Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Blame Canada

One evening last week, after a particularly difficult morning thunderstorm that sent Bud into a panic attack and caused him to be half an hour late to school, I was more than a little concerned when I heard thunder rolling in the distance as I came home from work at the end of the day. When I entered the house I was surprised to find that, though Bud was highly attuned to the thunder and was talking about nothing else, he wasn't panicking.

My mom explained to me that because it wasn't raining and because they could only hear a distant rumble, she'd told Bud that the thunder wasn't near our house. He wanted to know where, exactly, it was, and since she didn't want to make him afraid to go to any of the places we normally frequent, she took a cue from South Park and told him that the thunder was in Canada.

The thunder continued to roll for the better part of an hour, and with each distant roll, Bud asked for a status report: "Where was that?" And each time, we gave him an answer:

"Winnipeg!"

"Ontario!"

"Toronto!"

"Vancouver!"

It worked, and it kept his anxiety from escalating. Of course, his weather-anxiety has stayed at a constant level all week, bubbling right under his emotional surface, but it hasn't spilled over yet. And for that, I send my thanks - and my apologies - to my good-sported neighbors to the north. I hope you're finding that the storms (and the incrimination) are not too great a burden.

17 comments:

Ange said...

I am the queen of "explanation payback." When the boy of many questions (aka Bubba) asks me the same thing over and over again and I can't find the answer or don't know the answer (often), I have been known to make something up. I try very hard to make it noncommital and wishy washy, but it always ALWAYS bites me back when I least expect it (sometimes years later). So beware... ;)

MOM-NOS said...

Thanks for the warning, Ange. I remain hopeful that we haven't vilified Canada for Bud. I think he gets that it was situational - i.e., the thunder was in Canada in that moment, for that time. We've actually been successful in the past with similar explanations about the storm moving across the street to Neighbor Jim's house - and it hasn't made him tentative about Neighbor Jim at all.

Just the same, I don't think we'll be planning a trip to the Montreal Jazz Fesitval anytime soon.

Robin said...

I am still greatful to the neighbor who assured me there could never be a tornado while it was raining.

By the time I was old enough to know it wasn't true, I was old enough to deal with the then paralyzing fear.

Who said honesty is the best policy?

Anne Druger said...

I think that's a great idea. I will remember it next time my son gets overly upset.

kristen said...

I agree with Robin. Sometimes blind (and even false) reassurances are the only way to go. Sorry Canada.

Estee Klar-Wolfond said...

You can use us for that purpose anytime.

As for the other burdens...

VAB said...

I am happy to confirm that it is, in fact, raining in at least part of Canada, and has been for a few days now, so you were not deceiving the young man. You can also assure him that, although it does thunder and lightning up here, we don't mind it very much. It sometimes makes us nervous but we generally feel pretty safe in our houses and cars.

Jenn said...

Your Mom sounds like a good sport - and quick whitted too ;)

kyra said...

now i know where you get your brilliance. sending great winds to blow those storms past canada and off the tip of the north pole. xx

David said...

Canada, Land Of Distant Thunder. And home the ham called "bacon". Forever may your maple leaves wave over your purple mountains' majesty. Assuming that you too have the purple mountains. And maybe even the amber waves of ... oh never mind. You can keep the subzero winters too.

Bannie said...

Thank Goodness for little white lies !(tooth fairy, SC, that kind of bee doesn't sting etc.)
I'm reading the book "Replays" by Karen Levine and Naomi Chedd. I believe the replays are going to be very successful! My boys are still fearful, but are engaged while doing the replays with me. (It takes time to see results.) If you get a chance check it out!

Drama Mama said...

Does your mother watch "South Park"?

Wow. If she does, I love her even more.

Brilliant and necessary.

Those damned storms.

MOM-NOS said...

Sorry, Drama Mama - she doesn't watch South Park. I'm not sure she's even heard of South Park. It was poetic license - a cheap ploy so I'd be able to use the clever title.

Feel free to love her anyway.

MOM-NOS said...

Bannie, I haven't read Replays, but I saw a presentation by Karen Levine about it earlier this year. It sounds like a great tool.

Niksmom said...

I love that your mother was so quick-witted. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree, eh? (Get it, "eh?" my little Canadian twist...oh...never mind.) ;-)

Seriously, I'm glad Bud is seming to accept the explanations and adapting better.

for what it's worth said...

We here in Canada are happy to oblige. But, I do ask you to keep the thunder away from 'Edmonton'. 1) I need good weather for the next few days to finish all of our outdoor adventures (see post for reference), 2) I think I would flat out die if we had a thunderstorm here in October. Snow yes, but thunder???? Too strange. So thunder on Winnipeg! and sunny skies for my friends in the south!

Sports Mum said...

I LOVE your explanation! I will use this on my 8 year old, who has developed an intense fear of weather of any kind! Ironically, he is not my child on the spectrum - that would be my 11 year old who could care less about weather, but does have a fixation on imaginary holes in his sports jerseys! I have become the queen of fixing these "holes"...Isn't parenting a blast?!