Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thunder and Motorcycles

Christian has always been a bit afraid of loud noises, though in recent months it appeared that fear my have subsided so it wasn't something I've thought too much about lately.

When I picked him up from school on Friday, he rushed to the door and said, "I want to go home!!"  His teacher explained that there had been a couple of loud claps of thunder and it really scared him.  When she'd try to explain thunder to the class, Christian would tell her, "No, stop!!"

One the drive home, I asked him if he wanted me to tell him about thunder, and he agreed.  I said,

"Well, sometimes when its cloudy,
and lightening strikes
The thunder roars.
Its just a sound way up high in the sky,
and thunder cannot hurt you."

He had me repeat the explanation over and over again and by the time we got home, he'd pretty much memorized it.  (Kinda funny, because when he recites the explanation, he starts off with a big "Well," just the way I did.)

I put him down for his nap, as usual, and he was VERY upset when I left the room.  I tried explaining that I'd be down the hall in my office, as always.   But he was just too freaked out by the thunder.  So I stayed in his room with him and while he was content with met here, I finally had to give up on nap time for that day.  He just wasn't going to fall asleep.

Yesterday when I picked him up from school, the same thing happened:  he rushed over to me, "I want to go home."   His teacher told me that a very loud motorcycle had gone past the school and the noise scared Christian.

I explained motorcycles to him and put him down for a nap.  He seemed to be okay, but when I left the room and took Bella outside to the backyard, I came inside to find Christian crying hysterically because I was gone.  Eventually, I was able to convince him to take a nap.

But then ... after he woke up, a storm rolled in with LOTS of wind and thunder.  As it started, I turned on a noisy fan, and turned up the volume on the TV to help drown out the thunder.  Alas, none of it worked and he was keenly aware of the thunder - and scared.

Unfortunately, even before these newest noise issues, Christian has been having a hard time sleeping at night.   For several months, Jonathan has been sitting outside Christina's door right after he says goodnight to him and just does stuff on his computer.   For the past few nights, Christian continues to call out, "I'll be right here!" (just a direct repeat of what Jonathan tells him as he leaves the room each night).  And he calls it out over and over again, checking to make sure Jonathan is still there.

Also recently, Christian wakes up crying out for me at all hours of the night.  Might be 11:30am, might be 4:30am.  Might be twice a night.   Just depends.   We've always shut Christian's door after he falls asleep and we figured that maybe he would wake up and get upset that his door was shut.  So we started leaving it open and that seemed to do the trick - he slept through the night.

But alas, with Christian being scared over these loud noises in the past few days, he's started waking up again..  Last night, Jonathan didn't come to bed until 11:30am because Christian could not fall asleep.   And then I was up twice throughout the night when Christian would call out to me frantically.

So we're handling it the best we can.  It is not a case of being defiant about going to bed, or that he's just wanting to get up and play.   I think Christian is genuinely frightened by something and his fear of loud noises isn't helping.

And how do you rationalize with a three year old that the noises from thunder and motorcycles cannot hurt you.   He tells me over and over, "Thunder cannot hurt you.  I'm not scared of thunder."

But, indeed, he is.   My poor lil' guy!

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