I lost P today.
It was only for a few minutes, but I swear time stops when you panic like that.
The morning started off really well. S is finally feeling better and went back to school for the first time in a week. I actually had both S & H home yesterday as he has been complaining of stomach pain. This is another post all in itself, but I wanted to get him checked out as I’m trying to sort out what is physical and what anxiety.
He seemed fine this morning and the weather was sunny and mild, so we decided to walk. Today is my day home with P, so the three of us set out to enjoy the sunshine and snowbanks on our way to school. All was well until we got closer to the school. Suddenly H started complaining that his stomach hurt again. He was grabbing at his tummy and making noises like he was hurting, and said that he needed to use the bathroom. It was still 5 minutes before the bell was supposed to ring, so S, H & I rushed to the gate of the kindergarten pen with P trailing behind us. I called out to him to hurry, and saw him walk towards us.
The teacher there told us to check his classroom and see if his teacher was there. If so, we could use the bathroom in the class. Luckily she was there (and is wonderful!) and helped us inside. H was on the verge of tears as I helped him out of his snowsuit so that he could run to the bathroom. I had been in the room for 2 – 3 minutes before I looked up and saw S behind me, but not P.
I gasped and immediately wanted to throw up. I panicked and realized that he was not there. He didn’t come into the room with us. I told S to run out into the yard to look for him while I gave H one last quick hug and had to leave him half undressed and upset on the bench.
I ran outside and couldn’t see P or S. The bell rang right that moment and there were kids EVERYWHERE. I normally dress P in a bright yellow Minion hat for this very reason– he tends to wander away to do what he wants, but he has always stayed relatively closeby. The yellow hat makes him easy to spot in a crowd. The past few days he has wanted to wear a reversible snowman / penguin hat that he loves… and of course that’s what he was wearing this morning. Black hat and black coat. As I frantically scanned the sea of children, all I could see were black hats and black coats.
I could feel the panic rising in my throat as the seconds ticked by and kids streamed all around me. I started walking toward the nearby park, hoping he had gone there, when I spotted S’s bright pink coat walking towards me.
And a small black hat was walking next to her, holding her hand. He was crying his eyes out and started running as soon as he saw me. S gave me a quick hug and kiss before she darted into the school, and I stood in the yard and held P while he cried and said,
“I was all alone, Mommy. I don’t like when you hide.”
Between that and knowing that I had had to leave H upset and on his own in the cubby to rush out to find P left me feeling like the worst mother in the world. I know these things happen and in total, this all happened in the span of about 4 minutes, but… there is nothing quite like the panic that comes with realizing that you don’t know where your child is.
My heart is heavy today. P is fine and we’ve had hot chocolate and lots of snuggles since coming home, but it’s hard. When something like this happens it’s so hard not to berate yourself and see all the ways this is completely your fault. How did I not check that he wasn’t with me when I went inside? I always check. There are 34328840239 ways this could have gone so wrong…
…and I’m just so grateful that none of them happened.
I promised P that I will never hide like that again, and while I know H is in the care of two amazing teachers who are looking after him… I can’t wait until school is over so that I can give him a hug, apologize for leaving him like that and explain what happened.
It’s been a day. I’m ready for tomorrow.
This is a little different from what I normally post, but it’s my FAVOURITE soup and I get asked for it all the time, so… here I am. I hate recipes that basically have the poster’s life story before the actual cooking instructions, so I’ll keep it quick. In short, M went to a cottage with an old friend, and while he was there his friend’s mom made a soup that was to die for. There was no real recipe, it was just one of those “kitchen sink” recipes that had been made over and over and was never really written down.
(Aren’t those always the best kind?!)
When he got home, we went to the grocery story and walked around as he tried to grab all the things he remembered from the soup. After a little experimenting, this is it. It’s our favourite soup, and I am asked for this recipe every. single. time I take it anywhere. So, without any futher ado, here you go!
Spicy Sausage Soup* (Serves 6ish)
Prep Time – 20 Minutes
Cooking Time – 40 minutes
* 1 tsp Oil (Olive, Canola or Avocado work well)
*3-5 Hot Italian Sausages (This will determine how spicy your soup is.)
*7-8 Cups Chicken broth
*3 Stalks of Celery
*1 Head of Broccoli
*1/2 Onion (White or Spanish)
*1/2 Cup corn (frozen or fresh)
*1 Package Potato Gnocchi
*3/4 tsp Dried Basil (You can add more to taste)
*Salt & Pepper
1. On your stovetop, heat oil in a large pot. Remove casings from three (or more) sausages and brown the meat. (If you want a bigger batch of soup, you can cook all five!) While the meat is cooking, I like to break it apart into small chunks with a wooden spoon.
2. When your meat is mostly cooked, add in the chicken broth. Do not drain the meat–that’s what brings the magical flavor to your soup! Bring to a low simmer.
3. Add in your basil, salt and pepper. Let your soup simmer for a few minutes then give it a taste–feel free to add more of each if you like!
4. While your soup simmers, chop the veggies. Dice your onion, celery, broccoli and zucchini into bite size pieces. Set aside.
5. After your soup has simmered for 15 minutes or so, add in the veggies. Toss the onion, celery, zucchini and corn into the pot.
6. Start cooking your gnocchi according to the package directions (in a separate pot). As they boil and rise to the surface, transfer into your soup pot with a slotted spoon.
7. Stir everything together and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. If your soup looks too thick, just add in more chicken broth (or water) to get your desired consistency.
8. Serve & enjoy!!
P was in fine form tonight.
