July 18, 2016

The Trap

There’s always a trap in a typical Dutch house. Not just one, but at least two flights of them.

One would lead to the bedrooms, and the other from the bedrooms to the attic. They are steep, almost vertical and narrow on the sides.

For added element of adventure to gauge if you can put your Ninja-like skills to good use in case you are bored to death at home and looking for cheap thrills, the trap would likely be thrown in with a curve at midway accompanied by planks that are just a little too small for big feet and with gaps in between.

It is no wonder that the Dutch word for stairs is trap (Trappen for plural). It’s an apt description. They can be terrifying, intimidating and sometimes treacherous; not meant for mere mortals.

Welcome to a Dutch home!

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Long…
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Curvy…
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Steep…

Those are them in our home.  We go up and down these stairs on a daily basis a hundred times a day. How I have not heard of anyone breaking their necks in their own home here is a mystery. These stairs give a good work-out but can be scary one. Especially when you have 2 young kids running around with no sense of danger whatsoever.

That means, I get to nag a hundred times a day telling both Spud and Squirt to always be careful, to always hold the side railing instead of hanging on to the side-rail like a Spiderman and to never, ever run or try to out-run each other while they go up or down the stairs.

Am I paranoid? Of course I am! Especially since these monkeys of ours choose to show-off their Ninja-like skills of being able to hang and swing on the rail using both hands while on the stairs instead of holding the side rail for support like other normal people do. It is accident waiting to happen.

At the same time, I realise that I have to have faith in them to take the stairs on their own as well every other time because well, it’s just something we (I) have to get used to.

Then it happened.

Both kids were with me helping out with the laundry at the attic one morning and it was all pleasant. Midway into it, Squirt needed to pee and took off to get to the bathroom on the 2nd floor.

On his way up and from the corner where I was sitting less than a meter away with my back against him, I saw, from the corner of my eye that he was already nearly close to the top, merely 3-4 steps away. That was when my biggest fear materialised.

I heard him slipped and I practically jumped up that instant. Like a lightning, I bolted towards the stairs immediately and ran down the steep steps towards him while screaming out his name in horror.

All I could see was a glimpse of the top of his head as he tumbled all the way to the bottom. My heart was beating at a thousand miles per second; not knowing what condition I’d find him at the foot of the stairs. It was quite a height to fall from and I had not seen how he slipped.

I was scared. Really scared.

He cried his biggest cry when he landed on his bum. He had also hit the back of his head on the planks along the way.

But the cry was music to my ears. It brought a little relief as that, to me, meant that he was going to be OK. I chided myself for not going with him to the bathroom. When it all happened, I just was not quick enough to get to him and there was nothing I could have done to prevent him from tumbling.

I was shaken and shaking inside as I inspected him for potential injuries and then held him for as tight and as long as I could. He cried hard for a long while more and the big relief came when he was himself again within the hour after such a scary fall.

Once again, Squirt has gallantly survived another hard knock on the head, this time from tumbling down the trap and sustaining no injuries. Perhaps, that was just his initiation rite of passage.

Interestingly, that was the last since I saw Squirt hanging and swinging on the side rail when descending or ascending the trap. He is now doing the stairs proper like any normal human being would without showing off his Ninja-Spiderman capabilities.

Lesson learnt for him, I’m sure. Plus I get to repeat the infamous parent-mantra:  “I bloody told you so!” 


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Comments
  1. Ah, the bliss of parenthood! Glad he is OK and that the lesson didn’t involve bone breaking or something even worse. Eek!

