A Debilitating Fear of Thunder

kids playing in rain
We had a few thunderstorms this week, and Herbie's decided that loud noises scare him. As soon as he hears thunder, he immediately plugs his ears.

worried little boy plugging ears
It turns out that it's pretty tough to do a lot of things when both your hands are in your ears.

One night, soon after putting him to bed, I heard, "Mom! Mom!" I went to the door to talk to him, but it was pretty clear that he couldn't hear a word I said.

He was lying in bed sweating (faint rumble of thunder in the background), hands glued to his ears, eyes screwed shut, face grimacing ... I touched him.
"My nose itches."
I scratched it.
"My eye itches."
I scratched it.

He dismissed me.