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An Open Letter To The Owners Of Diemersfontein Pinotage

To whom it may concern,

I would humbly like to submit my name as a candidate for your "One Year Sponsorship of Free Wine" campaign. And while I understand that you don't actually HAVE a "One Year Sponsorship of Free Wine" campaign, I think you will soon agree that it is a very very good idea. And that I should be the first to benefit.

Let me begin by saying that I lead a very blessed and happy life. I am married to the Very Lovely Stephen (who does all the cooking and happily gets up with the children in the middle of the night), mother of 8-year-old Kayla (who is a dream child other than insisting on hiding various items at the bottom of my bed - did I mention that I have a weak bladder?) and the very cute Isabella (who is 19 months old, very vocal and thinks she is the General Manager of the Entire World). I work mostly from home so am able to be very involved in the lives of my children, have an amazing network of friends (including a Book Club that should probably start attending AA sessions sometime soon), and am generally to be found counting my blessings while working in my veggie garden. And by "working", I do of course mean "supervising the gardener while sipping coffee".

It was all going wonderfully. Too wonderfully, in fact. And then it happened - Stephen broke his foot. One minute he was whistling while going down the stairs, and the next he was screaming in agony and clutching his foot while Kayla and I tried desperately to shush him because his screams were drowning out sound of Dance Moms on DSTV.

How did he break it, I hear you ask? He allegedly slipped on one of Bella's plastic sippy cups that she had lovingly placed at the bottom of the stairs. And no, I did NOT push him as one of my friends rudely asked. Why on earth would I want to hurt the father of my children (and maker of my supper every night)?

Needless to say, a trip to the emergency room was in order to confirm that the foot was, in fact, broken - and Stephen later returned on crutches, wearing a massive support boot, and completely white in the face. My heart sank. How on earth was he going to cope? And by "he", I do of course mean "me".

On the plus side, Stephen cleverly broke his LEFT foot, which meant that he could drive an automatic, which necessitated swapping cars with him. So instead of driving an automatic Mommy Van, I have been driving Stephen's much smaller gear-operated vehicle, which is absolutely fine except for the fact that I have forgotten HOW to use the gears. This means stalling the car at every possible opportunity, forgetting to change gears and thereby nearly setting the engine on fire by driving in second gear all the way to the shops, and being laughed at by at least four taxis a day when I try to prevent them from cutting in front of me.

Then there's the sleep - or lack of it, because Poor Stephen cannot get comfortable at night while wearing his massive boot. This means he has to sleep on his back, which brings on massive episodes of snoring, and then I have to bite my fist to stop myself from screaming at him or lovingly smothering him with a pillow.

Isabella, bless her heart, decided that now would be a brilliant time to go through a growth spurt and start behaving like a 2-year old (instead of the one-and-a-half-year-old that she actually is.) It's been nothing short of adorable watching the massive increase in her vocabulary, sense of independence and all-fall-down temper tantrums that make me want to chop both my ears off with the rusty garden shears. Everything is now "me do", "move", "stop it" and "no" (with just enough spontaneous kisses and "love yous" to prevent me from throwing her over the wall into the neighbour's garden. The one that inherited the chickens. And half my tree during a storm. She loves living next door to me!)

Kayla, bless her heart, has ensured that I have maintained a small vestige of sanity in between helping Stephen bandage his foot, rub his aching calves, massage his blistered hands from the crutches and shout at him for stubbornly refusing to acknowledge that he is HURT and should not be shopping for groceries while hopping on one foot. Sadly though, Kayla has discovered a new game and insists on hiding SOMEWHERE in Bella's darkened room each night so that when I sit in her rocking chair to give her a bedtime bottle, Kayla jumps out from under the cot, behind the curtains (or lately, from inside the cupboard with a torch shining up from under her chin) - scaring the living snot out of me and making her sister laugh. I have now developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and cannot for the life of me get rid of this twitch above my left eye.

As a result, I have been nothing short of exhausted, which led to a (now-ex) friend recommending I try a three-day Juice Cleanse. Apparently, these three days of ingesting nothing but almond milk and various cold-pressed fruit and veggie juices would send my energy levels through the roof and reboot my body into eating healthily. I signed up the next day. And it truly was wonderful, for the first few hours when my body did, in fact, enjoy the lighter meals and sense of discipline it takes to refrain from eating. The first night wasn't that fun when I had to drink some green concoction while watching Stephen and Kayla eat sushi, but even that was manageable. Until Day 2 - when I was convinced I had the Ebola virus. I won't go into too much detail - but let's just say that it felt like the worst stomach bug of my life. So much so that I actually began to look forward to seeing the Pearly Gates and being welcomed into my Eternal Reward. (I don't actually remember much of Day 3 other than Stephen and Kayla cowering in the corner and throwing chocolates at me. At one point, I think Stephen even yelled "For the love of God woman, eat a bloody piece of bread!" Bella remained unfazed and calmly told me to move from "her spot" on the couch. I am beginning to suspect that I may have given birth to Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory).

Stephen then in his wisdom, decided to fulfill his work commitments and go on an overseas trip with a broken foot, two crutches and a massive boot, leaving me with the girls. Bless. True to form, Kayla didn't cope well with the absence of her much-loved father and began having sleepless nights - and not wanting to wake her nervous-wreck-of-a-mother, chose NOT to wake me but instead stand next to my bed breathing quietly and not answering when I eventually squeaked out "Kayla, is that you?" (Did I mention I have a weak bladder?)

So as you can very well see (if you have managed to read this far without losing the will to live), the last few weeks have been tiny bit stressful but nothing that can't be overcome with a bottle or two (per night) of Diemersfontein Pinotage. In my defense, it will form part of my "New and Improved Juice Diet" (drinking anything containing fermented grapes), will greatly improve my sleeping patterns and will probably save the life of my still-snoring husband. As for my toddler, I think I'll just start saving for therapy. Or cocaine. I think I'm going to need it!

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