Having scary thoughts...

Mary Renee - posted on 02/25/2011 ( 40 moms have responded )

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Hi,

My daughter is 9 months old and for the most part I have gotten past this, but not entirely - and I'm wondering if any other mothers experienced the same thing. It's hard for me to admit this because it seems so weird, but perhaps it's hormonal or something else that's normal.

After my daughter was born I would sometimes get very scary graphic visions of something horrible happening. Like I would walk past the banister on the stairway while holding her and have a horrible vision of accidently dropping her and her falling down the stairs and cracking her head open. Horrible, isn't it? And I actually picture it in my head, even though I don't want to. This is just one example, but there are other things that are worse, I'll be doing a normal activity, like crossing the street when I have a green light and imagine a car hitting us, or something like that. Or she'll be close to the TV and I'll imagine the tv falling and crushing her. Very graphic and horrible. And I hate gory movies and can't stand to watch gory horror films, I'll leave the room if it's on a TV, I can't stand it. And yet, right after I had my daughter I was having these horrible thoughts.

I don't think it's post partum depression, because I never had thoughts of myself hurting my baby. Just horrible visions of all the various ways she COULD get hurt on accident. Part of me wonders if this isn't evolutionary, like women have these thoughts so that they are more aware and more able to protect their child from dangers, but it's still kind of weird. Did any one else have these thoughts? I thought maybe it could also be tied in to the vivid dreams some women have during pregnancy because I had extremely vivid dreams while pregnant that I would remember every night.

One night when she was just a week and a half old she was sleeping in the basinet next to our bed and I woke up with a start because I thought she fell out of her basinett. I looked in the basinett and while my brain told me I saw her in the basinett, something didn't connect and I didn't believe it, so I kept looking and I kept "seeing" her on the ground wedged in between the bed and basinett. I kept reaching down to her, trying to get her and pick her up and then checking the basinett. I "KNEW" she was asleep in the basinett, because I saw her there, but I couldn't stop "thinking" she had fallen. It was a terrifying feeling, probably a mix of sleep deprivation and a nightmare.

Anyway, I just thought I would put this out there in case any other new moms experienced the same thing. Or if you think I'm just totally crazy maybe that's true. Luckily my daughter is 9 months now and these visions and feelings have since subsided.

Thanks for any responses.

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Shannon - posted on 09/30/2012

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I'm so glad you wrote this! I have the EXACT same thing happening to me. I just had my first baby, a son, 10 weeks ago and it seems since then that I have the most horrific, gory thoughts about him dying and other general things that a just disgusting! I'm a 32 year old, well-educated, and happily married to the best man in the world! This makes no sense to me, so I googled a question and I read your blog first. It eases me to know I'm not the only one!!! I hope this goes away, or we're doomed, girl!!!! Ha

Isabelle - posted on 10/22/2012

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p.s. I actually found this post by looking up something like "can't stand violence against children in movies". Since I've become a mom, it's very difficult for me to see or think about any violence against anyone (I have always been sensitive to violence issues to those who are powerless or don't have a voice like animals, the elderly and kids). Now it's like I even see adults as someone's child. It's interesting that I got a page that was about Postpartum moms like myself. Who knows, maybe the hatred of violence in movies will stick with me forever. Recently I'm havig a hard time watching my previously favourite crime mystery shows.

Dianne - posted on 08/23/2012

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I am the same !!!! I hate it so much - this living in fear but I also think it makes us more cautious. I have been googling reasons for why I feel like this and it amazed me how much people do have this anxiety. I am glad I came across this post because I really wanted to be in a support group with moms that are as nervous as me.

I envision that everytime they go with dad and wave goodbye it will be the last time I see them or if they are playing they will fall and knock their heads and die.

I love them so much and I cannot imagine my life without them, that is why I am so fearful of losing them. My three children are 13, 4 and 2 and I feel so strongly about this that I times I find it difficult to breathe.

I bought a book to help overcome anxiety and fear but I don't know if it will work as my fear is based on being afraid to lose them and I will always be afraid of losing them.....!

Stifler's - posted on 03/01/2011

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Oh my God yes. I make up thesse scenarios where people break in and steal Logan or he falls over and hurts himself badly or it floods and he floats away, It's terrifying the shit you come up with in your mind.

