Saturday, June 24, 2017

I'm Not Going To Do That Anymore

"Daddy?" Natasha Zeferelli said approaching her father one evening as he was relaxing and watching TV after a long day at the office. Her father did not take his eyes off the screen. Natasha hurried over to him and shook his arm. "Daddy?" she repeated.

"What?" asked her father in a somewhat annoyed tone briefly take his eyes off the screen.

"Do you think people should be able to do what makes them happy?"

"Sure." replied her father immediately turning back to the screen.

Natasha nudged him again. "Do you think people should do what makes them unhappy?" she asked not even waiting for him to turn around again.

"No." her father replied  still facing the TV. "Why should you do what makes you unhappy?"

"Oh, I was hoping you'd say that." replied Natasha excitedly. She threw her arms around him and kissed him, and then hurried out of the room. Her father just shook his head. He had a house full of women, and he would never understand any of them.

Natasha went upstairs and went into her room and took out some toys to play with. Just when she got the toys set up the way she wanted, her older sister, Celeste, poked her head in the doorway.

"Mom wants you to do your homework now." announced Celeste.

Natasha made no move to get up.

"I said Mom wants you to do your homework now." repeated Celeste.

"Oh. I heard you." replied Natasha. "I'm just not doing homework anymore."

Celeste just shook her head at her sister and went back to her room to do her own homework. If Natasha wanted to get herself in trouble for not listening that was Natasha's problem.

Natasha continued playing with her toys as her sister left the room.

A little while later, Mom called everyone down to dinner. Natasha, Celeste and their little sister, Mariah hurried into the kitchen and scrambled into their seats as their father ambled in from the living room. "Did you girls finish your homework?" Mom asked as she scooped pasta onto each of their plates.

"I did." declared Mariah. She was still young enough that she didn't get that much homework.

"I have just a little bit more." stated Celeste. "I'll finish it after dinner."

"What about you, Natasha?" Mommy asked when Natasha failed to reply.

"Oh, I'm not doing homework anymore." Natasha informed her.

"You finished it?" asked Mommy. Natasha shook her head. "You didn't get any?" asked Mommy.
Natasha shook her head again. Mommy gave Natasha a confused look.

"I'm not doing homework anymore." Natasha informed her.

"What?" replied her mother.

"Homework doesn't make me happy. I am not doing it anymore." explained Natasha.

Celeste starred at her younger sister as if she'd suddenly sprouted another head and Mariah clapped gleefully as their mother was shocked into silence at Natasha's pronouncement.

"I'm not going to do homework anymore either." announced Mariah excitedly jumping up out of her seat. "It doesn't make me happy either."

Mommy gave Mariah an angry look. "Of course, you're going to do your homework!" she insisted and so are you!" she added giving Natasha an even angrier look.

Celeste snickered under breath but immediately put a hand over her mouth to stop herself when Mommy gave her an angry look too.

"But Daddy said. I shouldn't do what doesn't make me happy." insisted Natasha.

Now Mommy gave him an angry look.

"Wait a minute!" protested Daddy. "You tricked me!" he said to Natasha accusingly. "You didn't tell me you were talking about homework."

"I wasn't just talking about homework." Natasha assured him. "I'm not going to school anymore and I am not going to go to bed at 8:00 and I am not going to ..."

"Why doesn't Natasha have to go to school anymore?" cut in Mariah.

"If you don't want to then don't." Natasha told her. "Do what makes you happy."

Mariah clapped her hands gleefully. "I am not going to take baths anymore and I am not going to go to bed and ..."

Celeste gave her father a look as if to say 'Look what you started.' She waited for Mom to start yelling at him. However, Mom was surprisingly calm. She didn't even look upset anymore.

"Is this doing whatever makes you happy? For everyone?" Mom inquired. "I mean grownups too?"

Natasha nodded happily excited that Mommy seemed to be getting into the spirit of things. This was really going to work! She wished she'd thought of it years ago.

"Okay, than." replied Mom. "I am not going to make dinner anymore. Why should I spend hours slaving over a hot stove when I can be doing something that makes me happy. I am not going to iron your favorite party dress anymore either. I've never really liked ironing. It doesn't make me happy.

"I'm not going to take you to the playground anymore I'd rather hang out with my friends." added Celeste. "

"And, I am not going to work anymore.'' replied their Dad. "It doesn't make me happy.

Natasha's eyes opened wide with worry. How would they live if Daddy didn't have a job and bring home any money anymore.  This wasn't going to work after all. "Okay." she replied glumly. "I'll do my homework after dinner." But it still wasn't going to make her happy.

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