• Tonya

    A few of the things my 8-year old daughter is terrified of: tornados, hurricanes (we live in Colorado), cancer, falling stars, black widows and dying randomly in her sleep.

    I, too, find it difficult to keep from snickering.

  • http://beckycochrane.livejournal.com Becky

    Grew up in the South and knew all about tornados, but what I was REALLY afraid of was the outer space people arriving. This kept me awake for years.

  • Kathleen

    Hi Heather,
    My son became afraid of wind after a big windstorm. He had the same worries that you describe Leta having. Because he’s a little science geek we got him a weather station from the discovery store. and set it up in the yard. One of the cheapo gadgets measured wind speed. He’d check it several times a day and eventually he stopped being so worried about the wind.
    He had a lot of fears growing up. And yes drove us NUTS fretting about stuff we thought was silly. We finally figured out if he learned everything there was to know about his fear: weather, lightening, tinfoil (no kidding) etc… He got over his fear.
    That and he learned how to get information.

  • Leann

    Isn’t Jon old enough to remember the duck and cover drills in case of a nuclear attack? Same concept. ;-)

  • http://walkingtomaine.blogspot.com Betsy

    Dude. That would be a great Balderdash definition. “Fear of things blowing away.”

    I love that you included “Marlo in her carseat.” If you hadn’t, you know you’d hear about it from the Carseat Nazis.

    Leta is my favorite kid. Ever.

  • Amanda

    They taught us to go into the hallway of the school, kneel on the floor and hunch over, press the tops of our heads to the wall where it met the floor, and cower with our arms over our heads.

    Started in preschool and went all the way through, because this is not a skill you can be shown once and retain. No, it requires HUNDREDS of repeated viewings. Practice makes perfect, yaknow.

    I always worried that when the torndo ripped the roof off of the hallway, we’d get sucked out of the building by our butts, which were hiked up in the air. A very specific phobia, that.

    Also- Leta’s adorable, even when she’s freaking out. (Did she see that movie where the guy rides the balloons? Up, or whatever? That would give ME a phobia.)

  • KL

    This has nothing to do with the post, but I thought you might like to check out this link. It’s Canadian, I know, but it’s the message that’s important! It’s off of MSN.ca, one of the top stories for today. :-)


  • http://www.glickers.blogspot.com eva

    Leta is a girl after my heart. I have the exact same paranoia over “things blowing away” and I grew up with earthquake drills, not tornado drills (Vancouver). This means I don’t cope well with picnics, patio dining, or beach eating…because napkins could blow away! I’m forever anchoring everything in sight when stuck in these situations – using the ketchup bottle, salt and pepper shakers, jugs of beer/water/whatever.

    I also prefer beige foods. In case you were wondering.

    And I’m 33 not 5. My husband says it’s just part of my neurotic control freak-ish-ness.

  • Suzanne

    I’m from Nebraska where tornado drills and sirens are part of every day life. My mother was an elementary school teacher and is still bitter that her tornado shelter spot was ALWAYS the boys’ bathroom. Whenever someone would grumble about how easy a teacher’s job is she’d say “oh really, how about you sit for a few hours with 200 8 year olds in a BOYS bathroom and see how easy that is.”

  • Katy

    HAHA I totally took for granted the face that we did Tornado Drills (I live in Texas). I wonder what kind of drill you would do for earthquakes? Or the Second Coming?!

  • http://www.elfdontblog.blogspot.com Elis

    Okay, I am compelled to tell you this story:

    I grew up in California, land of earthquakes. My sweetie grew up on the east coast & experienced a couple of hurricanes as a kid. Together we live in Oakland, where there are pretty frequent earthquakes. He is fascinated & excited by the mysterious and all-powerful earthquake, while I hardly notice them anymore

    One night we have a shaker big enough to wake me up, and it goes on for long enough that I drag my ass out of bed & start heading for the doorway just in case. It stops before I make it all the way to the door, and as I’m climbing back in bed I comment that wow, that was a big one, big enough to make me head for a safe spot.

