I had a monumental epiphany on Sunday. It's August! Which, in Durban terms, means it's nearly Summer. And since I'm sporting a stomach that could quite easily be mistaken for an incubation space of a growing foetus, I need to exercise. And eat Summer food. And I need to have started, like, before Winter.
With The Brother and all his manners - The Brother is to manners what the rhythm method is to family planning, but that's a story for another time - and his new-found svelte figure, we hit the beach for a little bit of a tone-up. With The Daughter in tow.
Now this situation is a little bit of an oxymoron. While I could do with the shedding of a few kilos, The Daughter is characterised by her pronounced stick-like figure. She's so little, in fact, that I fear for her going to 'real school' because I may have to enlist the services of a seamstress to custom-make miniature replicas of school uniforms.
The Brother was to run, we were to amble, meet up and drink good coffee. According to The Brother, who, it appears, has replaced all the good things in life with exercise - 11 sessions a week! - believes wholeheartedly in good coffee after cardio. I believe in beer. Castle Lite Draft, to be precise.
So, dressed in shorts and her precious size 8 (the small size 8) feet supported by running shoes that made the legs look not dissimilar to oranges on toothpicks (when in Rome and all that jazz), we began our saunter. I played the 'why-don't-you-chase-Mommy' game to try and up my heart rate. She played the 'why-don't-you-hold-this-end-of-my-elastic-belt-while-I-run-away-from-you-and-then-I-let-go' game. Didn't charm me too much.
And we jogged and chatted and held hands and skipped and giggled and had one of the jolliest impromptu afternoons known to mankind. And we wandered just a touch too far for The Spindly Legged One to return at any pace other than that of A Hurpling Mother Carrying Whingeing Child.
While admiring the buckets of flopping fish of the flopping fisherman on the third pier, The Daughter spotted The Brother resplendent in his leopard print vest and pouring enough sweat to fill a domestic swimming pool. The Daughter launched into a very classy screech of, "Uuuncle!!!! Stop running," which was certainly not out of place amongst some of the pearlers with whom we shared the promenade. Also, and in spite of the fact that she has a lung capacity that I'm sure should be listed somewhere in The Guinness Book of Records, the people that found themselves sauntering along the very same promenade as us, managed to collectively make such a raquet to succinctly drown out the attempts of The Daughter. This, coupled with the fact that The Brother runs with iPod earphones stuck in and Regina Spektor most voluminous thereon (he's been well influenced), meant that his stride was not broken by looking back.
The Pant: (with the realisation that I had car keys, cell phones and wallets; under breath) Shit. Bugger. (Louder now) Alright Sausage. We've got to run to Uncle. I need you to put on your big girl panties and chase after Mom, okay?
The Daughter: I have got panties on, Mom. I remembered.
TP: Well, that's a start. Now chase me.
TD: (The risings of that hysterical whine) My legs don't feel like running. My feet are tired. I hate the beach.
Brilliant. 3 km from the meeting site, at which I'd promised to be waiting by the time The Brother finished his run and The Daughter about to throw a tantrum that would have caused me to react in such a manner that other beach goers would be forced to tut-tut me in manner of, "How can you speak to your very own child in that manner?"
Always a lateral thinker, I approached a rickshaw driver(?).
The Pant: Okay, so how much for a ride back to Suncoast?
Rickshaw Man: Fottie rands.
TP: Great. Let us on.
RM: For one pesson. Ayttie rands for both.
TP: Okay. I'm going to go with no. I'll go and ask that guy with the elephantitis and the joint dangling from his lips.
RM: Fine. Fifty rands.
TP: Right. Hit it.
It took Rickshaw Man a little longer than I anticipated to get going. And his frequent superobics in which he dazzlingly jumped into the air sending The Daughter and my heads dangerously close to the ground had us shrieking with such joy that I even overheard one or two passersby muttering things about me being a "fun mom" and The Daughter being "an absolute delight". And that she most certainly is.
After rounding the corner and The Brother spotting his sister and niece - I mean hearing his sister and niece - in an elaborately adorned rickshaw, even he felt the blush of embarrassment that he burned such a scarlet red I thought he might spontaneously combust, I had yet another epiphany: Life is a pretty damn kiff thing. If you just let it be.