Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Chesapeake Summer Storm Story

So, our story begins today with me deciding to take my very good friend Emily up on her offer to watch her kids for her. I desperately need a job, and she desperately needed someone she can trust to take care of her 4 year old, Jack, and 7 week old, baby Thomas. It seemed very fortunate for me that she would offer this as I just could really use some pocket money right about now.

She and her husband dropped off their children to my house at about 3:15. Her older son, Jack is right around my son's age, so I figured that they would play together nicely. My 6 year old loves babies, so I figured she could help me take care of baby Thomas.

Well, if only wishing made it so. Turns out that my daughter is playing with the older son, and my 3 year old is trying to take care of the baby with me. The first situation is working out very nicely. The two kids are keeping each other occupied and having a great time. The second situation is less than ideal. My 3 year old was bouncing on the sofa while I was trying to feed Thomas his bottle, and it was just not a pretty situation.

My solution to the problem was to take Thomas up to the master bedroom to feed him and relegate the rest of the kids to the basement to play.

I wish my story could end there, but I would be leaving out the massive biblical thunderstorm that hit next. Not a metaphorical thunderstorm (sh*tstorm?) but an actual thunderstorm with incredibly fast winds, continuous cloud to ground lightning, and torrential rains. I could hear it coming before it hit, but I never believed that it could have been as bad as it was.

The clouds were pitch black, and a second or two later the rains started. These were no gentle summer rains, but a waterfall of rain that dumped about an inch of water on the ground in roughly 10 minutes. As the rain started, I next heard the siren from the firehouse go off. A quick look out the window showed gale force winds whipping my outdoor toys and patio furniture around like the unfortunate cow in the movie "Twister". Oh shoot! My first time watching my friend's infant son, and we get hit by a tornado!!! Convinced that an actual twister was descending down upon us, I picked us baby Thomas and hightailed it down two flights of steps to join the rest of the children in the basement.

Some important information you need to know at this point is this: I am deathly afraid of thunderstorms. I am terrified of high winds, having had my parent's house hit by a large oak tree while on spring break from college. I am absolutely petrified of lightning. My biggest fear is not that it will kill me, but that it will hit me and NOT kill me. So, my biggest challenge at this point was to take care of the baby, my friend's 4 year old,and my own two children without letting on how much I was freaking out. I put the baby in the pack-n-play in the office, since it was the only room without windows, and sat down on the basement couch to watch Scooby-Doo with the rest of the kids. It was really hard, some of the flashes of lightning were REALLY close, but I think I held it together okay.

Long story short: we were fine. There was no twister, at least not that I can see. The rain stopped about 20 minutes later and eventually the sun came out. The children were fine, and their mother came back to pick them up around dinner time. There was a little flooding in the basement, but I was able to clean it up with a bath towel. I went out back and collected my things that had blown around the yard, enjoying the now cooler temperatures and lower humidity.

How do you deal with storms? Do your children deal with storms well, or are they afraid? Don't forget to stop by my online community (located just to the right of here) and weigh in on this issue.

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