So here's what happened. Julianna was turning around to back down the stairs like she's been doing for a while now and was a little too close to the edge and rolled down instead of scooting down. Josh caught her about halfway down so she didn't fall far, but still ended up with a little bump on her head. I'm of the parenting thought "better safe than sorry," so I called the urgent care center to ask if there was anything I should be looking for. The nurse said that the doctor suggested that I take her into the emergency room for an evaluation because of her age and the fact that she couldn't really tell me what she was feeling. Okay, fine. Then the nurse freaked me out by asking a little frantically how far we were from the hospital. When I told her 30 minutes, she told me to make sure I had a cell phone and call 911 if anything happened. What!!! Julianna was eating and drinking and talking and dancing and putting her puzzle together faster than I could. But this nurse had me convinced that something terrible was happening. So I loaded her up and headed to town.
I couldn't believe how many people there were in the e.r. Zero. Yes. Zero. I checked in at the desk and before I could even have a seat in the waiting room, we were called back into the exam area. They asked a few questions about what had happened, weighed Julianna (22lb 6oz), took her temperature (normal), and blood pressure (which she did not like, but was normal), and took us back to a room. A few people were in and out to do paperwork and check on us, but mostly the staff of about a dozen stood in the nurses station and chatted. It was a slow night, after all. Finally after about 20 minutes, the doctor came in and shined a light around in Julianna's eyes, checked her ears, and felt around on her head. Then he said she was fine but that he was glad that I brought her in because so many parents don't when they should. And then he left. It took about a minute. Then a few minutes later I signed discharge papers and we were done. In and out of the emergency room in less than an hour. And with a perfectly clean bill of health for the little gymnast.
And they didn't even give me a certificate for being the world's worst mom...even though I felt like I deserved it. On the way home, I thought about what had happened and said a prayer of thanks. And I realized that although being an older mom this time has helped me be more relaxed, that maybe I'm a little too relaxed. We've lived in our house for 9 years, since Josh was 11 months old. And neither of the boys have ever fallen down the stairs. So maybe this little incident will help me be more diligent. And help me remember that my daughter, who wants to do everything herself, might not be ready to do everything. Next time, and for a thousand times after that, I will be there, holding her hand.