One of your fears as a parent is that your child will fall down the stairs. Well, this fear was in the back of my mind, but was not a huge concern. Now don't get me wrong, I by no means want my son to fall down the stairs, but ever since he started being mobile, stairs have seemed to be somewhat of a fear for Rylen. This may stem back to our incident of slipping down the stairs together when he was younger, though I am the only one that ended up with an injury from the incident in the form of a rug burn scar, but Rylen has always seemed to be cautious of stairs and would cling to us for support. He has always crawled to a step-off and then stopped looking down to the challenge in front of him. When he started walking, this view took on a different perspective and he did walk right off of our back porch step scraping his nose. (you can see that lovely scab in his birthday pictures) But, ever since that incident, Rylen has again been cautious near steps and resorts to crawling off single steps and avoiding anything larger. In the past week I have tried to show him how to go down backwards, but he seemed more interested in going up. I figured he would learn when I could communicate it to him better. I was in no hurry for him to learn this skill.
Well, today Rylen got up from his first nap and was ready to start moving. My typical ritual for naps is to close the gate, turn off the bathroom fan, open his curtains, and then get him up and change his diaper. Well, today, I forgot one of those more important tasks. I didn't realize this until after I had changed Rylen's diaper and put him down to play. He was checking out a toy in his room, so I left him to finish some work I was doing in the office. Our upstairs loft is baby-proofed, so he is able to roam and play while I concentrate on work. Well, I paused for a moment realizing that Rylen was way too quiet. So, I went looking for him. My eye caught that the gate was open. My heart stopped, I had forgotten to close it, but I thought, "He hasn't cried or anything, so he couldn't have fallen down the stairs." I look down the stairs my heart beating a mile a minute and there is Rylen, halfway down the stairs grinning up at me. Of course I quickly run down the stairs to be beneath him as he moves down another step. He immediately crawls back up the stairs and giggles. Once to the top he turns around, claps his hands, and smiles. I smile back in amazement and tell him to come back down. He slowly turns around with one foot searching for the ledge and drops it off to the stair below. He then slides down and repeats this process many times until he reaches me and turns to smile. SUCCESS!
Just when you think they aren't listening or paying attention. Rylen has officially learned to crawl backwards down the stairs. Well, it is definitely necessary to watch the gates more closely and be sure they are closed. Rylen is no longer fearful of the stairs. He has stepped up... or shall I say, down to the challenge and he has succeeded.