This morning, Gracie did her usual sprint down the stairs on her way to putting her shoes on before going to day care. I watched her long blond locks flowing behind her in a sort of "look at me world carelessness." After her recent collision with our wall, I yelled after her, "Be careful on the stairs Grace." She consistently stumbles and falls, and my husband and I worry the most when she is on the stairs. I was thinking, "Jeesh, that kid! She makes my heart skip a beat sometimes."
Grace jumped down and over the last three stairs and skipped off to get her shoes on. I was about three quarters of the way down our berber carpeted stairs, and Meghan was behind me one-by-carefully-one making her descent down the stairs. We were in a little bit of a hurry, but nothing too dramatic.
"Keep going Meghan. We need to get to school," came out of my mouth. I could hear Grace in the background whining that her socks were too tight, and that there was a "line" across her toes. I'm pretty sure I was beginning to tell Grace that I would be along shortly to help her with her latest sensory assault, the seam in her socks.
I had just reached the bottom of the stairs when I heard a noise coming from Meghan. I can't even really describe the noise, but I knew it wasn't a good one. As I spun around, I saw a flash of Meggie's yellowy hair flying through the air. I realized that she was in mid-fall down the stairs. The next thing I saw was the purple soles of her Dora the Explorer tennis shoes, which were hitting the wall along the stairs. She was now in full rolling tumble down the stairs, and she was coming at me very fast. "Catch her! Catch her!" was all that I thought. In an instinct, I outstretched my arms toward her rolling log of a body, and shoveled my hands underneath her shoulders and lower legs. With a scooping motion, I guided her rolling body into my chest as I knelt on the stairs. With just a few millimeters to spare, Meghan missed cramming her head into the wood banister on our stairs. My left hand saved her precious preemie head from injury.
"Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa." came from Meghan along with sputtering coughs. I think her fall knocked the wind out of her.
"Are you okay? Let's go sit on the couch and see what happened to you honey." Meghan was sobbing, but mostly in fear. I inspected her, but somehow, she came away unscathed. She was just shaken up.
I thought, "Holy crap! That was a close one." I had adrenaline in spades for a good half an hour afterward.
And there I was thinking Grace needed to be careful. If there is one thing I learned today, it is that children certainly keep us parents on our toes.