It's been a month filled with rainstorms. That means sleepless nights are in season as well. My boys get hysterical at the first rumble of thunder. Last year Henry had a bit of a problem with storms but Liam was too young to notice. Now Liam is terrified when he sees lightning and hears the thunder crash above us. He screams and practically runs in circles trying to escape from the sound. He actually calls it that--crying, "Sound, sound, mommy. No sound, mommy" Liam scrambles onto my lap only to leap down at the next flash and boom. Meanwhile, Henry begins to cry. Seeing his brother upset by the storm makes Liam even more frightened and he begins to wail.
I can talk to Henry calming him down with explanations about the weather. During one late night storm, I was very proud of him when he repeated my explanation to his little brother. "Liam, the storm is moving to Indiana. Pretty soon it won't be here anymore."
Henry doesn't easily go back to bed but he will after a half hour or so. Liam, however, sobs for the entire storm. Last time, it seemed to me, that he began to whimper a few seconds before each flash of lightning. I'm not sure what that's about. I'm actually afraid to research that particular behavior.
There's nothing I can do to comfort Liam when he hears thunder. His reaction is the same if it's a tiny far off grumble or if it's a loud overhead crash. Unfortunately this season's storms seem to arrive just as I am sitting down for the first time in fourteen hours. At the end of the workday and mom-evening, I'm beyond exhausted. I can barely think straight. I want to be patient and comfort my children amidst their distress. But I also just want to close my eyes, drink some tea or read a magazine. It's been a long, long day and now it starts to storm? Are you kidding me?
I've tried everything from letting the boys stay awake and watch cartoons (only distracting until the next thunderclap), to letting them "sleep" in my bed (not enough room for all of us and they want the overhead light on), to staying next to their beds and talking quietly while insisting they lay down (went over like a lead balloon).
The morning after one of these nighttime storms, I'm as sleep-deprived as I was with a newborn in the house. I now watch the weather forecast with dread. I'm not so interested in the actual precipitation details as I am the timing. Evening showers? fine. Morning downpour with gusty winds? bring it on. Late night thunderstorm? I want to cry. Even before Liam does.