Me, in attempt #9,431 to calm my terrified child: “Sabrina, you know the thunder can’t hurt you.”
Sabrina, sniffling back tears: “…yes.”
Me: “You remember your favorite Kelly Clarkson song? You know how it says what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Her: “Uh huh.”
Me: “Well, will the thunder kill you?”
Me: “So, the thunder makes you…”
Y’all, this spring is going to do me in. We’re still in the process of fixing the house after the hailstorm/tornado 2 months ago. I mean, we’re still wading through the 10,000 pounds of flyers roofers have left at our door. But the greatest casualty of that day is Sabrina’s fearlessness. Now, at the first clap of thunder, or really even the first pitter patter of raindrops, she melts into a puddle of fear, and starts crying and asking if it’s hail again, and screams at every subsequent clap and boom.
A thunderstorm rolled in this afternoon around 3:30, just as we got to my parents’ house for a playdate with their cousins. I don’t think my folks really believed the storied I’d told them about Sabrina’s reactions to precipitation lately, but they sure do now. Because she proceeded to quiver and shriek for the entire 2 hours she was there. (Well, almost. There was a little break to do some booty shaking and air guitar to some old school rock ‘n’ roll in the garage, a welcome respite for sure.) And for the next 3 hours through dinner and the rest of the evening until bedtime. I spent my reserves ages ago, and I will sheepishly admit to giving her a little Benadryl to help her sleep (and to help her runny nose, so there was some medicinal reason for it). She is also wearing earmuffs to drown out the sound. I hope she sleeps. She needs it so much. As do I. I cannot handle getting up every few minutes to calm an hysterical child when this rain continues all night as forecast.
I know part of this is my fault (I mean, the rest of the blame goes to nature, so lodging that complaint won't be very effective). When the storm hit, I tried very hard to hold it together, but bad weather is one of my fear triggers (hello, trauma from watching a tornado out the hatchback of a station wagon at age 6), and I know I lost it a bit when we were stuffed into a closet listening to hail hit the roof like mortar shells. Even if I did keep up a brave face, that little activity had to have an effect on her. It breaks my heart to see her like this, but it’s frustrating as well, because she knows very well that thunder and rain can’t hurt her, and yet she can’t stop crying over it. I am at a loss. She’ll outgrow this one of these days, just like everything else, and we’ll look back on these days and maybe chuckle. But until then, if you have any idea how to calm her fears, I sure would appreciate them, because I am OUT.
I’m not wishing for another drought, exactly, but this particular rain event could stop any minute, please.