Stairway fun

I watched my crawling baby bouncing at the bottom step. He could pull himself up to stand in front of the step.. He could not lift his knee high enough to reach the first step.
“You wait right here. I am taking clothes upstairs,” I said and left with the basket.
Since he could not reach the step, I knew he would be okay,
I was wrong.
As I closed the last drawer, I heard him chortling nearby. I went to the stairs. Three steps from the top, he grinned up at me. He had conquered his first mountain just because it was there, and he could.
I looked at his happy face. He liked climbing. He would do it again. I carefully held his back as I stepped down and eased around behind him.
”Well, if you can get up, it’s time you learn how to get down safely.”
I gently grasped his leg and guided it down to the step below. His legs were strong enough to climb but not long enough. To get up the steps, he bounced until his knee landed on the step. Then he pulled his body onto step. He did that on every step. To go down, he had to slide on his belly using his toe to catch each step.
He learned quickly. I watched him conquer the steps another couple times and let him play. He enjoyed every minute of his new skill as did the baby girl in an online video. Like my son, she rapidly touched each step with her toe, slid down and repeated the action.
Not all babies are ready for the stairs at six months. His brother walked before he approached the steps. Being a bit taller, his knee could reach the step. I watched as he stood up, slapped the bottom step and reached up to the next step. Lifting his knee he pulled until he stood on the bottom step.
I watched a couple feet away as he turned and looked at me with that mountain conquering grin. He had ascended the first step of his first mountain. He laughed and swung his foot around toward me.
“No! Wait, buddy. Don’t turn around. Go up.”
He stepped forward and I swooped him into my arms.
“You need to learn stair safety before you try that again. Meanwhile, consider this your ‘no go’ sign,” I said, tipping a chair on its side to block his access to the steps.
In time he would learn and move upstairs to the big boys’ bedrooms, but not that day.
When asked why they climb a mountain, climbers say, “because it is there.” Exactly the reason little ones climb steps, couches, counters, and anything else toddlers can reach. For children, stairs are simply another area to explore, conquer and make into a playground.
As elementary children, my siblings and I made a slide out of my Grandmother Waight’s stairs. She had covered her steps with rubber treads with smooth edges. Sitting down, we slid-bumped down the flight chanting, “ah, ah, ah, ahh,” at each step all the way down.
My sister said that her sons created a similar game. Calling themselves ‘Wormies’ they slid into sleeping bags and wiggled their way up and down the turning staircase.
Where do they get these ideas?
I don’t know, but they keep coming. A few years back, I visited my daughter after her youngest no longer needed the crib. The crib mattress fit the stairs perfectly. The older children carried it to the top of the stairs, sat on it, grabbed the sides and skooched forward until it slid down and they whomped on the floor at the bottom. Other times they piled all the blankets and pillows at the bottom of the stairs and jumped down as many stairs as possible. They cleverly called their game “Don’t Die on the Stairs.”
Kids can’t do any stair gymnastics at our ground level, one-story house house. That all suits me just fine. When they visit, the grands find plenty of other play area. Bumping down the steps intentionally at seven is one thing. After seventy, it is quite another story. I’m quite happy to noy have stairs in our home.