Silver Bells

When one is forced to stare at the popcorn stucco of her ceiling as she lays supine recovering from spinal surgery, one tends to realize she a.)hates popcorn, b.)hates ceilings sprayed with that shit and c.) really needs to get a life.

A life that doesn't include medical toilet seats equipped with bars! Or the fancy cane complete with a padded handle and the non-slip rubber bottom!

I went from being a healthy 34 year old woman who could put her ankles behind her ears on command to a geriatric arthritic nag yelling at the kids to keep the damn music down and get off her lawn over night it seems.

It's no wonder my husband is actively looking for reasons to escape the house and get away from his wife, who is armed with a bell she shakes whenever she needs her pillows fluffed or her water glass refilled. He just can't handle my new brand of sexy.

There aren't many perks when one has had her ass up in the air and a surgeon slice her back open like he's filleting a trout, but dammit, shaking that bell is one of them, I tell you.

There is, however, a slight drawback to feeling like a gibbled up princess as one shakes her shiny silver bell in the air and demands to be attended and waited upon, I have learned.

That drawback being that I may have annoyed my husband and alienated my children so badly with my pitiful cries for more icecream! scratch my foot! no the other foot! I can't reach the phone! change the channel, I wanna see more Miley! that I may have convinced my husband that not only am I the most annoying surgical patient to have ever layed flat on her back and whined in all time, but perhaps I require more help than he and my children are able to provide.

Of course, he doesn't discuss this with me. No. He phones his mother, my father, my sister, Mr. Lady, and any other damn person he can convince to listen his tales of woe (which, by the way, woe? Seriously? I was just carved open like last year's Thanksgiving turkey and your whining that it's too hard to cook dinner, parent the kids and bring me a damn glass of water with out any freaking help, when you have happily abandoned me to the same situation every time you leave to go to work??? Please read that in the screechy tone in which I wrote it.) and he plots.

I couldn't hear what he was plotting, but I could tell by his nefarious cackles that it didn't bode well for me.

There may be something more irritating than not being able to actively snoop and spy on your spouse while recovering, but damn it, at the moment I can't think of it.

I knew I'd eventually be filled in on whatever he was busily conniving to accomplish so I just continued to stare at the shadows on my popcorn ceiling and ring my little bell while biding the time until I can once more put my ankles behind my ears and race across the kitchen floor using only my butt cheeks and hands for support.

I didn't have to wait long. Maybe it was the tinkle of my little bell or my moans for more frozen grapes, but whatever it was, my husband was motivated.

"So Tanis, I've been doing some thinking."

"Does it hurt?" I chuckled, because lame jokes? They are my forte.

"Ha ha. It seems I have to go back to work soon, honey."

"It's about darn time you stopped letting me support your sorry butt while you practice being an unemployed bum. I'm supposed to be the kept one in this relationship," I snort.

Boo's eyebrows knit tighter together and I could see the vein on his left temple twitch with aggravation and he inhaled slowly before continuing on.

"Well, since you are laid up I decided that when I leave, maybe we should bring in some help. You know, to help take care of Jumby when the kids are in school and he doesn't have school."

"Oh we'll be fine," I quickly assured him. If there is one thing Boo knows about me, it's that I hate having strange people in my house.

"No, you won't be fine. You can barely wipe your own ass, how are you going to take care of our son's when you are all by yourself?"'

"Easy. I've decided to let hygiene go. It's overrated anyways," I joked. Boo didn't laugh so I quickly added, "My dad. Your mom. The homeless dude that walks around town collecting pop cans. It's only Mondays and Fridays I need to worry about and I'll only need help for lunch time. I'll work it out. You are just being a big worry wart," I tried to convince him as I patted his hand.

"Nope. I've decided it's not safe to leave you alone."

"WHAT? It's totally safe. I had back surgery not a lobotomy," I huffed.

"I'm not talking about your mental faculties. I've long since made peace with that defiency," he joked. "I'm worried about you hurting yourself. What will you do when you need to tie your shoes? Or feed Jumby?"

"I'll manage. I always have, I always do. Your job is to listen to me whine about me managing and to continue to bring home the bread to feed me. Not to worry about HOW I manage."

"Nope. Not this time. This time we do it my way." I swear, he puffed up a little as he channeled his inner manliness.

"Reeeaally? And just what is your way?" I shouldn't have asked.

"I hired a nanny."

"For Jumby?"

"No. For YOU."

Silence filled the space as I processed the news. "You hired a babysitter? FOR ME??" I screeched and swatted at him.

"What? You are an invalid. Deal with it." He said invalid like it was a dirty word.

"No. We can't afford it. I don't want it."

"It's covered by my health plan and you don't get a voice in this decision. It's too late. I've hired one already."

"No! I don't want a stranger in my house! Touching my things! Touching my kid!!"

"Sorry honey, but it's done. She starts Monday."

"What? You didn't even hire a male nanny for my visual enjoyment? What kind of sick husband are you?" I whined.

"The kind that considered hiring a hot chick just so I could say I have two hot women who answer to me, but I couldn't find any willing to put up with you."

"I hate you."

"I love you too."

"What if I promise not to ring my bell anymore and stop asking you to shave my legs for me? Will you cancel her?"

Boo chuckled and shook his head.

"What if I promise to ring your bell?" I offered as I waggled my eyes suggestively.

"Oh honey. You pee on an old person potty, take stool softeners and can barely brush your own hair. The last thing I'm interested in is you ringing any part of my bells."

With that, he patted me on my head like I was his own personal pet and walked away chuckling, leaving me and my shiny silver bell to be alone.

Perhaps I should never have asked him to trim my toenails.

Hmm. I wonder if my new nanny will do it for me.