Michaela Jane - posted on 07/21/2013

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Oh my god its like I could have writren these messages! I lay awake at night with these horrible thoughts and it petrifys me! We're moving from a bungalow to a house and am scared to death about the stairs, falling down them with my lg, leaving the stair gate open! Its much worse now shes 7 months old and more active and crawling! I think its the pressure of having this tiny, delicate person to look after when before you had yourself and thats it! Im so glad its not just me who has these horrible thoughts and "visions", I thought I was the only one! X

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Stacey - posted on 03/13/2014

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I recently had a dream that my daughter's teacher called me and said there was a shooting at her school. She goes to a church for preschool and we live in a very small town so the chances of something happening like this are slim. This happened last week Thursday, now when I dropped her off this morning the teacher that called me in my dream was there (probably triggered feelings) I just can't shake this feeling. I have had dreams before that have come true, but I don't usually remember them and when the event that I dreamt is taking place I get this dejavu feeling. I have had gut feelings before and have listened to them. It is so scary to have dreams of losing a child. Can anyone relate, I am not sure how to handle this issue.

Samantha - posted on 02/19/2014

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Omg I'm the exact same!!!!! I get so scared of things happening to my son, just now watchin him sleep I had like this horrible imagination that he'd open his eyes and they'd be black and scary!binthink scary things all the time it's horrible I hate it!!!

New Mom - posted on 01/22/2014

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I feel the same way!! Like you, I always think of what may happen and don't just think it, I actually visualize it. Like my mind is betraying me with fearful images popping up. I also can't watch lots of violent shows, nor do I even want my baby in the room with my husband if he puts on crime shows because I don't want my little one picking up the tension/sounds/etc. from the TV.

It gets to the point of feeling like a total nut job because I get in these moments of visualizing all the awful things I may do, or that someone else could do and I get so overwhelmed feeling as though I can't do enough to protect him from all the potentially harmful things, including my own clumsiness or just having an accident like slipping while carrying him.

My husband doesn't seem at all worried, for the most part, he has expressed concerns of dropping him, but I don't think he actually dwells on it or envisions it like I do.

I have noticed that when these thoughts get really bad, if I take a nap, my mind is usually more calm when I wake and these feelings have subsided. I also know what I am eating will impact my mood, the better the food the less trouble.

Regretfully, I have always had a vivid 'what if' worrier mind so this is not really new for me to always think of all the bad possibilities - I often felt that way for myself in the past or worry about other loved ones. But this is by far the most painful and frightening I have felt yet. Idk if this is some kind of trait to make us super careful as mothers or what but I am not a fan of it.

Thank you all for sharing, it makes me feel like I am not alone. I felt like I was really messed up always fretting and worse, visualizing what could go wrong.

A - posted on 10/29/2013

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I'm so glad I read this post!

There is an age difference of 12 years between my little brother and I. When he was a baby, I spent more time with him than even my mother did, and I would have these horribly graphic thoughts of something bad happening to him. To this day, I can remember laying in bed at night crying because I was so scared that he would get hurt. I never told anyone about that.

Now, over 20 years later, I am a mom for the first time. Ever since my adopted daughter came home with us, the same thing has been happening. I tried to explain my fears to my husband, but he doesn't get it and thinks I should just be able to put those thoughts out of my mind. I'm glad I'm not the only mom experiencing this!

Karen - posted on 10/29/2013

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I have been having these thoughts for years,,, I have a 9 yr old and an 19 month year old, im STILL forever checking on her when shes asleep thinkin she may have got out the cot or got caught on something!!!!...My biggest worry is falling down the stairs whilst holding my baby...I take very slow steps and keep looking at my feet....crazy eh...or is it normal? Now i've read all these other posts I feel better and have come to the conclusion that its just a mothers instinct and yes Kim Dunn having kids is a very mixed emotion job.....phew!!!!
Karen UK

Christine - posted on 10/06/2013

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I have the same thing. My son is 3 weeks old, and I've had these visions ever since he was born. Terrifying!! I'm so relieved im not the only one holy cow. It's unnerving. I also fear other people hurting him. It'll sound crazy but I live in an apartment complex, and I fear people trying to kill him because he cries. I get way scared :(. It's horrible!!! I have had the same visions as you described though. You're not alone!! Hopefully mine will mellow out too geez!

Kelly - posted on 09/21/2013

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I am SO glad I found this! I had this vivid vision of my daughter falling from the balcony from the seventh story and thought I had literally lost my mind! And of course you don't want to go telling everyone about these thoughts of your child dying! It's the worst thing in the world, because they are so real! And then I keep seeing it over and over! And my husband is like, "huh, that's weird...she'll be fine, don't worry." Hahaha. Yea, sure!

