I heard it distinctly. It was the impatient tapping of a manicured nail against a coffee cup. It was a cue – and an unspoken reprimand. In other words, the tapping said, "How long does a woman have to wait for another cup of coffee around here?"
Twelve days ago, my wife had foot surgery. Now from her comfy perch on the sofa, she's recuperating – and driving me crazy with her incessant orders, requests, suggestions and reminders.
Don't get me wrong. No one deserves a break more than Diana. She lives with four men: me and our three growing boys. That's a lot of testosterone. Not to mention sweaty socks, sports gear, and snacks. But with her at the helm of our household, things ran so smoothly for so long that we took it for granted.
Now, its chaos around here. Our clothes are dirty, the fridge is empty, the dog is neglected. The kids have to make their beds, bake their brownies, microwave the popcorn, load the dishwasher, and run the vacuum. The troops are in shock at the amount of work it takes just to live.
We're on Week #2. And, to be honest, we're exhausted. At first we doted on our patient. We even gave her a little bell so she could summon us quickly when she wanted something.
Now, we ignore the bell. Even worse, we try to sneak by her without being noticed. She's so needy! "Could you get me ... my phone .... some water ... a Diet Coke with ice... the tv clicker... a pillow for my back?"
Honestly, I don't want to get her that pillow. I might use it to muffle her demands– if only for a little while. I've run so many laps around the house that my Fitbit is about to explode. The boys are complaining that they're living through a perpetual Mother's Day: breakfast in bed, cheerful smiles, household chores. It's a nightmare.
Last night, the boys pulled me aside for a secret family conference outside of the patient's earshot. They were blunt. "Dad, Mom is killing us. Can you take her back to the hospital?"
Wearily, I tried to rally the troops with a rah-rah speech. We can do this, I said, but no one was buying it anymore. Diana's little bell pealed urgently, interrupting me, and the kids just bolted. I haven't seen them since.
If you see them, please return them to FCG. Their mom wants her coffee cup refilled.