Blake and I were outside in the early evening, made grey by the menacing, inky clouds looming low. He was on his trike, circling our little square of lawn area (poor kid needs a yard to play in, but that is another matter), and it very abruptly began to hail.
The hailstones started quite small and intermittent, but I immediately dropped what I was working on and called Blake to come back RIGHT NOW! He ignored me for a moment, I hollered louder, then he turned his trike and leaned over to pick up a few hailstones and eat them.
I ran over to him, grabbed the trike handle bars and pulled him VERY rapidly towards the garage. At first he squalled at the rapidly turning pedals, saying "Don't DO that Momma!" Within mere seconds of me getting to him, the hailstones doubled in size and just pelted us. I was getting stung on the back and arm, and Blake was shrieking in pain and fear as they nailed his head and hands. We made it quickly to the garage, and I held him until he calmed down. I explained that though he had disobeyed me by not coming "all the way, right away, and with a happy heart," his discipline wouldn't be administered by me - the painful hail was a built-in lesson.
We watched the hail from the garage door for a bit, and it came down with a fury that was kind of alarming. We made it back to the house (I shielded his body with my own), then pulled a chair up to the window for a weather lesson.
I snuggled his little cold arms close, opened the window, and we watched the hail come down. We talked about what hail hurts (us, crops at Grampa Steve's, trees, plants, etc.), and what it is (very hard, big snow, or very frozen, round rain). When lightning cracked, we waited in hushed silence for the "funder." It was pleasant to sit and enjoy a storm (I love them, particularly from the warmth of my home) with my little sponge of a kiddo.
When it was bedtime, he was reluctant to leave the window until I told him he could have the window open in his bedroom. He was thrilled: "I can have my window open and then I can hear the sounds!"
After the first roll of thunder without me in the room, I heard him clearly holler, "MOM? I NEED YOU TO CLOSE THE WINDOW BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THE SOUNDS. They are too scary for me."