free falling

18 months and Climbing

I was sitting in the chair with my phone while Eddie watched Curious George before bed.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Charlie sneaking behind the coffee table on my left. Of course I don’t think anything of it…other than perhaps in about two minutes I would be changing a dirty diaper…and I keep concentrating on Words With Friends (I mean, what do you do with 3 A’s, 2 I’s, a T and a J?).

Suddenly, there was a curly-haired stage diver dead-weight free-falling onto my lap.

Charlie had climbed up next to me on the table, stood up, and let himself “trust fall” (face forward) at me faster than I could say, “Hey, we don’t climb on tables.” ย In fact, I think I only got out the, “hey we d–” part before he was plummeting toward my lap.

“BIRD! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I gasped, sure that he was milliseconds away from crying since I was pretty sure his head hit the chair arm and his gut landed squarely on my elbow.

He rolled off me onto the floor in a fit of giggles.

His too-long hair (“He looks like a dirty hippy,” Cort is always saying), was flopped into his eyes and his right foot was not in the footsie part of his jammies. He was sprawled out on his back at my feet, and he was laughing his crazy little head off.

I just stared at him. ย O_O

“Eddie. Did you just see that?”

“Yup. Bird is crazy, mom.”

“Cort, did YOU see that?”

“I caught the tail end of it,” he said shaking his head.

“Charles Thomas,” I sternly said as I stood him up to look at me, “we do NOT climb on the furniture like that! It’s dangerous! You could’ve gotten seriously hurt!”

He furrowed his brow and pouted his lips and shook his little finger at me.


I shook my head. “That’s right. No, no.”

“NOOOO. No. NO!” He said sternly to me. ย And with that he bent down, collected his Pipey and his Puppy, and rubbed his eye with the back of his chubby little fist.

Then he turned and flung his face to my lap and made some tired sounds, “mmmm ma ma ma mmmm”.

I scooped him up into my lap where he pressed his face into mine and shook his head. ย That is his way of cuddling. Of showing you he wants to hunker down and be your cuddle buddy for a while.

He is my fearless child.

He will climb anything, heights be damned.

He may fall a time or two, but he doesn’t dwell on it by crying, and he the fall doesn’t keep him from doing it again.

He trusts completely that we will catch him, and if we don’t, no big deal.

But if we do, he smiles with his whole face…his whole body even.

And his laugh fills the room.

18 months

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. I love that you called him by his full name ๐Ÿ™‚
    My little one is fearless too. He climbs up big boy slides all by himself and tries to hurl himself down, body first. Heart. Attack.
    What is it with these second children?!

  2. My youngest son is fearless and charges head-first into everything, too. Totally freaks me out. And then he smiles those huge, proud grins that have us smiling (and shaking our heads) along with him. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. You know what I have to say about that?
    He needs a helmet for Christmas.

  4. I call both my kids by their full names in situations like that…. My son was fearless when he was younger and sometimes I think I may have taken away a bit of his “spirit” by always telling him that we don’t do this and that is too dangerous. Now he’s really cautious… I’ve always had an issue with drawing the line of when it gets too dangerous. (now I think it’s definitely the head. If they can bang their head pretty good it’s a no.)

  5. My son is the exact same way! Daredevil for sure… scares the crap out of me.

  6. Bird is awesome. I want to cuddle him someday. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. The life of a loved toddler. I remember the first time James climbed on top of the dining room table. I didn’t even know he could climb yet. He’s been scaring me ever since.

  8. I only bring out the full names for big stuff…and that was BIG STUFF. “GIOVANNI DAMIEN PICCINI , you’re going to crack your head open”

    Gio is our daredevil…and loves to just fling himself all over every piece of furniture we own…it’s scary and it’s inspiring. they are not afraid and it let’s them be themselves.

    I loved this piece xo

  9. I’m pretty sure you just wrote this about my Suzy Monkey. Faceplant McGee. (AKA my heart attack.)

  10. It must be a thing with the youngest. Zoe’s had to fend for herself so much, now she insists on it. Don’t you DARE try to help her put her shoes on. She just will not have it. It’s awesome and a pain all at once. ๐Ÿ™‚ On the other hand, I rarely worry about her.

  11. He is so sweet. I love that he is learning that falling is usually worth the risk!

  12. You call him Bird? Well sure, then he thinks he can fly! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So cute…

  13. My son is not fearless – he is cautious and careful. So I love this view into the the other side! How amazing to be so carefree. Go Bird Go.

  14. Being a risk taker in life an be beneficial.

  15. Oy. I had at least two of those, silly free fallers. Talk about heart palpitations.

  16. Love that free spirit! What a great, happy post. ๐Ÿ™‚