Bonfire night used to be on of my favourite nights of the year. Wrapping up warm, getting cosy near the bonfire, playing with sparklers and watching the beautiful displays fly across your head, oh how I used to love it. Now I dread bonfire night, in fact I dread the whole weekend.
My eldest is scared of loud noises, always has been. When he was tiny he was frightened of the hover, (a good excuse for my messy house when my friends came over), hand dryers (not too bad unless a member of the public dared to set one off in his presence) and fireworks.
As he has got older he has, thankfully, out grown the majority of these fears, except fireworks. This wouldn’t be to bad if he just accepted the fact he hated them and was happy to stay at home but he isn’t. Each year he says he doesn’t want to go and then sulks because he knows that all his friends will be at our local village firework display. We offer for one of us to stay home with him and the other to take his younger brother but in the end he always chooses to go.
Three year ago when he was 4 bonfire night ended with me and him hiding under his cabin bed until he cried himself to sleep with the fear of the bangs that seemed to go on all night long. I even shed a tear myself as nothing I did or said could convince him he was safe, he just wanted me to stop them and that was something I couldn’t do.
Two years ago he was okay, he stood and watched the fireworks along with his new friends from his reception class. We have cracked it I thought, but I soon realised he was shaking with fear and trying to be brave in front of his friends.
Last year we had to make a bid for freedom half way through the display because he simply couldn’t handle the noise. I carried all three stone of him home as I ran from the near by field back to our house, where he quickly calmed down and we watched together from the window.
This year he didn’t want to go. His dad was staying home anyway as he is on crutches and crutches and a soggy field make for a hilarious blog post that he wont let happen! But despite the option to stay home my eldest wanted to come along and from the minute we arrived he was asking when we could leave. Luckily for me my mum and her partner came with us so they took the tiddler up front once the fireworks started whilst we tried to watch from the back. After about 5 minutes he wanted to leave and despite being desperate to stay I obviously headed home with him, grateful that this year he was happy to walk. We made it to the car park where he decided it wasn’t as loud and we could stay and watch “just a few”. We managed to see the end of the display and although he was a bit anxious he was a lot better.
I hope this is a sign of him out growing his fear of fireworks and thank god it is only once a year.
Tonight we are staying home with sparklers in the garden, neither of us can face a second display!