    • He definitely has given me more scares than I’d like! Too many knocks on the head for my liking. :/ Somehow, I don’t think that would be the last of the scares and that would continue for a few more years and I think the breaking of bones is bound to happen one day. *knock on wood*

  2. Those stairs are bloody scary!! Even I’m scared just looking at them! Lol.. Glad to hear that Squirt is alright – boys get in so much trouble and are always getting themselves hurt it’s hard for us. So glad you were only close by to get him asap especially if he fell that long way down! Maybe carpet or something with texture or grips might help in case they’re ever on the stairs in socks? 🙂

    • They are! I don’t like those stairs very much and I’ve seen steeper and narrower ones as well!
      I was close, but not close enough to prevent the fall..which sucks and made my parenting guilt even worse. We’ve got the anti-slip strips on which worked and the only reason he fell was because he was swinging on the railing as he climbed up and lost his balance. :/ Kids!
      Now we’ve got the stairs carpeted; at least that could soften the blow on the edges. My heart still palpitates when I walk up and down the stairs, especially when I have my hands full with a laundry basket! I guess it’s a matter of time and we’ll be cruising like champs! 😉

  3. Glad he’s okay and finally learned his lesson. Those trappen are crazy!

    • Crazy is the right word< Eric! And that's not even the worse you can find here. :p I really do hope he has not forgotten the painful lesson, but I'm sure he'll be onto something else. Just like boys always do. How many of those heart attacks have you got under your belt now with 2 boys? 😉

      • I’ve suffered dozens of heart attacks with them. And you’re right, they’ll definitely find something else that will cause further damage to our nerves and heart!

  4. Oh no!!! Nightmare material indeed! Get some of those baby safety doors, it’s what I would do as long as they are still little… They will probably hate it but it will make them slow down and think… But then… maybe I’m too careful. Note: There are no baby safety doors installed at our home. Our trap though is a straight and wide one and the kids usually “buttscootch” down. I admit I get worried though, when they have friends over and run up and down, chasing each other… I hope all of you have recovered from the shock…

    • Oh, Sandra! That was my first thought too – safety gates! And we had the safety gates up initially but had to take them off as it posed more of a hazard – when placed wall to wall, the width of the stairs was too narrow for the bottom ledge of the gate and one could easily trip over it (not sure if I described it well for you to picture that), the kids also decided that it would be cool to lean against the safety gates whenever they get on top pf the stairs with their full body weight (not a good idea as the gates are not bolted to the walls) plus, they figured out how to open those darn gates. :/

      I don’t think anyone can be too careful when it comes to safety. I’m super paranoid. I bet you’d refuse to look when they “buttscootch” (cute term that! and if straight and wide, it sounds like going down the slide) and I can imagine how worried you’d be.

      And i guess whether we like it or now, we’d have to recover from the shock regardless as those things stare at us every day! LOL.

    • Oh, Sandra! That was my first thought too – safety gates! And we had the safety gates up initially but had to take them off as it posed more of a hazard – when placed wall to wall, the width of the stairs was too narrow for the bottom ledge of the gate and one could easily trip over it (not sure if I described it well for you to picture that), the kids also decided that it would be cool to lean against the safety gates whenever they get on top pf the stairs with their full body weight (not a good idea as the gates are not bolted to the walls) plus, they figured out how to open those darn gates. :/

      I don’t think anyone can be too careful when it comes to safety. I’m super paranoid. I bet you’d refuse to look when they “buttscootch” (cute term that! and if straight and wide, it sounds like going down the slide) and I can imagine how worried you’d be.

      And i guess whether we like it or now, we’d have to recover from the shock regardless as those things stare at us every day! LOL.

    • Oh, Sandra! That was my first thought too – safety gates! And we had the safety gates up initially but had to take them off as it posed more of a hazard – when placed wall to wall, the width of the stairs was too narrow for the bottom ledge of the gate and one could easily trip over it (not sure if I described it well for you to picture that), the kids also decided that it would be cool to lean against the safety gates whenever they get on top pf the stairs with their full body weight (not a good idea as the gates are not bolted to the walls) plus, they figured out how to open those darn gates. :/

      I don’t think anyone can be too careful when it comes to safety. I’m super paranoid. I bet you’d refuse to look when they “buttscootch” (cute term that! and if straight and wide, it sounds like going down the slide) and I can imagine how worried you’d be.

      And i guess whether we like it or now, we’d have to recover from the shock regardless as those things stare at us every day! LOL.

  5. Jeez I can only imagine how terrifying those moments must have been. I’m so glad your little one came through unscathed.

    • Indeed it was, Diya..not knowing and dreading what I’d find at the end of the staircase… *shudder* I’m glad it was nothing major. Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

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