Today was a don’t-feel-like-it day.
I could barely drag myself out of bed. I had to wake Ricky up, noting as I did so that there was no evidence that he had made any attempt to drag himself out of bed. Half an hour later, I found him sprawled out on his bed, fully dressed and with one sock in his hand … out cold.
I am only sorry I didn’t take a picture before I woke him up but I was too busy worrying about getting him to school on time.
Anyway, since today is Throw Back Thursday, which I normally pay no attention to at all, and since I wanted to post something but I don’t feel like writing anything interesting, I thought I would instead dredge up a piece I wrote sometime around the turn of the century, appropriately entitled Don’t Feel Like It Days.
(Note that my children were a lot younger and I was still married when I wrote this.)
There are some days when you really just don’t feel like it.
We have those days around here. None of us is out-of-sorts, exactly. It is an odd thing, though, that don’t-feel-like-it days seem to come in epidemic form in my household. If I don’t feel like it, I can be reasonably certain that no one else is going to feel like it, either.
This places me (and, to a certain degree, my spouse) in a delicate position. Being the responsible adult individuals that we are, we usually manage to make ourselves, whether we feel like it or not. That, as I have repeatedly told my adoring children, is a large part of what it means to be an adult. What makes this particularly punishing is that my children (who are not responsible adults and feel no need to even pretend to be practicing for responsible adulthood) have no qualms about deciding that if they don’t feel like it, then they won’t.
Given the fact that I homeschool my children, that tendency can make don’t feel like it days a sort of nightmare.
They forget everything.
They forget how to add two plus two, so fractions are completely out of the question.
They can’t remember what they read ten minutes ago, so forget asking them about the chapter they read last week.
They forget to do their chores.
They can’t remember to put their laundry away, even when I place it tenderly into their arms and say, “Please put these away.”
When reminded to get those chores done, they obediently do them — sort of. They forget to wipe the kitchen counters when they do the dishes, they forget to put the broom away after they sweep the floor, they forget to feed the cats or to pick up the gazillion scraps of paper on the floor (don’t ask). They have to be called again and again to complete their everyday tasks.
It’s clear that they are not being defiant; they just sort of float away in the middle of things. And they do it all in such an absent-minded fog that trying to enforce consequences for unacceptable behavior seems like an exercise in futility. The airheaded little darlings wouldn’t feel a thing.
Just between you and me, I will confess that when I don’t feel like it anyway, I am often sorely tempted to just give in. Just please don’t ever tell my kids I said that.
We have very strange conversations on these days, mostly because all of us sort of amble around the house, wandering aimlessly and never quite sure what we are doing in that particular room at that particular time.
“Oh. [pause] Now, what did I come in here for?”
“I don’t know.”
“I wasn’t talking to you.”
“Were you talking to yourself?”
“No, actually, I was talking to the refrigerator. Why are you following me around?”
“I don’t know.”
[pause] “What did I come in here for?”
I’m reasonably certain that mine is not the only family that goes temporarily insane in this vague and harmless way. Those are the days when I rev up my sense of humor — such as it is when I’m having trouble remembering my name — and get through it as best I can. There’s always tomorrow, after all.
And, with a little luck, by the time tomorrow gets here, I’ll have remembered what I was looking in the refrigerator for.