Over the past several months, Xavier has developed a debilitating fear. It started off as a fear of Tornadoes (understandable) but quickly disintegrated into a fear of wind in general. It's come to the point where even the gentlest breeze will put him in a panic and instead of playing outside he will huddle beside me, clinging to my waist like a life preserver, and whine continuously to go home or inside.
Nothing has helped. We have had many talks on the logistics of a tornado hitting our area, let alone our house. We have an emergency plan ready to go and we all know what to do in case it ever did happen. We have talked about how there are tons of meteorologists watching every cloud every day to give us advanced warning if there is even a possibility of severe weather. We have weather bug up on every computer, every phone, and when asked, will check the wind speed for him to assure him he wont blow away. We have assured him nonstop that if there was ever a watch or warning we would know hours ahead of time and if anything were to happen, J and I would go first for him and his brothers and bring them to safety, and wrap our bodies around his to keep him as safe as possible.
He gets it on the logical side that this fear of his is not normal. And after talking with his Pediatrician we are being referred to a psychologist to help us have the tools to help him cope.
And then last night happened.
Last night we had a severe weather storm warning and a tornado watch. We didnt tell him about the watch. It would have done nothing but panic him until he was shaking. But we did show him, as the storm winds started blowing in, that we had weather bug up and ready to go, my phone would never leave my side fully charged, and I would check every notification beep I got on my phone. After hours of trying to calm him, giving him Hobbes, his stuffed Tiger, to cuddle, we thought we finally got him to sleep. And we went to bed ourselves.
Within an hour the storm broke. At the first clap of thunder Xavier was jumping into our bed to squeeze himself between J and I. The next clap of thunder (admittedly right outside our window) Ashe was there too. In our bed, what I used to think of as more than big enough, now cramped and almost falling off the side of the bed, were 4 of us. The only one who didnt join the crew was Soren, who blissfully slept through it all.
We got no sleep last night. After 60 minutes of the boys kicking and squirming, whining, and shoving, J and I had enough. I get that we as parents are supposed to show compassion when our children are afraid, especially with what is looking to be a potential phobia. At the same time, parents can only take so much of feet in the face in the middle of the night, after dealing with hours of trying to calm them in the first place.
On an whim I told the boys to go sleep together in their own room. Ashes bottom bunk is a full sized bed and there was more than enough room for the two of them. After awhile they left, and passed out in the bed together. Each time the storm broke again they would wake and freak out. So the cycle continued until around 4am when the storm finally passed us by.
I woke up this morning to see that 8 tornadoes touched down last night. Fortunately no where near us, but still. I don't think I'll tell Xavier though.