Michaela Jane - posted on 07/21/2013

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Oh my god its like I could have writren these messages! I lay awake at night with these horrible thoughts and it petrifys me! We're moving from a bungalow to a house and am scared to death about the stairs, falling down them with my lg, leaving the stair gate open! Its much worse now shes 7 months old and more active and crawling! I think its the pressure of having this tiny, delicate person to look after when before you had yourself and thats it! Im so glad its not just me who has these horrible thoughts and "visions", I thought I was the only one! X

Isabelle - posted on 10/22/2012

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Hi new mom!

Wow, my baby's just under 5 months old and like you, my weird thoughts are subsiding as well. Even though unrealistic, these thoughts can be EXTREMELY unsettling. The worst part for me was that when a potentially "dangerous" situation happened (like passing the stairs or too close to the door frame), I would sometimes repeat this compulsively to make sure that it was a "safe" situation and get over the "guilt" of passing there or whatever it was that I did... but every time I repeated this, the guilt got worse. I should have seen a dr about it, I know.

It sounds like postpartum anxiety (and in my case obsession-compulsion as well, I guess).

I like what you said about this possibly being an intrinsic drive for extra protection of baby. Of course, I still think that when we feel we're thinking/feeling something that is not normal for us, we should always consult a GP and get a referral to a specialist if necessary. It'd never hurt.

All the best to all the moms and kids and all the families out there! :) Stay safe! :)

Lauren - posted on 08/19/2012

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It's so nice to know that other people have these thoughts! I am a nurse and my husband would tell me that I am just worrying way too much and being a spaz because I am in the medical field and my personality. I just read this blog and looked up from it and told my husband about others feeling this way! :) So many feelings and emotions happen in relation to parenthood and women/mothers don't tell you or talk about it! People just say "motherhood is the greatest, most rewarding thing there is". It is but it's also the hardest thing ever and no one really tells you.

Jessica - posted on 08/18/2012

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I am relieved to read this post and the replies. I have a 9 year old, 6 year old, and another on the way. I have been having scary thoughts for the past 2 months and thought that was something that happens after you give birth. It brings me to tears every time I have those thoughts pop into my head. I fear it is only going to get worse after I have this baby. My OB has already referred me to a therapist.

Megan - posted on 03/08/2011

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I know where you are coming from. I have some of those scary thoughts too! My son was born, and I was so overwhelmed emotionally, I went from having nothing to having to ensure the safety of my little guy. Scary stuff. You are not alone!

Nikki - posted on 03/06/2011

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My daughter is 16 months and I still do this, although I am slightly better now. I know how you feel!

Lydia - posted on 03/06/2011

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i had this a lot when my daughter was newborn and now sometimes... knifes falling of the counter, dropping her on the stairs, tv falling... very strong visual in my mind. i hate it.

Mary Renee - posted on 03/05/2011

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I think it might be the mother's instinct thing and I'm glad I'm not the only one!

Today I went on a walk with my daughter and her father. We live in Hawaii but there is a horribly polluted canal right by our apartment. Even though it's polluted, it's still a nice walk around it. I started to get that horrible feeling in my stomach though and imagined him accidently losing his grip on her stroller and the stroller rolling into the canal. Of corse, in all honesty I could easily jump in and get her (it's only about four feet to the water, and the water isn't very deep) but none the less, I still get those scary visions of the worst case scenario. He didn't get that I was serious when I told him to stand on the other side of me and started "pretending" like he was going closer to the edge and I just about lost it!

So don't worry, Judy, you are not alone!

Judy - posted on 03/05/2011

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Wow. That you for writing this. I have the same issue, and thought I was the only one. I do have visions of bad things happening. I am terrified of stairs. Terrified. It's to the point that, seriously, I sleep on an air bed downstairs with the baby next to me. I am too scared that in a half asleep state, I'll accidentally drop the baby or something. I know that that is extreme, but I can't bring myself to sleep upstairs and give my family a million reasons why I have to sleep downstairs.

Kristy - posted on 03/04/2011

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if all else fails you can always try and going to see a dr about it and see if they can give you an explanation, or run some tests, or help you get through these episodes.