    Then I realized he was on the floor with his arms over his head & eyes shut tight, waiting for the hurricane to hit our apartment.


  • http://www.myfunnyfunnyfamily.com Carrie

    My kids freak out if they see a receipt start to blow away, but they caught that from me. Since I’m obsessed with accumulating CVS ExtraBucks, and that “money” comes at the end of your register receipt, along with fabulous money-saving coupons, they will guard my receipts with their lives. Once a CVS receipt with an ExtraBuck or two at the end of it blew out the car window, and I had to swallow my own distress and lie that there were no ExtraBucks on it, just to calm the crying kids.

  • http://www.janetnelson.net Janet

    I would ask Leta where it is that she thinks things get “blown away to”. Might give you some insight into her worries.

  • http://kristanhoffman.com/ Kristan

    I’m thinking… paperweights = perfect birthday present?

  • http://meegs1982.blogspot.com Meegs

    This has nothing to do with the post above, and everything to do with today’s picture… but I just had to say, holy hell woman! The boobs!

    I can’t wait for ginormous breastfeeding boobs.

  • Bobbi

    Post tornado footage always shows:

    Rubble, rubble, door frame; rubble, rubble, bathtub…

  • http://www.nothingwitty.com Ariel

    I was irrationally afraid too and I live in Idaho.
    It was the Wizard of Oz for me…

  • http://www.dollface.net Heather

    I’m from Michigan so tornado warnings were often during the right season. After making sure all of my barbies and stuffed animals were safely tucked away in the basement I would go and stand outside on the deck with my father and watch the world get eerily silent and still and a sickly gray color. Then the wind would start up and everything not nailed down would swirl around and around in the yard. My mother would have a heart attack yelling for me to get into the basement but my father and I would just stand there and smile, straining our eyes for a glimpse of that destructive funnel. Luckily a tornado never hit near our home. But gosh, it was a rush to be in that kind of weather when I was a kid.

  • http://jessw327.blogspot.com Jessica

    Ah yes, the Tennessee tornado drills. They were great. I just loved climbing underneath my desk and sticking my butt in the air and covering my head. It was even better when we got to go and line up in the hall. Ahhh the memories!

  • http://www.ramblingbrooke.com Brooke

    I grew up in Iowa, and I LOVE storms. As a kid, I would run out to the front porch with pillows and blankets just to watch the clouds roll in. Tornado watches and warnings made me positively giddy. Also, I was a weird child…

  • http://lulusaysit.com/ Lulu


  • http://www.herviewpoint.com/ Carla

    I live in Calgary, AB, Canada, and thankfully we don’t have to worry about these weather emergencies. If we did, I can tell you that I would be a basketcase all day and night.

    Our worries are more crazy driver related!

  • JConroy

    I grew up near the nations capital during the cold war….our drills were “Air Raid” Sirens and we had to line up in the hallways and kneel down, tuck our heads between our legs and cover them with our hands. It’s a little disturbing to think that we were waiting for the nuclear bombs to drop. Not sure the hands over my head were really going to help.

  • Anonymous

    Oh my gosh, Heather does look like Emily Haines!

    Loved the story — and husbands do say some really cute things. Now if we can just forget the 101 bad jokes they come up with in a day, too.

  • http://www.repliderium.com repliderium.com

    I use to love the earthquake drill just to watch the new kids almost pee their pants.

  • Jim

    Leta’s fear of things blowing away sounds like my friend’s fear of birds: unpredictable, sudden movements combined with an undefined destination. Scary and overwhelming.

    Jon is adorable.

  • http://www.kage-g.blogspot.com kage

    You’ll definitely have to update us if you get to the bottom of this “things blowing away” fear. Then again, it might just be an inexplicable phobia…like that lady I saw on TV who is terrified of lettuce.

