Okay, so lunch at the neighbours’ was a diet disaster. She made phyllo pastro draped in crumbling feta, dressed with fig pieces to start. For mains, there was seared salmon topped with fresh mango, avo and coriander, served with some delicious form of mash – which I normally don’t eat, because I put it down to a total waste of calories – but it was beautifully unstodgy in its consistency, creamy and utterly divine. What was a girl to do? Even The Princess had some. Not by choice, though. She was perched on my chest in her Baby Bjorn carrier (these things are the BEST, by the way) on my chest, looking out at the dinner table and innocently watching the goings-on. Her head happened to be in the path of my fork on its way from my plate to my mouth, so it was kind of inevitable that I ended up dropping a chunk of seared salmon on her little head, poor angel. The hazards of eating with a baby on you – well, perhaps more hazardous for the baby.
Dinner, I’m afraid was equally hazardous. The Husband’s pilot cousin-in-law was in town before jetting off tomorrow morning and so we took him to The Local Grill. Home of THE best steaks in Jozi. So of course I had to have a fillet. I did pass up the uber yummy shoe string fries in the name of Weight Watchers but their Local Salad with its secret dressing is just too good to be very diet friendly. Anyhoo – today is Monday and what better day to restart a diet than the beginning of a calendar week.
On another note, The Husband came up with a classic yesterday. Contemplating what to do on a Sunday afternoon, he said, with a dead straight face:
“Do you think we can take The Princess to a movie?”
Sure, honey. At the tender age of three months and three weeks, we’ll just prop her up against her box of popcorn, put some Coke in her bottle and discuss montage with her afterwards. I’m sure she’ll love it.
Shame, I think he’s experiencing some form of parenting denial because when I asked him what planet he was on, he didn’t really see the insanity of his question.
“Really?” he said. “We can’t?”
He even made the genius suggestion that we simply take her in her pram, and if she cried, we swiftly wheel her out. The irony is that, six months ago, if a crying kid had to so much as interrupt 10 seconds of his movie, he would have been down the aisle in a flash, lecturing that mom on the selfishness of her actions. But because we’re talking about The Princess here, well, there should be a special Ster Kinekor dispensation for this incredible child!
One area where I am happy to report that he’s no longer in denial, is in the poo department. Would you believe that he has willingly changed poo nappies since the hospital? Not bad, huh? For someone who once swore he’d employ someone to be solely responsible for poo, he’s come a long way…
I’ve just read Truman Capote’s fabulous novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I picked it up while having breakfast at Nice in Parkhurst, in their gorgeous, little adjoining bookshop, where one can browse whilst waiting for one’s scrambled eggs and smoked salmon – a delightful way to spend a Saturday morning. Although The Princess did wake up just as our food arrived, which is highly unusual for her. She really is her Daddy’s girl – she absolutely LOVES restaurants. She feels so at home in them that she usually sleeps just as happily in a restaurant as she does at home in her crib. She doesn’t mind the din of coffee machines, the buzz of people, the noise of the waiters. Normally, she just sleeps. But that particular Saturday morning she woke up wanting food. Fair enough, I suppose, since we were all sitting there enjoying our breakfast baskets.
The other good thing about restaurants is that The Husband likes to show off his fathering skills. So, whilst he will generally decline the offer of a top-up feed at home, he’ll happily oblige in public. Which suits me pretty well as I get to relax while he sees to The Princess when we are out.
When The Husband is around on weekends (which is whenever he’s not cycling) we’ll venture to places like Parkhurst, but when it’s just The Princess and I during the week, she and I frequent Tasha’s, just up the road from us. The bumping along on the pavement on the way there almost always puts her to sleep and so by the time we arrive at Tasha’s she is sleeping like a little angel – mouth open, little arms up with fists in the air every time I peek under the muslin. The picture of content.
When I described to our night nurse (yes, we have one of these angels sent from heaven so we do get to sleep) how good walking to Tasha’s was for The Princess’ day sleeps, she exclaimed:
“Ah! She likes to travel!”
