymummymum October 13, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    I’m so glad she is ok. I watched my 2 year old tumble down the stairs from top to bottom, she was like a little rag doll, I’ll never forget it. She was fine though. We can’t protect them from everything as much as we try. xx

    • Crumbs & Pegs October 13, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

      I know, but very hard to accept! (Just ordered loads of cotton wool …..!)

  4. janeblackmore October 16, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    oh bless, so pleased she is ok.

    writing it down certainly helps….


    • Crumbs & Pegs October 16, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

      Thanks. I’m surprised, but it really did help.

  5. actuallymummy November 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    Oh I am just the same! I live in fear of what ‘could’ happen, and constantly have to remind myself that it hardly ever does. ‘But what if…’ goes the little voice. I have learned to ignore it most of the time, but it is always lurking. I suspect the same is true for most mums
    Thanks so much for joining in with the love Mummy Blogs Showcase last week 🙂

    • Crumbs & Pegs November 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

      Pleasure to participate! Didn’t see much traffic though so think my extract may have been a bit morbid!!

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