I think my son had 1,529 questions about weather, thunder, lightning, rain, wind & tornadoes last night. He has an illogical fear of tornadoes (stems back to Elmo's World on Sesame Street, he was deathly (and still is) afraid of the tornado that visits Elmo in the episode about weather. (we're talking screams, terrified look on his face, hiding under whatever cover was available). I use this when I need to explain to my son why I don't like something. You know how you feel about Elmo's tornado? Well that's how I feel about _____. The Martians from Sesame Street still give me the willies (aka the "Yep Yep Guys"))
Anyhow for years I have been prepared for the why questions. I have a strong science background & I am great at researching what I am not sure about. (For the record, cows DO have voices as they have a larynx (voice box). Giraffes are the only mammal that does not have a voice box.) But due to my son's limitations in pragmatic and expressive language I was lucky to get a one word answer about any question.
While the average child starts with their why questions around 2 or 3 years old, my son held off until 7.
However he did exhaust me on the 20+ minute ride home. Does it ever rain in one place and not another? Why is there thunder? What makes lightning? Can we get hit by lightning in the car? Why is there no swimming at the Y when there is a storm? Did the pool area always have metal walls? Why do branches fall off the trees? Why do they talk about wind damage? Why can't we see thunder? Why can't we see wind? Is it storming at Grandma's house? Is it storming at cousin's house? Why doesn't the wind pick me up? Why when I fly a kite do I not get off the ground? Do you think if I have enough balloons I could fly? Are those swirly winds a tornado? Why do they name storms? Why are some girls and some boys? Why don't they name winds? Why don't they name tornadoes? Do you think they could name a tornado after Roxie? What about naming a storm after the dog? Would a tornado be strong enough to carry Oscar (the chihuahua) away? Would it take me too? Why is it raining hard here and not at the corner? Why don't I like tornadoes? Do you think we'll have a tornado tonight? Will the lights go out? The neighbor's light is on are our lights still on? Why does wind whistle? Do you think we'll have a tornado tonight? Why did the weather man say it would storm tonight and not tell me the time? Why does the weather man not know what time it will rain? What if the weather man is wrong and it rains in the afternoon? (and these are not all the questions I was asked)
His biggest fear is of power outages. Talk about panic attack & sensory overload. I had to remind him we had that new battery operated lantern from our camping trip that would light the whole condo up (and it would) if the power went out and that his therapeutic listening (TL) CD player works off batteries too.
Last time we had a power outage our whole small town was out due to someone crashing into the transformer that powered our area. I think my son shook for 2 hours straight. He kept falling asleep with his classical music TL on then waking up saying "how did I fall asleep>" I had candles, but he had to lay next to me. He needs something to touch and I couldn't find his piece of satin, so I had to give him some ribbon & my arm. What a mom won't do for her child. I HATE the way it feels when he rubs my arm, but it grounds him & calms him. Rubbing my hair doesn't bother me, but rubbing my arm makes me ill. But I let him.
He got himself into such a frenzy about the power outage last time that he was nonfunctional for the next three days. (Yet ANOTHER complaint from the school. They don't believe me how strong he reacts to power outages--almost worse than fire drills (and they have seen him during fire drills, that look of pure terror on his face))
After we went home & took the dogs out, I declared a moratorium on speaking. (I was getting overloaded. Sure I can answer the questions, but I was driving in a thunder storm with heavy rain so I was super-multitasking mom.)
But in the end I am still happy to FINALLY have the questions from my son. It's about time!