Stairway To Heav- The Emergency Room

March 12, 2012 § 2 Comments

A recent study posted on Yahoo brought back some memories of my childhood.  The study was about the risk that stairs pose to children.  Apparently, children get injured on staircases.  Frequently. 

In fact, in this (heavilyeditedtomislead) quote from the study, we are astounded to realize that they “calculated that” “93,000 [children] altogether” “got injured on the stairs every year” “from” “riding a tricycle down the stairs.” 

Now, I know you all think I was some kind of goody-goody child who never did anything wrong and sat quietly all day long and read books… but that’s simply absurd.  Danger was part and parcel of my day as a child.  Many of my playtime activities took place on staircases and were not only fraught with danger, but probably outlawed in several conservative states.  My siblings and I risked injury (or worse) every day when we played on our stairs.  We laughed in the face of harm.    Our staircase was a battleground and we all knew it.  Only the strong would survive.

Mom often tried to stop us from defying death on a daily basis with our staircase antics, but she never really succeeded.  We knew the advantage the stairs offered when running away with a younger sibling’s toy.  Your more powerful legs could sprint to the top faster than the toddler, and this advantage gave you ample time to hide the toy somewhere in the depths of your closet.  We also enjoyed dragging chairs onto our steps, balancing them precariously with only a few millimeters to spare between their legs and the end of the step.  Sometimes, we ever had the back chair legs on one step, and the front chair legs on the step below!  We played “airplane” with these chairs, as the incredibly narrow corridor between the chairs and the wall reminded us of an airplane’s aisle.    (Technically, I think we played “stewardess”, because I had read a Nancy Drew book in which she chatted with a friendly stewardess and I thought it was the coolest job in the world, but to be politically correct [which you know my blog always is!] I have changed the name of the game to “airplane”.)  I would mince up and down the aisle/steps between the chairs and wall, handing out pretend drinks and pretzels, and having to duck and cover whenever our “airplane” inevitably hit turbulence.

On other occasions, much to Mom’s dismay, we would take the cushions from the couch in the living room and pile them at the foot of those steep, pitched, dangerous stairs.  After clambering to the top, Dan and I would grab our trusty old brown plaid sleeping bag and take turns sliding down the stairs in it!   Of course we would stuff the bottom of the sleeping bag with pillows, books, and stuffed animals (more weight gives you more speed!) and end up crashing into the cushions, so there wasn’t much chance of a stray limb severing or accidental decapitation, but you never knew.  That was the allure.

Probably the most valid reason to avoid staircases altogether, though, has to come from my boyfriend.  Danny was a mischievous child who delighted in tormenting his older sisters.  As a young boy, he played on his staircase many an afternoon.  Somewhere in his twisted child-mind, he devised a terrible plan that needed only three accomplices (willing or not): his sister’s doll, a jump rope, and his staircase of doom.   

What horrors did he devise on his stairs?  Are you sure you want to know? 

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.






Staircases = dangerous.  Keep your children away from them.


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§ 2 Responses to Stairway To Heav- The Emergency Room

  • Gen, one of those siblings of Rose. says:

    Usually that sibling was me, my childhood was full of tears yelling “MY TIGER!” And Danny, you got your mind in the right spot! As for playing airplane, me, Pete, and the Z’s have made up a new and better version. Pete drives, always, and then we crash, run down the stairs and jump off the last stair and pretend we spin in the air for five minutes.

    PS: I would love Danny’s staircase, and Danny, I’m not into dolls, just don’t hang my animals.

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