It was a normal morning with the normal rushing around. I finished packing the lunches and as the older 3 were walking out the door for the bus I was afforded a couple of minutes to sit down and chat with the triplets. I grabbed Finn and stole a hug and a cuddle. We started talking about swimming and he wanted to know if we were going to swim this summer. I responded with a very excited yes but also explained that I remembered that he didn't like competing so he could just do the practices and no swim meets if he didn't want to. Finn got very uncomfortable this past summer when the swim meet would get into full swing and all the noise, people and the attention was on him. He wanted no part of the official racing. (he is probably the fastest swimmer out of the 3 too) but ok I did not push it. We had the perfect agreement and everyone was happy. So I thought.
When we finished our conversation about swimming he waited a couple of minutes and then came up to me and started to cry. "I'm not going to school today". I didn't know what to say so I asked why. He answered with, "I don't like it when kids get into trouble at school". We went back and forth for a few minutes and finally I understood that he had a substitute for several days and there were some kids (including my Colin) who were not listening and behaving like they would if the normal teacher was there. The para professional in the classroom got frustrated a couple times and Finn did not like the change. He was determined that he was not going to go to school on this particular day. I assured him that the Mrs Clark was going to be back in the classroom but there was no changing his mind. It came time to put our gear on and he did not move. I tried counting to 5 and nothing. I tried telling him that if he didn't get moving I would call his dad....Nothing. He locked eyes with mine and didn't even blink. He didn't smile or move. He just said, "I'm not going to school today". I began self coaching....."don't panic Heather we are cool. He is not going to win this battle. Crap what do I do now? This has never happened..how do I react". I stayed calm and and I sent the other 2 out the door and then turned to look at Finn...He was still standing firm. He had a mean stink eye directed right at me. (I'm a little intimidated at this point..I'm not gonna lie...What the heck is happening? This kid is definitely doing things his way. ) I mean short of picking him up and physically putting him on the school bus...he is at that age that things are a little different. I immediately send him to his room so that I can gather my thoughts and call David.
"David your son will not go to school today and what do you suggest I do?" I whispered into the phone fearful that my 6 year old son might hear me and discover that his mother is not nearly as calm, cool and collected as he thinks. David was blown away that he did this but said to give him the option of either going to school or staying in his room for the day. Make it clear there will be No legos, no electronics and no TV. "Ok, David I have this one. I can handle this 6 year old. Thanks for the input and have a great day". (thank goodness for team parenting. Between the 2 of us we can outsmart this little nugget) I gathered up a stack of books, pens and pads of paper and headed up to his room. He was sitting on his bed and I offered to take him to school. He stayed on course and refused. I calmly explained that if he didn't go to school than he needed to stay up in his room. I handed him a stack of books to read and some paper and pens so that he could write and practice numbers. He seemed ok with it and I was calm and very matter of fact. I left the room and still in awww of what was happening. I went downstairs and started my day. I changed my plans since it was apparent that I was also staying home all day. I ended up baking cookies and decorating for the day. I even had another mom over to bake with me so that I could at least have some company. Finn came down periodically and I let him have his morning snack at the kitchen table and then scooted him off to his room. Keep in mind that at this point I was done being mad. I was just simply treating him the way I told him I would and reminding him that he chose to stay home. I wanted to be very careful and not give him lots of attention. The last thing I wanted was for him to think when he stays home it is fun time with mom. He never argued with me and upon completion of his snack I would hear the pitter patter of footsteps going up the stairs and the latching of his door. He repeated the pattern for lunch and an afternoon snack. He asked me when he could come out and I told him that when his brothers came home he could come out. He seemed ok with that answer as well. 4:02pm came and Colin and Declan whip open the door with smiles and backpacks. Finn heard the commotion and down the stairs he came. He said, "mom can I come out now?". "Yes, Finn you sure can". I also told him. "You are going to school tomorrow" and he said "Yes mom I know".
I was in complete shock that this kid spent the entire day in his room. You can't help but admire his fortitude. I decided to drop the topic and move on to bigger and better things. Alright everyone time for homework, dinner, swimming and everything else we had to do for the evening.