Autumn - posted on 03/03/2011

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i getr that still and my daughter is a year old i think its just that were scared something could happen to our babies that we obsess over things that couuld happen just try and stay positive and safe :) keep those baby gates up :)

Kim - posted on 03/03/2011

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Having children is such a blessing but how crazy are the worries, fears and emotions that come with it!!!!!

Rebecca - posted on 03/02/2011

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Wow!! I'm not alone! I have a 3 month old, i was sooo nervous of everything when i brought him home as he was 6 weeks early & had breathing problems, but those were my normal concerns, but i constantly pictured me crackin his head open on the corner of the coffee table when i would get up at night to feed him, as i change him on the floor beside the table.. i was so scared there was something wrong with me to be having those kinds of thoughts! but i as well picture car accidents all the time, i dont know why it happens, but im glad im not the only one! ps, i still havent gone up a flight of stairs with him....

Stephanie - posted on 03/02/2011

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i know what you mean with the stairs fear! When I was 5 months pregnant I fell down the stair in our house, slid all the way down on my butt, had a nice big bruise and a swollen ankle so i was deathly afraid of walking down the stairs with my daughter! all i can say is just be very careful and you should be alright! oh and dont walk down wooden stairs with just socks on!

Megan - posted on 03/02/2011

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I have this too! My son's one now and I still have these thoughts and visions when I cross the road or even driving in the car, I have these flashes of a big truck smashing into his side of the car.
When he was only a little thing in the bassinet by my bed, I had a lucid dream that I was laying with him on my bed, him on his back in my arms and me kind of over him on my belly and all of a sudden he was being suffocated by this pillow that I just couldn't pull off of him. I think I woke up screaming and scrambling with my pillow, trying to save my baby when my partner asked what's wrong and I screamed that I couldn't stop this pillow from smothering my baby. He told me that the baby was in his bassinet but every time I looked in, it's like I couldn't see him. It wasn't until I really calmed down and woke up fully that I could see him sleeping peacefully in his cot.
These are some strange things that our mind does to us when we take on this big responsibility. Our instincts to protect are just so overwhelming that our brains invent these scenarios just to keep us on our toes. Don't worry about them too much, just try to tell yourself that it's pretty unlikely that you're going to get hit by a car, or drop your baby.

Felicia Neikolle - posted on 03/01/2011

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I've had very similar things happening. I remember her being in her car seat and having the window rolled all the way down when we stopped at a red light and I "saw" her flip out the window as the van was rolling and being crushed ... it was the last vehicle I ever bought that allowed all the windows the roll all the way down. I always take the visions as warnings or insights to an area that perhaps I haven't adjusted to the best conditions possible for my children.

Jenni - posted on 03/01/2011

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I don't know if it's normal or not but I still have horrible visions and dreams about something bad happening to my son (2.5 years) and my daugther (9 months). Mostly, they're bad dreams and my husband experiences them as well (actually I think he has them more often). I have never experienced truely horrible nightmares until I had children. Probably because I love them more than I've loved anyone else including myself. I'm sure we all feel the same way.
Just a few nights back I had a dream that my daughter was sleeping late in the morning. It was 9am and she still hadn't woken up and I was getting concerned. I went in her room to check on her and she was stuck in an awkward upside down position. She was blue and cold to the touch and I immediately started CPR on her. Luckily, in my dream, I was able to revive her.
My biggest fear is a house fire. My sons room is in the back of our house and our room is in the front of the house. So when I think of a fire occuring I think of his room being sealed off by flames and I'm not able to get to him. I picture his room filling up with smoke and him crying for me and choking. Just dreadful. It brings me to tears just thinking about it.
My son espaped from our house when he was 18 months old and the next thing I knew a man was at my fornt door holding him. He told me how he had run from our backyard straight across the busy road. I cried for days and felt like the worst parent in the world. My heart was literally in my throat. It was a horrifying experience and only increased our nightmares. We immediately child-proofed the doors (until then he couldn't turn a door knob).
I hope they subside for me too. They feel so real it's scary.

Kim - posted on 03/01/2011

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It is perfectly normal to have these thoughts. They are a coping mechanism for the fear you have of your child getting hurt. As long as the thoughts arent about you hurting her, its perfectly normal.

