Thursday, May 01, 2008

Talking tornadoes

Anna Marie has developed a tornado obsession of late.

Every day, she asks me questions about tornadoes: "Do tornadoes mostly happen in the spring, because it rains so much in the spring?" "Do tornadoes mostly happen at night, when people don't know it?" "What makes the wind make a tornado?"

The same questions. Over and over. I answer them every day.

I don't know what the deal is. I googled "Severe Weather Awareness Week" and it's in February. We've had a lot of rain lately, but no really serious storms.

It may be the news - you know, how when you're watching something, and at the bottom of the screen they have the wee little radar, showing where the storms are? Well, we get the Memphis stations, and they have such a huge viewing area that anytime a storm comes from the middle of Arkansas to the middle of Tennessee, or from the "boot heel" of Missouri to the middle of Mississippi, we hear about it. And they pre-empt our favorite shows to tell us.

Several times lately, she's been watching something on TV (or has been walking through the room when we've been watching something) and she's noticed the weather alerts.

Well, Tuesday I picked her up from school. The first thing I do, while we're stuck in traffic, is check her backpack. (Not only do I want to know how she did behavior-wise, but I also need to see if there are any notes from the teacher.)

You remember from when you were in school, and you'd get finished with your work early, and the teacher would let you turn your paper over and doodle? Well, Anna Marie does that quite a bit. And Tuesday she had a disturbing picture on the back of her worksheet.

There was a stick figure on its side, holding on to a stick. And a dialogue bubble that said - oh my word, I wish I'd saved this, but I think Jason already threw it away - "I want to live!"

Did you hear that? "I want to live!"

I have NOT A CLUE where that came from.

On the other end of the paper was a big squiggly thing. I asked her what it was, and - you guessed it - it was a guy hanging on for dear life while a tornado was about to suck him in.

What do I do? I can't have her afraid that every storm is going to bring a tornado. But, I can't have her not worry about them at all, because there is always the chance one could hit here and I don't want her to delay getting to safety if she needs to.

(And, for the record, my darling husband is over in his chair, right now, fussing because he says I type too heavy! What in the world is that supposed to mean?)

(Ok. Back to the tornadoes.)

If I had been at all thinking when she went with me Tuesday and met two guys from the National Weather Service, I'd have told her to ask them some tornado-related questions. But, as it turns out, some of my competition from the north was there, and I was trying to get to another event, and, well, I was a bit distracted.

Other moms - what did you do when your kid (or heck, your husband, or your pet gerbil) developed a fixation on something? As Anna Marie would say, I'm trying to figure out what to do, and I got nothin'.


Lissete said...

My nephew is the same. Weather alerts worry him. Especially during hurricane season. I really don't think there is much that can be done except reassure them. Heck, I sort of freak when we get hurricane watches & warnings.

Amanda said...

Oh my Lord.

I definitely laughed out loud at the "I want to live" thing and am definitely never forgiving you guys for not saving it.

Susie Q said...

Okay..I want to live...the kid is just perfect. I think she is perfection beyond belief.

I wish I could tell you what to do. I just kept (or keep) talking when they want(ed) to and waited it out. Or they watch(ed) films about the subject or problem...or read books...and things usually righted themselves.

I was always really frightened of them since the horrible one near us in 1974. Then we went through one, a bad one, at my Mom's in TN. for some reason I am not as scared now. Go figure.
I guess as long as AM knows that she will be protected by her family and or teachers...and that she understands how tornadoes work..she will have a healthy view of it all.
Besides, she is just perfect. Uh huh.