It figures that after declaring our family to now be in a blissful place, we would have a day-from-hell the next day. It started with me getting an email from the fertility clinic informing me that I had clients booked to see me that they'd forgotten to tell me about. Fortunately I had time to make the appointment, but before that I had to get online and try and get the girls into swimming lessons so I was in a rush to get them to school and daycare so I could get back when registration opened. Of course, this was the one day that Little A decided she wanted to WALK instead of sit in the stroller. Lucky for me, the girls decided to hold hands and RUN the whole way to Big A's school. In fact, they ran so fast, Little A threw up part of her breakfast upon arrival. Oy!
If you are a resident of Toronto, you know registering your kids for swimming lessons is no easy feat - getting one of the few coveted spots each session is often a major challenge. The website was responding so slowly when registration opened that it took an agonizing 20 minutes to confirm that I'd gotten them in.
Later when I came to pick up Little A from daycare, I had to sign an incident report because she had fallen and cut her face above her eye. But she was okay and her teacher confirmed what a trooper she is - unlike her big sister, she sheds few tears and bounces back almost instantly.
Next we went to pick up Big A at school. The girls insisted on playing in the playground before going home. Things started off well when Big A promised me I would not have to assist her on the monkey bars (This has been an ongoing source of conflict between her and us. Until last week she claimed she needed us to hold her while she tried to get across, something which annoyed Adam and I since she is bigger and stronger than most of her friends who have been doing it on their own for months, and makes it difficult for us to keep an eye on Little A). After finally understanding my instructions to use momentum to assist her monkey bar efforts, she realized that she CAN do them without our help.
Unfortunately, Little A, who is much more of a daredevil and much less timid, decided to climb the steps up to the slide backwards and proceeded to slip to the bottom. Given that she was facing out, she did manage to land on her feet and wasn't hurt. But the fall scared the crap out of her. When she recovered a few seconds later, she climbed the steps again and slid down the slide. Several older boys, who were rough-housing and seemed to have NO PARENT present, dove down the slide before Little A had gotten off and slammed into her. At that point I declared it time to go and I managed to herd the girls out of the playground without any major objections.
The trip home was wonderfully uneventful, but it was followed by a rather stressful evening. Adam was working late so when we got home, I left the girls colouring in the kitchen while I went to change (Most days my attire by 6:30pm usually consists of yoga pants and a tank top). Within minutes both girls were screaming. They scampered up the stairs where I tried to interpret what happened amidst the screaming and crying. Apparently Little A scribbled on Big A's paper, so Big A scribbled on Little A's arm. Both of them were irate. Just at that moment Adam came home.
At dinner, neither of the girls would eat their chicken, Big A wouldn't touch the roasted cauliflower (Little A gobbled it down), and the two of them battled over the french fries I had baked.
As Adam got them ready for their bath, the bracelet Big A made at school broke and beads scattered everywhere. This caused her to start sobbing uncontrollably. When she wouldn't calm down, Adam left her by herself, dripping wet on the bathmat while attempting to get Little A ready for bed. I came upstairs and this is when the climax of the night occurred. Big A finally calmed down and she and I were in the master bedroom. Adam was in the bathroom getting the girls' toothbrushes ready. Little A was playing with the gate at the top of the stairs. YES WE HAD NOT CLOSED THE GATE BECAUSE WE ARE APPARENTLY HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE PARENTS. Just as Big A and I emerged into the hallway, we saw Little A tumble down the entire staircase.
My heart lept out of my chest and I think I stopped breathing.
All 3 of us FREAKED and Big A and I flew down the stairs to get her. She cried for a few minutes but had not a scratch on her. Although she claimed not to be hurt anywhere, she insisted that we get her her Finding Nemo ice pack. After that she started proudly announcing to us that, "I fall down the stairs!" I wondered whether we should have taken her to the ER to get checked out, but Adam thought she was fine. I was very relieved this morning when she woke up with her usual happy, joyful disposition and not a bruise or scratch (aside from the one from daycare).
While the story cleary demonstrates our incompetent parenting, I actually see it as a good news story in that it could have ended a lot worse. Several years ago, Adam and I relunctantly decided to carpet our solid oak staircase for safety reasons. I thank goodness we did or we most certainly would have been visiting the ER last night!!