Monday, January 24, 2011

Boiling With Fear

I know there are people and especially kids, who have irrational fears.  I know when I was little I thought I was going to go down the drain at the pool if I got to close to it.  Even as an adult, I'm not crazy about the dark.  Especially dark garages.  Who knows what kind of monster is lurking in the dark waiting to get me?  If you know this blog and my kids, you know Sonya is also a bit scared of  things like the dark and some movies.  However, she's recently developed a fear in the past month and a half that came from out of nowhere.  It has gotten a bit out of control.  A fear of something that is really harmless.  A fear that no matter how much Andy and I try to talk about it and rationalize with her, she still freaks out every time.  That fear is the teapot. 

I know, already right there you said WTF? right?  That's what we said when it started.  We use our teapot to boil water for tea quite a few times a week.  Andy loves ice tea so I end up making it throughout the week.  We don't really have hot tea that often, unless we're sick, but at least 2-3 times a week the teapot gets used.  A while back when I boiled tea one day, it started to boil and whistle.  Sonya started telling me to turn it off.  I did, but then decided I should show her how to turn a burner off on the stove.  I think  it's always good to teach them things like that, when they're old enough, in case of emergencies.  She did and she was fine with it.  Then one day I boiled the water and she ran to turn it off and turned in the wrong direction.  This turned it on low and quieted the whistle, but didn't turn it off completely.  It freaked her out a bit, but I helped her, so no big deal.  After that she didn't want to turn it off anymore.  Then she started to cover her ears when it whistled.  Still not that crazy.  Until...

A few weeks ago when Andy was home he started to boil water for hot tea.  When it started to whistle, Sonya-who was in the living room at the time-started to FLIP OUT.  I mean full on, screaming, crying, hysterics, wanting someone to turn it off.  I was in the bedroom at the time and came running out in time to see Andy flip off the burner and say,

"Um, Sonya...this is a problem.  We need to talk about this."

He's usually really good at getting her to see things logically and talking her out of most of her fears.  Not this one though.  He did manage to find out that her fear is that the house is going to burn down from the teapot, or something like that.  It's a fire fear, basically.  Then  Andy tried turning on the teapot and having her turn it off, giving her control, but she just cried about it. Later that day I turned it on again to make iced tea this time.  As soon as she walked in the kitchen and saw the burner going, you would have thought she'd walked in on a man with a knife to my throat.  She stood staring in horror at the  flame under the pot and said,

"Mommy, I don't want to turn it off, I don't want to turn it off!"

"Okay, Sonya.  Don't worry about it," I told her, trying not to make a big deal about it.  For the next few minutes before it boiled she kept telling me she didn't want to turn it off.  

Then it boiled.

We were both in the kitchen and she grabbed at my leg to pull me away from the horrible stove.  When it was clear I was headed in the direction of the teapot she let go and ran SCREAMING to her room.  There she cried with her hands over her ears for about ten minutes.  Andy and I were trying so hard not to laugh, but it was hard not to.  We did feel bad, but she was being bat shit CA-RA-ZY about this.  About a TEAPOT!  A teapot that has never hurt her, I might add.

Andy calmed her down and tried to talk to her again.  No dice.  She calmed down, but wouldn't go near the stove for the rest of the day.  Since then we have to give her fair warning if we're making tea.  If she all of a sudden hears the teapot, she gets really upset.  At least if she knows before it's happening she can prepare herself, but still she gets upset and covers her ears when it starts to whistle.  We are at a loss for what to do about it.  

Then over this past weekend, I had to make ice tea again.  Oh horror of horrors!  Sonya sat in her chair anxiety ridden.  At one point I had to run back to my bedroom to do something and the water started to boil.  Oops.  Bad timing on my part.  Sonya started to scream for someone to turn it off and I ran out, in time, but just then Lana hopped down from her seat, ran over to the stove and turned it off herself.  (I had taught her to turn off the stove too).  Even though her sister freaked out, she stayed calm, proving her to be the one less difficult in some situations.  So again we tried talking to Sonya about it.  She did seem a bit less upset about it this time then she has been in the past.  It wasn't quite the screaming and crying that we've had before.  Just crying mostly.  

"Sonya remember that song, I'm a little teapot short and stout..." I started to sing.  She stood there looking at me as I went through the whole song.  Then I got to the end,

"When I get all steamed up hear me shout, Tip me over and pour me out!"  Perfect!  The teapot shouts, nobody gets burned or hurt, she should totally get it and be fine.   

Instead she looked at me with a deadpanned expression and said,

"Yeah, but that doesn't tell me how to turn it off," then she turned and walked out of the kitchen. 

Looks like  have a smartass kid with a completely irrational fear.  Where the hell do I go from here?


Stephanie said...

Ohhh mama, can you imagine what she'll be like in 10 years!! I had similar "issues" when i was younger.. Do you think if she would have turned it off right the first time she would still have the same fear? Could it be a fear berried deep down in side by humiliation/ embarrassment based off the fact she didnt do it right, and because she didnt do it right, she now fears it?? ;) hell I blew up our microwave when i was younger and had a 'fear' of microwaves for about 6mo after that but it wasn't because i was scared it was going to blow up (although my parents totally believed that) it was because every time i seen one i felt like a dumb ass... One day walking hoe from school there was a microwave by a trash can so i beat the crap outta it, needles to say i felt MUCH BETTER, take that you stupid microwave... just a thought ;)


Anonymous said...

I wonder if the man sitting by the fire can offer up a suggestion? (I still can't stop giggling about that.)

Allison said...

Lipton makes cold brew tea bags. I used them a lot over the summer when I was pregnant and didn't want presweetened iced tea. I know that won't really help Sonya get over her fear, but it might help your sanity.....