I realized recently that my life is dominated by stairs. Our house has a total of 47 stairs in it, and that fact defines our life here. We do nothing in the house without climbing at least a few stairs. There are four stairs from the sidewalk into the front door, and then the first flight up to the bathroom is about 12 steps (plus one step to get into the bathroom). Another five or so steps to the second floor where my office, the prayer room, and the boys' room are situated, then 10 steps to the 3rd floor bathroom (plus one step into the bathroom). Finally, another 8 or so steps up to the 3rd floor where our bedroom and the nursery are located. Oh, plus 11 steps to the basement from the living room on the first floor. So a lot of steps to get around the house. I live in fear of having a broken leg or a major abdominal surgery that precludes any serious stair climbing (I had a stress fracture in my foot this past spring that was bad enough).
|A long flight up.|
|Please sir, won't you let me out?|
We have a double stroller that I don't love because the model I really wanted would have to be stored in the basement. Which means hauling it up 11 steps and down another four every time I want to use it. The model we have can be stored at the top of the basement stairs, which means a tight corner every time I go to do laundry, but at least I'm not hauling 21 pounds of stroller up and down a flight of stairs all the time (and trying to keep the baby from following me down in the process).
I've bought albums on iTunes that I own because I can't bear to walk down 15 steps (and then back up again) to retrieve a CD from the living room. We consolidate trips up and down by placing items to go up or down the stairs at strategic locations. Items placed outside the second or third floor bathroom landing are meant to go down. Items placed on the second step of the third floor stairs are meant to go up. Anything on the landings in between is open to interpretation. There is usually a pile of something on the fourth step of the first floor stairs, waiting to go up, and there is almost always something on the third floor bathroom landing waiting to go down. There have been multiple occasions of dirty laundry going up and clean laundry going down several flights of stairs unnecessarily. I'd benefit from a dumb waiter, I think, except I'm afraid the boys would use it for joy riding. We tend to have duplicates of common analgesics because who wants to go up or down more flights of stairs than necessary when there is pain involved? We have a diaper changing station on each floor--well, for obvious reasons.
|The stairs are good for posed photos.|
Having four steps to the sidewalk means bumping a stroller backward down four steps, and then bumping it back up again after an outing. The double stroller is particularly troublesome in this way, being somewhat wide and unwieldy. (Plus the fact that it weighs over 80 pounds once you put kids into it--I usually load and unload the kids on the sidewalk, but I still have to get the stroller in and out the door and up and down those steps!) It means wet pants on rainy days for any children who aren't yet confident stair walkers and need to go up one knee at a time.
|Pardon the reuse of this photo!|
On the other hand, having so many stairs means the children learn how to climb up and down stairs fairly young, and are confident on the stairs much younger than children in houses with fewer stairs. My two younger children both climbed up stairs confidently before age one, and the two older ones were going down stairs fairly well by 18 months. (The baby is just turning one, so I can't say yet how well she will be going down as she just got good at going up). I also get exercise every day going up and down all those stairs, usually hauling a load of something--laundry, toddler, baby, or sometimes all three! What can I say? I have talent.