Sam doesn’t like art. There. I’ve said it. He doesn’t like coloring. Can’t stand painting. Just flat out hates art class. It’s been an issue for a while, with frequent references to “I hope tomorrow isn’t art class…” as he drifts off to sleep. I’ve been very tricky about it, specifically not finding out which day he has it (plausible deniability, we call that) so that I could always answer, “it’s probably not, don’t worry about it, now go to sleep…” But in the end, he figured out that on Jessie’s library day, he also had art. And today is Jessica’s library day.
After the first week of school, Sam has basically been blissful about going to school. Not always delighted about it, but never crying or seriously objecting… but this morning, he started off saying he didn’t want to go. He didn’t eat his breakfast, and kept repeating he didn’t want to go. He didn’t like art, today was art day, and he wasn’t going. I gave him a little extra attention, a hug and made sure that he was wearing his favorite hoody. Got him down into the van, we all drove to school and at the last minute, he flat out refused to leave the van.
Jessie hopped out, and rushed into school, and we pulled the van out of the drop off lane and parked it. I unbuckled, and got out. Sam, at this point, had unbuckled as well, and scrambled way into the back of the minivan and was huddled in a fetal position on the opposite side of Julianna’s huge car seat. I’ve got the kindergarten aide out there with me, trying to coax him out, and I’m crawling into the van, hauling my five year old. He’s screaming and yelling, the aide is still trying to convince him that it’s a GOOD idea to go, and I’m grimly trying to wrestle him out without hurting him. I finally get him out of the van, and the school secretary rushes out to help haul him into school. I ask if I should stay – because this is KILLING me to make him go – but I KNOW I have to go. I know he’ll calm down faster if I leave, but…. then the poor little guy starts screaming “JESSIE – I WANT JESSIE!!!!” over and over again, and the teacher and secretary can’t understand him, so I holler to the other teacher who was coming to help “JESSIE COHEN – SHE’S IN THIRD GRADE, MRS. RING’S CLASS – GO GET JESSIE!”
I called when I got home, and Karen the secretary, assured me that he calmed down once I left and Jessica got there. They were hugging each other and she said he was fine. The school adjustment counselor was with him and it was okay. I’m still a wreck. I know he has to go to school. I believe that. I believe that if I gave into him, he’d learn that he doesn’t have to do what he doesn’t want to go, he’s got to go to school. I know that. Giving into him is not the right answer – but it’s so hard to force him to go when he really doesn’t want to. And it begs the question – what is it about art that freaks him out???