I officially feel like a student again. Why? Because I have just waxed my own legs. The only difference between now and my student days is that I can afford Veet strips, whereas before I had to rely on good old Mandy's Wax. You'll know exactly what I mean if you've ever had the misfortune of having to wax your own legs.
The reason I'm waxing my own legs is also one of the reasons I haven't been blogging in the last month and a bit. The Father Figure fell ill in early October and has been in various hospitals dotted around the Western Cape. Tomorrow, The Princess, her nanny and I, will make our way to George while The Husband is in London for work, so that I can go and visit my dad. Hence, I am missing my wax appointment on Monday and hence the return to studentdom.
Although it is still early days in terms of The Father Figure's overall recovery, he is out of danger, thankfully. And one thing this whole ordeal has taught me is that he is way, way tougher and stronger than I ever gave him credit for. Turns out he's a fighter! It is very scary confronting the reality that your parents are not immortal but I suppose it makes one realise that our time with our parents is right here, right now. I read an autobiography by a recovered alcoholic, Alice King, a few years ago. Although she was still a fully-fledged alcoholic when she lost her father, she describes how she coped well with his death, despite being very, very close to him. She put it all down to the fact that she "had no unfinished business" with him. Isn't that great? I can't say I would have felt the same way had my dad not pulled through and so I feel very, very fortunate to have been given a chance to work on any "unfinished business" between us.
One piece of business that my dad's illness put paid to, was my half marathon goals. I would love to lay the blame at The Father Figure's feet, but that would be grossly unfair. The truth is, I probably would have clung to any old excuse to get out of my self-imposed running commitments. Whilst I feel I am living proof that anyone with two working legs can run if they put their minds to it, the fact of the matter is that I am just not a runner. I find it incredibly hard, incredibly painful, incredibly uncomfortable. Not to mention the mental anguish I put myself through before hitting the road.
Instead, The Princess and I have become serious walkers. Walking with a baby really is a win-win situation: the baby sleeps, you get exercise, the baby gets fresh air, you get out of the house. There are just advantages all round. On weekends, I sometimes bump into my neighbour going for a run with his two and a half year old daughter in a jogger. Now he's a really, really good athlete but recently he confessed to me that running with a jogger is approximately twice as hard as running without one. That is just not something someone like me can cope with.
So while the Irene half marathon was taking place two weekends ago, The Husband, The Princess and I were enjoying a lazy day out at a Latin themed picnic. Way more fun than running 21km! As for the Surfers Marathon in East London in Feb next year that I made such a big noise about on a previous blog… well, apparently it's physiologically not good to run it. Something about all that uneven sand and what it does to your joints etc… Anyhoo, it sounds VERY dangerous and I, for one, am not about to take those kinds of unnecessary risks with my body. So I will either be drinking a glass of wine and congratulating myself on my prudence or I'll fly to East London and walk the route with my half-sister.
On the weight loss front, I've been more successful than on the running front. I'm a few hundred grams away from my lowest weight in the months leading up to my pregnancy. That does not mean I'm near my goal weight, it simply means I "only" have those 10 kilograms to lose that I've been trying to shed since Std 8. But at least it's 10kg once again and not 17kg, which is what I was facing in July this year, after a winter at home with a newborn baby and finding friendship in food.
And so it was, 7kg lighter, that I managed to squeeze myself into an LBD from 1999 for The Husband's 40th birthday party the other day. It literally was a little black number from the late nineties. I remember the date well, because it was The Husband's first Christmas present to me in the year we started dating. In my defence, it is a fairly timeless black dress, so it seemed okay to dust off the cobwebs and whip it on, twelve years later.
What also seemed okay at the time, was to drink my body weight in sparkling wine. In fact, that probably would have been fine, had there not also been some shooters enjoyed with another "new" mom, who has also barely left the house after dark in the past 8 months.
After my pregnancy, my first reconciliation with champagne came when The Princess was about three or four weeks old. I was not coping. I was being advised by a rather fascist breastfeeding consultant who had me on a three hourly expressing regime around the clock. I was seeing her every other day out of desperation and every time she came around, it seemed I had yet again done something wrong. It was either "your baby's not getting enough sleep!" or "your baby's starving!" or something indicating what a failed, first time parent I was proving to be. So, after I'd decided I'd had enough of this woman, I called for the help of the woman who had taken the ante-natal classes I'd been to at the Morningside Clinic. She was also a qualified Sister, but one who wore make-up. In short, my kind of girl. Her parting words to The Husband and I were:
"Right, here's what you're going to do now. It's Friday night and your nanny's on duty. You need to go out for dinner, order a bottle of champagne and celebrate the birth of your baby."
My protests about alcohol being bad for milk production were tut tutted and dismissed with the words: "Nonsense! Champagne makes milk!"
I was pretty sure that was an old wives' tale and basically, just too good to be true, but who was I to argue with a fully qualified Sister?
The long and short is that we were both so exhausted we were out for dinner for about 45 minutes flat. I downed as much French champagne as I could physically stomach – can't let the good stuff go to waste – and then proceeded to pass out on our bed while my bath overflowed. So much for Party Mommy.
Now, nearly eight months later, I was determined to party all night at The Husband's 40th. Needless to say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and I woke up at 6am the next morning with a headache from hell, still wearing my party dress from 1999. The bad news was that I couldn't quite remember how or when I'd crawled into bed but the good news was that The Princess' nanny was there and so I rolled over and went back to sleep again.
Party Mommy might be out of practice, but at least she's back on the horse and getting in gear for the festive season…