Thunder Thunder Thunder (on Sunday Sunday Sunday)

Down here in the wiles of swampland Florida, it rains a lot. Correction, it storms a lot.

When you’re just a wee one who has grown up in storm free California, things like thunder tend to make you poop your pants.

My little guy is scared shitless of thunder. Its been cracking and booming since we arrived in the sunshine state sending my 4-year old diving under blankets about 3pm, daily.

Of course he is comforted and hugged and told the loud booming noises are nothing more than “people” bowling. (we said angles back in my day and I’m fairly certain my mother said “people” due to the number of times my husband and I have discussed religion with our families and why we’d like them to refrain from mentioning it to our kids) So the “people” are up there bowling bit still isn’t sitting well with my son, and my father starts down a road I’ve seen so many fathers, grandfathers, and uncles march down before: oh, don’t be a baby…we need to toughen you up!

Two guesses how that went over with me.

Now I realize every man is afraid his son will be a pussy. Every uncle, grandfather, father, and male in the world seems to think it’s perfectly all right to nearly scold a little boy over his fears.

I don’t.

So, men of the world. Fathers reading my blog, random males that came by to oggle my tits…explain to me why I don’t knock Gramps into next week? I did everything, stopping short of calling the grandfather of my child a bully to be ignored, in front of my child.

How, men of the blogosphere, do I handle this?


  1. I’m not a man, but I’d say .. explain weather to him. He might find it kind of cool. My daughter did.

  2. I agree….explain weather…

    My grandfather once looked at my son and called him a pussy for not liking football. My 8yr old son’s response was “so what if I am”. It was the same response he had when my dad asked him if he was gay.

  3. You can’t expect men to handle any situation the same as a woman does. Sure, if you and I sit down and plan out a strategy on how to handle a specific situation that we BOTH agree on, then we can act consistantly. But if we don’t sit down and plan it out, we react in different ways.

    The truth is, he DOES need to “toughen up”. You feel the same way, you want him to not be afraid of thunder. You want to love him and comfort him and soothe him and let him know it’s all right. If that’s all he gets his whole life, then he becomes a mamma’s boy. So let Gramps say what he wants, and he’ll get a little bit of the male perspective to go along with all the soothing and comfort he gets from you and your mom.

  4. LMAO. I have to admit..I do kinda agree with Kaiser. You don’t want him to suppress his feelings, but you do want him to not freak out every boom that happens. Try explaining it in whatever way you find appropriate (It’s God bowling was my gram’s explanation) or find a fun online site that teaches what thunder is. He’s still gonna be afraid, but gramps comments won’t stunt him emotionally.

    Of course..I say this…but I freak out when Prince Charming says stuff like that to my baby boy too (and he’s 8..LMAO).

  5. Oh men, always afraid of their own latent homosexuality.

    My dad always explained the cold front and warm front colliding.

    I never would have bought the bowling thing.

  6. I also was told that angels were bowling. My early visions of heaven included an giantic arcade/bowling alley. I agree that kids need to learn to move past their fears without being berated. What my mom did was open all the blinds during a storm and we would listen for thunder as a way to count down to watching the lightening. It’s hard when extended family is around because everyone has their own way of raising kids.

  7. I don’t know how, but I was taught, and totally bought, that thunder is COOL. We also used to watch the lightning (somehow from a place safely away from the window) because we thought that was COOL too. We counted the seconds between the lightning flashes and the thunder booms to see how many miles away the storm was. I don’t know if that’s actually how it works, but it was fun to feel some sort of control by having some knowledge, even if it was bogus, about the weather. And it was fun to anticipate the thunder.

    As for the man thing, not being one I obviously can’t shed any light on that – but I wanted to say, ooooooh, Gramps! He is getting himself in all kinds of trouble this week! hee hee!

  8. I always used the same response whenever anyone tried to pull that shite on my little one. I said, “You know, shame is a damaging motivator.” Sometimes it made them think. Sometimes it just made them stare and maybe drool a little.

  9. I was maybe 3 years old when I learned about the salt – as in

    Now kids, remember to take everything grandma says with a grain of salt.

    There is no better advice than that.

    I’m not a kid, I know what thunder is, and it STILL scares me sometimes. Fear is a natural response, it’s what keeps us safe. Learning and understanding about something are the best and easiest ways to erase irrational fear though.

    As for grandpa’s reaction, well, I find it really hard to stomach treating kids differently. If he wouldn’t have said that to his granddaughter also, he shouldn’t have said it at all (this should also be true in reverse).

  10. Ok.. I am not going to give a very popular answer here..


    I am not saying break out the wooden spoon or whatever your mother used to teach you to toughen up, but come on. I want my kid to have enough toughness to stand up on his own two feet and defend himself..

    There is nothing wrong with a mother being protective. Children need that. but the need a balance of a little toughness and tenderness.

    so if gramps says toughen up well maybe thats what he needs.

    and why is it that woman always pll that “June 25th, 2007 at 8:11 pm, MammaLoves Says:

    Oh men, always afraid of their own latent homosexuality.”

    What does toughen up and homosexuality have to do with thunder? If you ask all the homosexual guys they wont say ” I like guys because I my dad/grampa said I was a baby” sorry I rant on.

    Like I said it wouldn’t be very popular, by the way it’s PC for Prince Charming not Politicaly Correct..
    Love your post.

  11. canoe chick says:

    Your Majesty,
    I can understand why he is afraid, if this is the first time he has ever heard thunder. We have a ton of thunderstorms here, and my husband and I both love storms, so my 3-year old thinks they are cool, because we are excited and happy when one arrives. But she has been seeing them her whole life…
    This morning, we said something about thunder and she told me “thunder is what happens when the cold wind bumps the hot wind” ! How many adults could explain it that well?? 🙂
    We also have a great “Franklin” book about storms, I think it is called “Franklin and the Thunderstorm” that has the “cloud giants bowling” theory, among others. I don’t know if you have Franklin, they are Canadian books but worth looking for, they are so good! My 3 year old LOVES them, they are full of good stories with little lessons, like the importance of saying sorry etc…
    I hate the “toughen up” crap. I agree, if you wouldn’t say it to your daughter, why say it to your son??

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