Susan - posted on 02/28/2011

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i have the very same problem my daughter is 8 months old and i have a 2 yr old as well and ever since i had my son(2 yr old) i have worried about everything! i have older kids and i never did this with them they are 12 and 18 yrs old! i have often thought i was loosing my mind! when my 2 ys old was about a yr old we took him to a dam in knoxville and he was in his stroller the whole time but i had nightmares for months over that they would wake me up night after night! i think it's like you say it's our way of being super aware of all the dangers so we can protect our kids to the best of our abilities! i am happy to know that it's not just me who does this! my husband says i worry way to much and i should try to relax and i guess i should somewhat but it's really really hard to do!

Jodi - posted on 02/26/2011

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Gosh I could have written these posts myself, and Katie I can totally relate to the horrible visions you get get when tired and frustrated with them I think being able to envision doing it is the key to not actually doing it as we can see the concequences of what would happen if we did pick them up and throw them. I too waited along time for my little girl and I have visions of a sicko stealing her or having a car accident and being trapped. I used to wake up to my partner shaking me in a panic thinking she was in our bed and being crushed by my him, so I would be hitting him to move poor guy lol.

Heather - posted on 02/26/2011

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It sounds pretty normal to me. I've also had fleeting horror visions and I've had to really focus and step away from them mentally. I've gotten a bit Buddhistic about it all ... examine the thought, observe its form, let it go. Something like that. I'm a worrywart by nature, but these terror flashes are in a league of their own. And by the way, I don't think it's just mommies. I'm pretty sure my hubby woke up more often in the night to check on the baby in the first few months than I did. Call us both paranoid. lol.

Katie - posted on 02/26/2011

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It took 4 1/2 years to get pregnant with my daughter, so I've always been terrified since she's been born that something would happen. Especially at night. She's almost 11 months, and I still can't go to bed without checking on her first. The worst is when she's wearing either purple pj's or blue pj's. With her night light when I check on her it makes her skin look blue. Sometimes she breaths so shallow I can't tell that she's breathing. It scares me to death. I have to put my hand on her chest lightly to make sure she's breathing. A couple of times when I got frustrated, I've got a vision of myself throwing her across the room. I've never hurt her, nor would I ever want to do something to hurt her. It scares me to death when I have that vision. It's only happened maybe twice since she's been born, but it still scares me. The times that happened, the 1st time, I gave her to my hubby, and a really good cry, then I felt so much better. (I never had post partum drepression either. Hubby and I had an arguement which hardly every happens, and I just got overly worked up) The 2nd time, I was at the house by myself, but it was my hubbys lunch, so I gave him a call. He talked to me which made me less frustrated. He would have talked to me even if he was working. If I kept feeling that frustrated, then I would have called my sister-in-law to see if she could take her for a few hours. I'm so glad that doesn't happen that often. Try to put those visions out of your head.

Sharon - posted on 02/26/2011

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Our son is almost 16mths and I'm still like that!! I am getting better, but my latest fear or whatever it is, is as we are driving over the bridge ( there are 2 in my area), the bridge either cracks & we fall through or I drive through the rail on the side...both scenarios have us in the water and me panicing to get him out.
I'm due with baby #2 in 7.5wks...guess it will all start up again with him/her.
I'm guessing it's just that protective part of us paranoid something is going to happen.

Mary Renee - posted on 02/26/2011

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Wow, thanks for your responses. Isn't that crazy that Suzanne also had fears about stairs, and Jasmine had the same dream that the baby fell out of their cot? It's so interesting and reasurring how even though we're all different moms we have similar fears. It makes me feel a lot better and a lot less crazy!

Jasmine - posted on 02/26/2011

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I think its probly just because u DONT want anything bad to happen to your baby and u just r looking out and trying to protect her in everyway. When my son was between 2-4 months old i would have dreams and visoins everynight that he was missing from his cot!! like someone took him or he fell out or something i would wake my partner up saying oh my god his gone... these dreams stoped when he was about 4months old he is now 9 months old,i think its just that fear of knowing something bad COULD happen to your child.I know these dreams of mine are quiet small compared to yours but i still think its all based around the same thoughts and feelings , i hoped this has helped in anyway goodluck

Suzanne - posted on 02/25/2011

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ever since i was pregnant, i've had a fear of stairs. i was so scared of falling down the stairs and losing the baby. after i had him, i still had this strong fear of falling down the stairs while carrying him. i get really nervous when other people carry him up or down the any stairs, and i'm always extremely cautious whenever i'm going up or down a flight of stairs with him. i've never fallen down stairs, and i'm not particularly clumsy. i've just developed this fear. i think it just may be maternal instinct in overdrive.

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