Finley was nervous. He’d been talking about it for days with an electric undercurrent, simultaneously bragging and seeking reassurance. “It looks like this,” he’d say, holding his hands together to make a circle, “like a donut.”

Then, finally, Friday came. From the moment he woke up until the actual event late in the evening, Finley couldn’t stop talking about it. “Is my MRI now? Are we going now?” Like a sidewalk preacher warning of an impending apocalypse, he’d burst into a nervous chitter to anyone who would so much glance in his direction, from his family, to his teacher, to the person who opened the door for him on the way into the store. “I’m having an today MRI. It’s like going into a donut.”

We drove to Children’s Hospital without issue, and he was excited to see the glass elevator again in the large entryway on the relatively new campus. He laughed and ran around and asked question after question. In other words, his normal bubbly self.

Then it came time for the MRI itself. I have no pictures of the procedure — turns out giant magnets and cameras don’t mix — but I’m sure I can find stock photography to fill the void.

Well, not exactly the machine, but still cool.

Finley galloped down the hallway, interrupting the technician’s instructions to tell her all about the MRI and proper procedures. She, like most employees we’ve dealt with at Childrens’, listened intently, nodding sagely at his words of wisdom.

Finally, after picking out a movie from their big box of DVDs (Robots, which was a favorite at home for about a week), he stepped into the room with the giant donut.

I’m not having a lot of luck with the stock photography today

The size and sounds of the room were intimidating, the machine as big as a car, humming like a coiled up world destroying laser blaster from a sci fi film. A yellow tape line on the ground marked where the MRI ventilation machine couldn’t cross, which wasn’t applicable in our case, but it was there that Finley made his stand.

“What does that line on the ground say?” he asked, leaning his head towards it like it marked the edge of a precipitous drop.

“That’s for a different machine,” the technician explained, “you can cross it.”

Finley shook his head, “It’s a warning line, I can’t cross it!”

“It’s not for you,” Amy and I echoed. “Just step across and get in the bed.”

His body went as stiff as a plastic action figure glued to the floor. “No, I can’t do it. It says not to cross the line.”

My ingenious plan of leading him around the bed where there was no line didn’t work, either. He saw the bed, he saw the giant tube it went inside, and he put his foot down.

That’s when the bargaining began. “We’ll get ice cream after we’re done,” we promised, “or donuts, like the machine. Or any snack you want.”

He was unfazed. For nearly twenty minutes we debated with him, using bribes from food to the PC version of Minecraft, threats of needles and anesthesia if he didn’t go through, to pleading that more kids were waiting in line for him to be done. None of it worked. He kept talking, spouting off whatever came to his head, making fleeting glances at the giant machine like it was the gallows rather than a imaging device to hopefully give insight to his seizure.

As the time wore on, the technician shook her head. “This isn’t working. You’ll have to schedule a time to put him under.” It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, not just because of the inherit risk of full anesthesia, but because those appointments were at least a month out.

“Alright, Finley,” I said, “I’m going to count to five. If you’re not laying down on the bed by then, we’ll have to come back later and they’ll put you completely to sleep. But if you do that, you won’t get Minecraft PC. One. . .”

Before the word was even completely out of my mouth, he scuttled onto the bed, laying his head down on the pillow. The technician strapped him in, put on the giant headphones, and moved the bed into the machine.

For the next eighteen minutes, he didn’t move a muscle. We were all convinced he had fallen asleep.

Then, when the knocking and banging and scanning was all done, Finley was released from the machine. He jumped up right away, shouts of “Minecraft PC! Minecraft PC!” rushing from his lips. We were all incredulous at how well he did, even the technician.

And what of the results?

We’re not completely sure yet. Tentatively, his ventricles are enlarged. Which we already knew from the CT scan. Hopefully we’ll learn more soon.

Still, just having him sit so still made Amy and I really proud.

Now if only we could get our computer back. Turns out just buying Minecraft PC wasn’t enough–he actually wants to play it.