When Arleigh and Hanan were little, I almost never used a baby gate. I was under the impression that as their mother, I needed to teach them to navigate the stairs. We had a huge spiral staircase in Iceland. There were a few tumbles there, and a few here with bigger girls. Each and every slip and fall was terrifying. They also taught caution. In hindsight, we were blessed that there were no serious injuries.

Bria comes along 5 years after the other two and things change. I have a part-time job, I volunteer at a school, I monitor homework sessions and piano practice. I don’t follow Bria around like I followed Arleigh and Hanan.

I guess the good news is that she is learning independence outside of a stair case. She knows how to navigate up the stairs well enough, we just worry about the way down. She has also learned to hate a gate every bit as much as I have come to love it. A new one is in order though because she has already figured out how to take it down. She’s a smart cookie.