  • http://imponderabilia.blogspot.com/ Sandy D.

    I grew up in IL and never had much fear of tornadoes until my brother and grandmother were picked up while in a trailer and tossed around. (Only a dog was injured, though there was extensive property damage).

    My dh, however, grew up in Chicago, and when they had a tornado warning (not a drill mind you, and not a watch, but an actual we-have-spotted-a-tornado-coming-towards-you WARNING, an evil nun told a whole class of 3rd graders that “If God decides it’s your time to go, there’s nothing you can do about it.”

  • lulu

    My son had an irrational fear that birds would “get” his food if we were eating outside. This went on for weeks. “I don’t want the birdies to get my food” he would repeatedly say going to and from the car with his snacks or lunch for school.

    There was a turning point after preschool one day. He reassured himself by saying “Birds eat seeds. Birds won’t eat my food. Birds eat seeds.”

    We mused at where this fear originated and how the seed thing came about. We still joke about birds, and oh how they eat seeds.

  • Liz

    Maybe Leta will grow up to be one of those pundits on TV who is always shouting about the next horrifying thing we need to fear.

    “Gangs of LOOSE PAPER RECEIPTS are blowing across the country. Find out what you need to do to protect yourself at 11.”

  • mummaducka

    ooooh tricky….perhaps some really fun “desensitising” games is timely with stuff like blowing bubbles and watching them float away, pretty tinkly fairy wind chimes (my little girl was obsessed with these, you know, the fairies might be comimg to visit), balloons, and floating feathers or seeds , cause omg what might happen at a party if a balloon gets away? (my kids used to howl when that happened).
    They do get over this, but we always run inside if its too windy so our heads dont get cut off with flying tin, or so we don’t get squashed by a falling tree!
    All kids have to learn the difference between enjoyable good wind, the scary tree trunk moving wind or later on…horrific devastating cyclones, hurricanes and tornadoes, and what to do if god forbid caught in one.

  • J

    Couple of years ago on the Fourth of July I went down to the SF Bay with some friends to watch fireworks, and their 6-year-old daughter at one point got it into her head that the TIDE WAS COMING IN and would swallow us all up if we didn’t leave that instant. Poor sweetie. The world feels like a dangerous place when you’re little, I guess.

  • Erin

    Shoegazer, PLEASE oh please tell me you do NOT have the “Kate Gosselin” ‘do?!!!

  • Lynn

    Have lived in tornado alley (Tulsa, OK) for over 30 years. When my oldest daughter was about 8 she would watch the weather channel each morning and then re-record the outgoing answering machine message to say “Hi…you have reached….. The weather for today will be….” She was always looking for a tornado but the day one passed too close for comfort she took her Babysitters club book and sat in the bathtub while her little sister and I stood at the kitchen windows and watched the wind pick up our trampoline and roll it down the driveway and into a vacant lot! We’ve never let her forget what a chicken she was!

  • Meghan

    Two years ago, my (then 4 year old) daughter was being watched by her great grandmother while I was at work and there was a tornado warning. Her great grandma packed Amelia up in the car and traveled one block to her eldest daughter’s house, because she had a basement. The tornado didn’t come anywhere near, but there WAS a strong downburst, which picked Granny up and threw her about 10 feet in the opposite direction of my daughter and broke her hip. I know the reason for my daughter’s “blowing away” phobia, but it doesn’t make it any easier. You can imagine how miserable my life is during tornado season, which here in Kansas is basically every month that it doesn’t snow, except sometimes when it does.

  • Kris Lee

    So I guess that watching Mary Poppins is totally out of the question?

  • Stephanie

    My lovely childhood fear? That my heart would “forget” to keep beating while I was asleep. I’m not sure how my parents managed to get me to sleep for the two years THAT went on….

