We had a major scare this past weekend.
TW decided that this would be a good weekend to do the Christmas decorating, the weather was nice so I could easily put up the outside lights and my family wasn’t getting together for Thanksgiving because my mom was in the hospital so we’d be well rested enough to put the tree and stuff up. The outside lights went up easy enough, I have a pretty good system in place for doing everything and, since this is my third year doing it, everything went smoothly.
Putting the tree and stuff up is a bit harder, it is all stored in the basement in a storage area under the stairs, we also have more decorations than we have space so some of them are brought back down and put back into storage. To make the process a bit smoother I put Muttley and Droopy in the back yard for the duration, it’s hard enough lugging boxes up stairs without two dogs under your feet. After moving the Halloween decorations out of the way I brought the Christmas boxes upstairs, TW began searching for what she wanted to put up as soon as the first box came up and TK was happier than I have ever seen her. She was literally jumping up and down the whole time I was bringing boxes up, she giggled at every decoration that came out, and wanted to help put every one up, even the ones she couldn’t reach.
We have a fake pre-lit 7 foot tall tree that we got at a wholesale discount store a few years back, it goes up easily, and looks nice enough. I cleaned off the top of our entertainment center and put up my A Christmas Story houses and figures and my Hallmark Peanuts musical light up figures. TW and TK started work on the tree. I took down and carefully wrapped my small brewery growler collection and put our stockings on the shelf that held them. TW put her metal angels up on the remaining area on the entertainment center. We were making good time and I stopped a few times to look out the back window and check on the dogs.
After a while I decided that I would start taking the empty and refilled boxes back downstairs. I want to pause for a second and add this, we have a finished basement. There is a carpeted family room and extra bedroom, a laundry and storage area and a full bathroom as well. The stairs leading to the basement are carpeted as well. At the top of the stairs there used to be a door, the previous owners took it off the hinges and stores it in the storage area in the basement. We decided that keeping the door off made the hallway feel more open so instead of putting the door on we added a semi-permanent Baby gate where the door should be. It is screwed into the door jamb and secured both with a thumb latch and the gate needs to be lifted slightly to open.
I had just finished bringing the last box down to the storage area and was starting to pack the storage room back up when I heard a couple of bangs from upstairs. It sounded like TK had knocked something off the couch or had dropped a couple of things. Then I heard TW call out for TK and figured that TK fell or knocked something down upstairs and TW was getting ready to scold her. But then I heard TK crying. Only she wasn’t crying from upstairs, it sounded like she was crying from the basement. This shouldn’t be possible, I know I latched the baby gate and TK doesn’t know how to open it. I dropped the box I had in my hand and ran to the stairs just in case. As I turned the corner I see TK standing at the bottom of the stairs bawling and red faced. I instantly grab her and sit her on my lap as I sit on the stairs. TW arrived at the stairs st the same time I did and came to the bottom to see if TK was ok.
I just sat there on the stairs and held her while I rocked slowly back and forth telling her, “it’s ok, sweetheart, it’s ok” while hoping that was true. After a couple of minutes she calmed down and I stood her up in front of me, I wiped the tears from her face and asked her what happened. She said, “I don’t know daddy” I asked her if she fell down the stairs, she said, “yes, daddy.” I asked her if she hit her head, she said, “no, daddy I hit my butt.” I asked her where she was hurt and she pointed to her hip. I pulled her shirt up and her pants down and looked at her hip, she had a small red spot. I checked her arms, hands, neck, head, back, and legs and didn’t see any other redness or scrapes or any bruises or bumps starting to form. I fixed her clothes and sat her on my lap and just held her for a bit, TW was sitting on the floor next to the stairs trying not to cry and not doing a very good job at it. I held TK so she wouldn’t see the look of panic on my and TW’s face while we composed ourselves.
After we all calmed down we went back upstairs and TK said she was hungry so we made some lunch. I must have asked her a dozen times if she hit her head and each time she said, “no.” I asked her what happened and she said that a ghost opened the gate and she did a summersault down the stairs. I am pretty sure that my house isn’t haunted so I asked her if it really was a ghost and she said, “no daddy, the gate opened and did two summersaults down the stairs.”
We kept an eye on her, checking for signs of a concussion or any other pain she might be feeling. She said that she felt good every time we asked her. She even reminded us that we planned on going to see a big musical Christmas tree at an outdoor mall not far from where we live. She begged to go and after an hour of listening to the begging we went. She laughed and danced along to the music and was as well behaved as she usually is while we did a little pre-Christmas browsing. And still every time I asked her if she hit her head her answer was no.
She slept well that night and TW and I were sure that she would be feeling some kind of soreness the next day. TK amazed us when she woke up and told us that she felt good and wasn’t sore at all.
This, by far, by leaps and bounds, was, hands down, THE scariest thing that I have been through as a parent. TK seems to be fine, here I sit two days later, and she doesn’t have a single bruise or scratch on her. She was even laughing when she told my mom that she fell down the stairs. TW and I are watching her like a pair of hawks, looking for any signs of any problems and so far we haven’t seen anything.
Kids are resilient and, I’m pretty sure, are made of rubber.