The Fourth of July is a delicate thing for us. Last year, the fire ban canceled shows all over Colorado and even the common, legal kind of fireworks were banned. This was a tragedy for the 3 pyromaniacs in this family. (And no doubt the many firework stands set up on every corner.) While I like watching them, it wasn't really a huge deal for me, but for Delaney it was a blessing. She plays tough; climbs trees, brings worms home from school in her backpack, but she would rather wrestle the werewolf under her bed than watch fireworks.
When she was younger, I thought it was something she would just grow out of.
This year in June we took her to the firework show that our little town has during their "BBQ Days", thinking it would be fine. She was excited, and bounced around with the other kids, but the second the first one boomed through the sky she screamed, and within 30 seconds, she was literally trembling, sobbing and trying to climb under the chair. She was in a pure state of panic, like a wild animal, screaming that they were going to get her, and they were going to fall on her. I couldn't get her to the car, because it was too far away and she'd have to walk under them, so she huddled on my lap, buried under the blanket and cried and shook. I've never been so happy for a display to end, but not as happy, I'm sure, as she was.
Last night I thought she'd be OK because we just let off the little fountains and sparklers, but she kept finding reasons to go into the house: to the bathroom, to wash her hands, to get something, etc. She came inside and we put headphones on her, so she couldn't hear them. My dog used to be the one terrified, but now that he's going deaf, they don't bother him much. Now it's Delaney that panics. If I left her home alone, she'd rip up all the sofas and claw the doors.
I looked up the word for a firework phobia; apparently, it doesn't qualify as a phobia because it's not "irrational". Seems pretty irrational when your child is clawing her way under a chair and screaming. Despite the fact that it's not a "real" phobia, it does have a variety of interesting names. I think the last one is my favorite...
Anyone else have a child who is so terrified of fireworks? Did it ever get any better?