(It's not that we're normally incapable of getting out the door, but previously we just had to get the adults out. Now we also have to make sure both children are awake, fed, and clothed, had a diaper changed or made a bathroom trip, and are packed into the stroller and the baby carrier.)
I went in to Squeakles room to wake him up and ... he pulled the blanket up over his head and said he wanted to go back to sleep. I gave him a few minutes and tried again. Same thing. And then again.
Squeakles has been sick, but it seems to be a lingering cold at this point, not a fever or anything that is completely wiping him out. I figured food would help and eventually we convinced him to get up and to start eating some cereal.
But he still said he was tired. J volunteered to take the hit and stay home with him today because lately I've been the one doing it. But guess what ... Squeakles wanted me to stay home with him, not Daddy. And upon the realization that he had a choice between staying home with Daddy or going to school, he completely lost it. He refused to make the choice, and would only say that he didn't want either of those things.
Crying. Yelling. Nose running. A bit of thrashing. He was not happy about it and intended to cry and cry until he got his way, which unfortunately (for him), wasn't going to happen. We let him cry it out in his bed, occasionally trying to talk to him but he did not want to talk or listen.
And so we decided that he would stay home with Daddy today. Given the choice of literally holding him down to dress him and put him in the stroller and then hand him off to the teachers in this state, or leaving him to cry in bed and then have a day of rest at home, we figured that rest might be a good thing for him. And, at the same time, since he didn't actually want to stay home with Daddy, we figured we were not exactly giving in to his demands.
It's not that he's a stranger to whining, complaining, or crying. But school is a bit stressful to him, and I think that being sick on top of it is making it all a little overwhelming to him right now.
Last night J was asking him about some things he doesn't like about school, and Squeakles told us that he doesn't like it when the kids yell at him and take toys away from him. They don't actually yell at him (I don't think), but they reinforce the rules - things like telling him to hang his coat up and pull up his pants. J explained to him that he has to learn the rules and the other kids are just trying to help him learn them. But as for the other kids taking toys away from him, J told him that when that happens, he should just hold onto the toy and say no.
I had tried to tell Squeakles that he can say, "not right now, you can have it when I'm done", but it didn't occur to me (miss passive aggressive people pleaser who abhors saying no) to give him the simpler approach of just saying no! I'm sure we can politen the approach as needed, but of course the first step is teaching him to have the confidence to say no.
(J did clarify that if a teacher asks him to give her something, then Squeakles needs to give it to her. And of course he also explained that Squeakles shouldn't go around taking toys from other kids - so far this has not been a problem.)
So although the teachers are telling us that Squeakles is doing a really great job of adjusting to the new environment, we do see that there are quieter things going on under the surface that are stressing him out.
And so we left Squeakles in his bed screaming and crying this morning, until suddenly - he stopped. J went into his room probably no more than one minute after the crying stopped and found him fast asleep. So I bundled Weeble up in the mei tai carrier and took her out into the rain, where she promptly fell asleep and I considered walking around with her like that all day, cuddled up against me. (But no, she is now at daycare, hopefully finishing up her nap and I am at work, finishing my breakfast.)