I was reading Nicole's last post with the recap of Porter's stunts on the stairs and was reminded of how we lucked out the other day...
For some reason I'm super paranoid about my kids falling down stairs. I guess paranoid isn't the right word, since I can also be sort of lazy about it, but it is one of the few chosen safety issues I am usually most viligent about. (I foresee a post about the miriad of products available to true paranoid parents such as bathtub bumpers and crawling baby knee pads and the millions of other products used to lock, guard and pad every possible surface and item in your home. Just know that, for the record, I am all about taking care of our kids and looking out for their safety. I just also value teaching my kids, when possible, how to keep themselves safe and about learning limits and consequences and obedience and not just being cut off from everything that could hurt them or that they could make a mess with. And that a few bumps and bruises aren't going to kill them. Okay, enough with that tangent... back to the story.)
So I'm scared of the stairs. Like when I leave the kids with a babysitter, one of my first fears is that the gate on the stairs will get left open and Sawyer will plummet down head first and break his neck. I don't think about choking, or bleeding, or fire... I'm afraid of the stairs. I know, I'm wierd.
We have gates at both the top and the bottom of our stairs. When we're downstairs, I have always put the bottom gate on the second or third step so that Sawyer could start to learn how to figure out getting up and down a couple steps without too much trouble. Once he was getting good at climbing, like way back months ago, I made a point of usually letting him climb up the stairs (with me right behind him) whenever we went up, instead of carrying him, so he could get used to them. And then a couple of months ago, I started letting him figure out how to climb down the stairs backwards on his hands and knees, and had him practicing that (with me right there) whenever we headed down the stairs. We still always have the gate closed unless we're actually moving from upstairs to downstairs, but I just want him to at least "practice" the right way for him to get down the stairs for if he ever comes across any open stairs when we're not around (or are around for that matter). It's like early swimming lessons; not that it will necessarily save their life, but having the basics down will probably help and maybe they won't panic, you know?
It was pretty cute when we were at the cottage last weekend, because there were two steps in part of the house, I think from the original part of the cottage to what had been an addition. One was a normal height step and then about two and a half feet later, there was a second step, but it was only about two inches high. Without us even saying anything, when Sawyer would come across those steps and he would sit down waaaay back from the step, scoot forward to the step, and then turn around and "crawl" down it. And then scoot on his bum a few more inches to the sccond step (the two incher) and crawl down it. Even though I'm sure he could have handled that one on his feet. It took him five minutes to get up and down those little steps every time, but it was pretty cute. And safe!
Sawyer has always been very good about our stairs. The couple of times he has come across the gate at the top of the stairs accidentally left open, he just took a seat on the floor and sat there looking down the stairs, and the moment one of us came by, he would simply point at the open stairway as if to say, "um... you forgot something." (much in the same way if we happen to leave the snack cupboard open and we're not around, he'll rummage through, find whatever it is he shouldn't have -it's pretty much always the cheddar cheese rice cakes- and then immediately come find me, running to me with the bag like, "hurry take these! You left the cupboard opena and I'm not supposed to have them!") He's a good kid.
Anyway, the cottage steps must have gotten him pretty confident with his stair manuevering abilities. The other day I had put him down for a morning nap because he was so crabby. After an hour in there without sleeping, I got him back up and brought him out to the living room and we were playing, waiting for lunchtime to roll around, and I ended up making a phone call. I was sitting on the couch, chatting away, while he wandered out of the room and I didn't give it a second thought. Until a few minutes later, when I thought to myself that he was being awfully quiet. Normally I can hear him if he's getting into the snack cupboard, or if he's playing in the playroom with Savannah I would most definitely hear them! All of a sudden I froze and realized that while he had been in his crib, I had been up and down the stairs doing laundry and I probably hadn't closed the gate since I'd assumed I'd be back down there before he woke up. But he never went to sleep. And I never closed the gate.
I swear I held my breath the whole time I walked from the couch to the back of the house at the top of the stairs. Sure enough, the gate was wide open at the top of the dark stairway. I peeked around the doorway, and there was Sawyer at the second to the bottom step with a look on his face like, "almost home free!". And then the second he saw me, he got all excited and proud of himself and started frantically climbing up again. "Oh, no you don't!" I said, and got down there quick to pull him off the stairs. Good job keeping yourself safe, Big Boy, but let's not try that again please!!!
Another new thing for the SawMan has been jumping. He jumps all the time. Only he can't really jump yet, so it's pretty funny. He bends his knees and gets all psyched with his fists clenched and everything, and then says "juh" and stands up straight real fast.
Here he is in action...
He just can't quite get his little body off the ground.
This is the up part of the jump... notice his feet still firmly planted on the floor. He even gets his toes up- just not the foot HAHA!
Just look at how serious he is about this! You have to click on these to see them bigger and see the intent look on his face. Jumping is serious business!
He does manage to somewhat get off the ground if he's holding your hands.
Another new favorite thing is "jumping" off the bottom step downstairs. Like I said before, I put the gate a couple of steps up, so he likes to hang out and sit on the bottom step. Well, the other day Savannah decided to teach him how to jump off the step. He cracks up when she jumps off, and then he stands up there and does his "juh-!" and goes nowhere. Once in a while he does edge his little toes right up to just over the edge of the step and if he "jumps" with enough vigor, he falls off the front of the step and then he rolls around laughing, so proud of himself for jumping off! I need to remember to get the video camera out for that before he really figures out how to do it, because it is priceless.