Valerie Sharp, or "Vivi," as she is known to her grandchildren, is what one might call "vertically challenged." At 5'1" ("and a half," she told TODAY Parents), 61-year-old Sharp has been known to need a step stool to complete some of her daily tasks. In fact, she uses the stool to put her grandbabies, Reed, 2, and Lola, 11 months, into their cribs when she watches them while their parents are at work.
"If I don’t use the step stool, my arms are a foot away from the bottom of the crib," she explained. "I would have to drop the baby onto the mattress, and she would wake up."
But last Friday, as the Huntsville, Alabama, resident was attempting to put a sleeping Lola into her crib for her nap, the laws of physics were not on Sharp's side. "I really don’t know how it happened, because I have done this a hundred times before, but I think I just got top-heavy," she said.
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As she was trying to put Lola down, Sharp toppled into the crib, landing beside the baby (and not on top of her, fortunately).
"It kind of happened rather quickly," she said. "I was so thankful that, the way that I had her in my arms, my body didn't touch her or hit her in any way as I went down. The worst that happened was that I jolted the mattress, and with that, she woke up." Sharp said that Lola cried, but was fine, just surprised and angry to experience such a rude awakening.
Sharp's daughter — Lola's mom, Nikki Bishop — saw the video of the fall recorded via her baby monitor and shared it on her Facebook page for her family and friends. Bishop says she was surprised when the video quickly went viral.
"When I posted it, I thought it would get a good laugh, and I was surprised when it got 90 views," Bishop told TODAY Parents. By the time Bishop met her mom for lunch, however, she had to break it to her mom that the video already had 4,000 views. "I said, Mom, I've got to tell you something," Bishop said. "My mom said, 'Oh my gosh, everybody is looking at my butt!'" The video has been watched over 21 million times as of Wednesday evening.
Commenters have noted that the first thing Sharp does when she sits up is adjust her hair. "By that point, I knew the baby was okay," Sharp said. "I have extremely thick hair, and there was just no telling where my hair was after that."
Sharp said that if she has brightened anyone's day with her unintended gymnastics maneuver, she is glad. "My friend said to me, 'You've made millions of people laugh or smile today,' so I guess that's a good thing," she said. "I did feel bad it happened, and I am glad we are both okay. But I think people need a good laugh right now."