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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.
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Reader Comments (39)

Crikey, Tanis! You're not that bad. Hang in there. Maybe she'll only touch SOME of your stuff.

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarcomMom

somehow, i already feel sorry for the new unsuspecting nanny. =p

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRandom

I think at your age it's no longer called a nanny, but a nurse. Besides, it's the life of royalty to have someone else wipe your ass. Did you see Coming to America? Can't be all that bad right? Heh...

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHockeymandad

Maybe she'll have a giant magical bag a la Mary Popping. . or will make you a new frock out of the curtains????

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteradhocmom

i've heard if you just say "please" and "thank you" you can get them to do just about anything. if that helps your plotting.

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterzeghsy

Spongebath, spongebath, spongebath.

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

requesting an hourly spongebath from the new renta-nursernanny will reduce total stay time...

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

You can always send her my way if you don't like/want her. I'll make her clean the house while I watch TV. Hopefully she's a trained masseuse too. She's gonna need to be giving me some good back rubs. And she'd better be able to cook. And work out for me too.

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuzy Voices

What does he know? To post surgical women, that's all foreplay!

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

well, i would like a nanny to bring me cocktails on demand.

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergorillabuns

I'm glad he's pushing some help on you. I remember when the Palinode had back surgery in 2007, and he went thirsty if I wasn't home to get him water. It was ridiculous.

We moved the bed into the living room like a couple of 80-somethings and watched copious amounts of "What Not to Wear".

How'd your tattoo fair?

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterschmutzie

I want a nanny. How much surgery do I have to get before I get one of my own?

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny, bloggess

Hmm... hot invalid... hot nanny... you're going to be able to start charging an access fee for your blog. Two words: live webcam.

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIntrepid Eddie

oh tanis... get well soon sweetpea.
i think you should sit back and milk this for all it is worth. who knows when you will get an in-home Personal Assistant all to yourself again? have fun with it! please? i think this could get REALLY interesting!

hey, heres a thought: maybe you can get her to reorganize all your cupboards and closets and clean your fridge and scour the bathroom tile grunge in the grout and bake cheesecakes and put on puppet shows and and AND... the list is endless, really.


January 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterleel

ps. I totally second @intrepideddie. WEB CAM!

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterleel

Man, that sucks! I will totally agree with you on the popcorn ceilings though- who thought of that crap?!

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Money

I think a nanny could be a good thing. Just think of all the things you can make her do for you and not have to worry about how it will come back to bite you once you are back on your feet like you do with you kids and husband. Enjoy, take advantage of it.

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I would love a house cleaning nanny, ooh one that looks like Gerard Butler (exactly how he looked in 300 please) I could not believe how utterly disgusting my house became in the 9 days since our car accident (umm yeah, neither of us have done damn thing since the night before) so today I decided to tackle the kitchen, I completely underestimated a concussion's ability to kick ones ass for WEEKS..I broke three glasses and two plates, tossed my cookies in the sink and then sat on the kitchen floor wishing I had that nanny to either pick my ass up or bring me a drink.

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGwensarah

I hate that idea FOR YOU! Ugh! A stranger in your house? Your back won't heal for all the tension having to be "on" all the time will cause you! Oh gawd... Can't wait to find out how this all goes down! Hang in there sister...

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie @YMCBuzz

I dunno, I could totally relish a nanny. I'd probably call her The Help in a really snooty voice, though.

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKid Vs. Produce

Lordy girl, you sure can write. Having been married for almost 30 years, I can attest to the fact that your dialogue is spot on.... “What if I promise not to ring my bell anymore and stop asking you to shave my legs for me? Will you cancel her?",,,,,,That there, in context, is effing brilliant. With a hint of "Daddy's little angel," mixed in with a puffy, jutting lower lip. Delivered with a dash of lovable feigned sarcasm. I hear that shit every day. How could I not, I'm married.

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephen

Oh dear... oh dear, oh dear, oh bloody dear. Perhaps she will be able to mix a good martini? Does the woman know what she is in for? Like she is about to be world famous??

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBush Babe

Very funny. Keep the bell handy incase you need to throw it at someone.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoly

That's hilarious! Feel better soon though Tanis, although I AM enjoying these laid up posts - heh

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarcastica

recovery from an operation really sucks but please don't hate on popcorn...that's just wrong.

hope you are up and cracking the whip soon.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertony

Our nanny is WONDERFUL. She cleans, organizes, cooks, does laundry. She takes care of all of, not just my son. Take advantage while you have her!

Feel better soon.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGrandeMocha

I love popcorn but no on the ceiling either. I really am glad that Bo put his foot down because you'll get better faster if you are resting and not doing too much hobbling. Enjoy the perks you've earned it. But quit ringing that damn bell I can hear it from here

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhabanerogal

Really enjoyed reading this. Not so much about your misery and the non-wiping of your ass, but the rest.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthenextmartha

Soooo Tanis, I'll be praying that you recover quickly and God releaves your pain. It's a Christian thingy...ya know!

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOrlin from Marquette

Well, I imagine your "blue doo" has faded by now, so at least you won't scare the nanny as you wander around the house naked!

OR, you could have her help you try green. (Don't forget the Vaseline!)

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkwades

lets hope that the bitch does windows.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelley @ Magnetoboldtoo

My husband made me help scrape all our ceilings. We hate the popcorn too but after doing that, I'm thinking I could have lived with it!

The nurse will be the same, by the time it's over you won't want to get rid of her.

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeSaid/SheSaid

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tanis Miller, Tanis Miller and Tanis Miller, Terri Olenski. Terri Olenski said: RT @redneckmommy: New post at my place. How my husband has reached the end of his rope. And wants to wrap it around my neck. http://bit.ly/9rdiHJ [...]

I'd be insane by now. I don't recover well and I don't sit well. Some healing requires sitting around watching walls move. I hope you are better at it.

January 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkyooty

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with this.

I'll see you at seven.

And toes are absolutely out of the question I'm sorry. I'll call in my Korean nail specialist for you...she love me long time...do anysing fo you. You like flowa on der look real nice? She put pretty flowa on der fo you. Look real nice.

January 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMama Kat

If you see her with a pair of surgical gloves hanging off her belt and a box of suppositories in her hand, just smile

It will soon be over

My wife and I had the same surgery back in 2003. I did the noble thing, I let her have hers first. I mean, nothing says I love you than having the skills of the doctor tested on the one you love before you have it done on yourself, right?

Yeah, we had the same doc, same procedure and just a month apart. Piece of cake, well, if a 3 week old ding dong is the cake.

But hey, relax and enjoy it.

February 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlarrylily

Sorry, but I'm on Boo's side. Anything to make sure that you stay on the mend and make it to Houston.

February 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie @ The Mom Slant

hmmm...hadn't considered the nanny. how come I hadn't considered the nanny? what's wrong w/me? must be all the pain drugs. Been dealing w/back pain for going on 3 years now. Had surgery last year only to re-injure it on Christmas this year. I think I had maybe 2 relatively pain free months. I quit the job, got the house cleaners, and the landscaper, but for some reason never went all the way to nanny....

Dude, take advantage of it, seriously.

February 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermamaspeak

You can ring MY bell anyday.

See, Boo? This is how I will end up with your wife.

February 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMr Lady

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