    My elementary school in Missouri actually had an underground basement built just for tornado purposes. However, we all had to file *outside* to get there. And I’m not sure who thought we’d have a good 20-30 minutes to get 7 grades worth of kids packed in there either…

  • Kara

    I couldn’t handle helium balloons as a kid. I felt that the risk of it flying into the blue (or god forbid, TORNADIC) abyss was far too great. I would have rather not held at all than hold and lose to the unforgiving sky.

  • http://www.fromsingletomarried.com Tabitha (From Single to Married)

    Oh, I remember those childhood phobias! While my fear of nuclear war has gone away, I still run every time I see a tic. In fact, I found one on my arm this weekend while we were in our car and I freaked out. It’s a good thing I wasn’t driving!

  • http://www.quietlikehorses.com Sobrina

    But wait, that is what they really taught us to do in California! What ARE tornado drills? Now I’m so curious!

  • Dani in Canada

    I totally had a phobia of things blowing away as kid! But only at night, because we had a fair sized backyard and grew up in a small town there were usually toys left outside all summer, and I was not there to keep an eye on them. And if there was even the tinsiest breeze I’d totally spend half the night in bed awake trying to listen to see if any of my toys were going to blow away. Looking back I realize that most of those ‘toys’ were old margerine tubs we had out in the sandbox for buckets, that we had a million of in the kitchen cabinet, but I was TERRIFIED it was all going to blow away. I was always worried about our cats if it was windy too! I don’t have any idea where that fear came from, but it was totally real to me!

  • Kathy

    Would Mary Poppins help? Mary gently drifts up and down on her umbrella, the kids fly kites with their dad, and everyone gets sucked up the chimneys to dance on the roofs.

    Or would that make her scared of fireplaces?

    Good luck.

  • http://irritableblogsyndrome.typepad.com Dayna

    HAHAHAHA…doorway….hahah…doorway! Whewwww! I grew up in Oklahoma and Arkansas and relate similar stories to my hubbie who grew up in Washington State. He asks pretty hilarious questions too. He also almost pees himself when we go visit in the spring and there’s even a tornado watch. Good stuff!

  • http://www.twosheep.com/blog June

    I grew up in suburban Chicago. A twister took the roof off of of one of the schools in our area, so we took our drills seriously, even in grade school. Our teachers would have us march out to the hall, face the lockers, and – I’m not kidding you – crouch down with our hands covering our heads, our heads between our knees. Just imagine rows of children, kissing their asses goodbye.

    As an adult, I scoff at tornado sirens. Pea-green skies don’t scare me. But my raised-in-the-Northeast husband freaks out every time the sirens go off (we live in Minnesota).

  • Meg Morello

    Not a doorway, Jon, the windowless hallway. They cram all 200-some kids in, and it’s hot in there, and usually it set off my tornado-is-imminent panic until I was sweating and hyperventilating. Growing up in Wisconsin, I never dreamed kids didn’t experience this terror. Lucky ducks.

  • Ashley

    I can totally commiserate spending tornado warnings in the bathroom. I live in Illinois where tornadoes aren’t common, per say, but not unheard of either, and when I was a kid during tornado warnings ALL SIX OF US would smoosh into the half bath on the ground floor (no basement) with EVERYTHING WE OWNED. I am not even kidding. We would each bring at least two pillows, a blanket, as many stuffed animals as we could carry and probably a good 7 books a piece because you had no idea how long you were going to be in there!

  • Melissa

    Wait, so since Jon is more my age he should have remembered the bomb drills. They pretty much stopped after 4th grade, but he must remember them!

  • http://www.bytheseatofourpants.com Jasie VanGesen

    “And I was all, dude, let’s go grab all your books and spend the night in the bathtub!”

    best line you’ve ever typed on this-here blog.

  • Erin

    Pffffft. Jon does not look like Dallas Green! But wooooo Canadian indie darlings.

  • http://www.luvandkiwi.blogspot.com Tish

    so i’m guessing leta has issues with piglet blowing away in the wind on pooh films?

    maybe she watched pooh. ask if this could be the root cause.