Yes, that’s my princess – she likes to travel, just like her Mommy and Daddy. And not unlike Holly Golightly, the fabulous female protagonist from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Tiffany’s (the magnificent New York jewellery store) is to Holly what Tasha’s is to The Princess. If I recall correctly, the book implies that one can also enjoy breakfasts, brunches and lunches at a Tiffany’s cafe adjoining the jewellery store – hence the name of the novella. Tiffany’s is where Holly goes when she wants to feel safe from the maddening, frightening, ever-changing world. Alas, Holly can’t afford a piece of jewellery from Tiffany’s but she can afford to get the store to print her calling cards. Now, Holly sees herself as a bit of a rolling stone, and so, instead of having her New York address printed on her cards, she simply puts: Holly Golightly, Travelling. Isn’t that great? What a fabulous address for a woman on the move.
Basically, if you haven’t yet read this gorgeous novella, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy. It’s a very quick, easy and entertaining read and Holly Golightly is one of the most amusing and original characters you’ll come across. To view the trailer of the movie, go to:
But back to The Princess, who really will be “travelling” soon. I am thrilled to announce that after only 8 working days, Home Affairs has managed to produce her passport! Now she can venture beyond Tasha’s and out into the world…
I’m on a bit of a campaign to spread the news of how hard it is to have a kid. None of this sugar-coated B.S. when people ask me how it’s going and I coo: “Ah, it’s a miracle!” Nope. I tell them it’s unbelievably, incredibly, mind-blowingly HARD! Why? Because NO-ONE TOLD ME! So I figured I’d tell anyone who wants to listen.
I was on this trip when The Mother Figure’s best friend asked me how things were going. When I told her just how tough I thought mommyhood was, she said the following – wait for it.
“Well, the thing is – you’re not that young anymore.”
WTF? She’s calling me old? I was practically speechless.
“Er…really?” I said.
But what I was thinking was, “You’re not young AT ALL, Grandma!” In fact her grandkids are basically my age. Okay, fine they’re pushing twenty but that’s not that far off 32. Which is apparently half dead. Bloody hell!
I think she saw my look of horror because she went on to clarify by saying that 32 was old to be having one’s first child.
“I mean, I was finished having my babies by the time I was 26,” she said.
I was like, “Maybe, but that was in days when women were named Fanny and no-one found it funny. This is the 21st century and 32 is the new 22 for Christ sake!”
Okay, that’s not what I said but that’s what I was thinking.
I’d thought my post pregnancy troubles all had to do with my expanded waist-line. But now I was fat AND old and I just can’t seem to shake the last 3.5kg of baby boep. And the only reason we’re talking about 3.5kg of lovely lard is thanks to an earth shattering bout of gastro that shed 3kg in something like three days. The gastro was so bad, I thought I was dying so I didn’t even care about the kilos when I was hunched over the toilet bowl – and I do have to be half dying not to care about kilos. The Best Friend, however, didn’t quite see the serious side of the situation.
Best Friend over phone: “Hey. How’re you doing?”
Me: “I’ve just had the worst gastro of my life. I thought I might be dying.”
Best Friend: “Shame… More importantly, though, did you lose weight?”
Me: “I’m horrified. I’ve just told you I was practically dying and you want to know if I lost weight? Okay, if you must know, I lost three kilos.”
Best Friend: “So unfair.”
Me: “I know.”
The issue with the remaining 3.5kg (oh, and the additional aspirational 5-10kg I’ve been trying to lose since I was 14, but one step at a time here…) is that my new home away from home is Tasha’s. The Princess is not the best day sleeper but as soon as I wheel her out of the complex gate in her pram, she’s out for the count. And as soon as I wheel her back towards the front door she wakes up – no matter if we’ve been out for 10 minutes or two hours. It’s like she smells home and she’s wide awake. So what we do is we walk to Tasha’s so she can pass out on the way. We’re there in all of five minutes but we need to pass the time while we’re there so The Princess can carry on sleeping. And so…mommy has a decaff cappuccino (the joys of breastfeeding) and then on some days, a large slice of baked cheesecake jumps out at mommy and demands to be eaten. And all the while The Princess sleeps like a dream…I guess the beauty of a sleeping baby is almost worth all the calories that come along with baked cheesecake.
Anyhoo, enough calorie counting. It’s 10pm which means it’s bedtime for the likes of us “old” mommies.