Sunday afternoon, after the husband took the kids out for a stroll at the locks, and for lunch, it was my turn to take Giada out so Vincent could take a nap (reason being, Giada can't do anything quietly to save her life). Coming down from our second floor bedroom, I opened the gate, and left it open for a second.
I talked to the husband with the kiddo crawling near his feet, and then went to the kitchen. Giada was on my heels and I was about to tell her to put her shoes on, when I heard a thud coming from the stairs, right around the corner. I quickly stepped out of the kitchen to see Vincent lying face down on the hardwood floor. Couldn't help letting out a scream, and that's when he freaked out and started wailing.
Five minutes later, still with a screaming kid in my lap, we made a decision to take kiddo to urgent care, since no one had seen how far he had climbed up before his fall. Fifteen minutes after that, we were at Children's Hospital, and urgent care sent us down to the ER, because Vincent would need to be observed to make sure he didn't have a hairline fracture, internal bleeding, or a neck fracture.
We spent the next four hours in the ER room, with the first two in a neck brace for kiddo. He tried to bite the thing open, and wailed and ranted until the attending did a spinal exam and determined a spinal injury was unlikely, and got the brace off. After that, Vincent was ready to race around the room. Not surprisingly, it turns out that he just had a broken nose and a couple of superficial contusions. My guess is that he crawled up three steps or so, turned around to maneuver down, and lost his balance, landing on his face (ouch).
He's mostly fine now, just a swollen nose, but he's mad as hell. Why? Because now he wants to scale those stairs all the time, just as mommy guilt has kicked in and the gate is not getting opened anymore (I've just taken to stretch my legs up and out over it), and the fact that the gate is never opened offends him. Why shouldn't he be able to climb those stairs?
The husband has tried to negotiate the whole thing by opening the gate and just following kiddo up the steps, very closely. I, however, often have other things I need to do, so I'll just climb over the gate, go retrieve whatever quickly, and then go back down. I try to limit my daytime trips to one minute or less, but judging by the outraged screams, I might as well have abandoned him forever.
We also scream when pulling up on things doesn't quite work right, and we lose our balance, so I'm hoping that the transition from crawling to walking toddler is to blame for this extreme bout of stubbornness.
Probably not, though: kiddo is already displaying the whole "I will get it done, someway, somehow" chutzpah my husband gas. I've caught him standing at the gate trying to shake it loose from the wall. Where my daughter never thought of trying to climb the gate in her toddler days, I suspect it's only a matter of time Vincent will pull that stunt.
"Vincent likes everything!", my daughter says about him as we look at a book of smiling baby pictures every night. Not quite: he really hates not getting his way.
Since my goal right now is " No more visiting the hospital *this year*" (downgraded from "ever" or "the next decade"), he'll just have to get used to it.