It started after school. We have swimming lessons right after school, so I pick everyone up then it’s a whirlwind to get everyone over to and into the pool.
P wanted to go home and play with his toys and wasn’t impressed when I told him we had to go straight to the pool. We may or may not have had to carry him out to the vanimal and strap him in to get him there, but… you know.
The swimming itself was uneventful and we survived without any major mishaps. Our regular routine is to divide and conquer when we get home–I whip up a quick dinner while M tubs the kids. P was not happy about having to have a bath… but we eventually got him sedated with a little Steve and Maggie and got through it.
After dinner and a bit of playtime, it was time for bed.
It’s amazing just how slow a child can go upstairs when they have decided that what is up the stairs is the worst in the world. When he finally made it to the top, he was adamant that he needed to be the one to squeeze the toothpaste out the tube.
Which he did, successfully. It also happened to be almost the entirety of the tube, but he definitely got some out! When I asked him to let me help him brush his teeth, he lost. his. mind. He kicked into major meltdown mode and was flailing and yelling and crying, and every time I tried to get him in his bed, he would scream and run back out.
I’m not proud of it, but by this point I was just… done. I’m exhausted after picketing / walking for four hours this morning and my patience was worn through. So, I yelled. He cried and still didn’t get into bed, but we eventually made peace after I laid down with and hugged it out.
When I left his room I thought that I was done for the night. S & H were asleep, and he was quiet so I slipped downstairs to watch some TV with M. We were sitting on the couch when I saw an mail pop up on my phone about an amazon Kindle purchase. I was a little confused and asked M if he had bought a book on my account. I showed him my phone, and he was as confused as I was. As we puzzled two more book purchases came through, totaling about $50 so far. We worried that someone had hacked into my amazon account and was making purchases, so I ran up the basement stairs to get my laptop from the living room.
As I got up the stairs, I noticed a shadow move. There, sitting on the steps was P… playing with my Kindle. My child that I thought was in bed, instead sat there swiping the screen buying books. I didn’t even know that you could BUY books through the Kindle… I’ve only ever purchased through Amazon on my computer.
I grabbed the Kindle out of his handle and pointed up the stairs. He dragged his feet back up to his bed and I went down to figure out if I could return all the books he had purchased. Thankfully Amazon is good and all is well… and I will never again leave my Kindle where small hands might find it!
Here’s hoping that tomorrow is a little less combative… this mama is tiiiiired.
I went to go see Little Women with my book club tonight.
First off, I love these ladies. We come from all walks of life and are all different ages and they are all WONDERFUL. I seriously feel so lucky to know them.
We read Little Women & Good Wives before Christmas, and as the new movie is in the theatres right now, we decided to ditch our traditional coffee shop hangout and go see the film. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical as I am a big fan of the Susan Sarandon version… but the story drew me in and I absolutely loved it. I laughed, I cried and I fell in love with Jo March all over again.
There was something about the way they told the story in this version that really spoke to me. Instead of presenting the story line chronologically as it is in the book, it’s all chopped up and flips back and forth between the present and the girls’ childhood. It bothered me at first, but then I sort of fell in love with it. It really connected how the experiences of their youth shaped them in their future lives.
Watching it made me feel so… alive. Jo has always been one of my favourite literary characters, and she lives and breathes her passion for writing. She wrestles with it so much, but she finally figures out what she’s meant to write… and it’s not even for her. It’s for Beth. It gives her purpose. Meaning.
As I saw the end scene with her holding the first bound copy of her book I realized how badly I want that. Not necessarily a book itself, but to write something that really means something to me. Watching it made me want to wake up my brain and do something with it again.
Watching it made me want to go for walks and play piano. Be outside and just think. Appreciate music and art. Watching it made me feel so inspired.
It made me realize that I used to feel this way, but I’ve been silencing it by scrolling mindlessly on my phone instead of letting myself be bored. Of not allowing my imagination out of the narrow box I’ve put it in. Of keeping myself in a safe little box, free from judgement or questions.
I feel like I woke up tonight. It feels a little silly to say that Little Women woke me up, but it’s like my heart is on fire with all the things I want to do… and instead of coming up with all the reasons why I can’t / shouldn’t do them, I’m just… going to do them. And see what happens.
I’ve always felt like I’ve been more of a Meg… but maybe there’s a little Jo in me too.
Well, I didn’t post yesterday.
I wanted to, but this weekend was just so full of so much goodness that by the end of it I was just too tired to think. When we finally got the kids into bed last night we were both exhausted and ended up on the couch watching Jumangi. It wasn’t nearly as good as the original, but it was still kind of fun.
This weekend was so lovely. M took me downtown to see Phantom of the Opera, and this was BY FAR the best production I’ve seen. I am such a theatre junkie… musicals are my drug. I’m obsessed. My lovely lovely lovely brother came to watch the kids for us so we had a night out that was magical and worry free.
(Aside from the weird torrential rain, flooding and freezing rain warnings… but, you know.)
Yesterday we went and had dinner with my cousin and her family who have just moved nearby. I am SO EXCITED to have family super close to us… they also have three young kids and are just all around wonderful and it was just… good. <3
In other news, work has been suuuuper slow lately. I worked on half day last Monday, and nothing since. As I’m only available to work Mon / Wed / Fri right now my options are already limited. This week my board is on strike on Wednesday and it’s a PA Day for the kids on Friday so… this week is a bust for me too. *sigh* C’est la vie. It’s January and it’s exam season so I think this will be my life until semester two starts.
On the bright side, it leaves me lots of time to write.
I’ve been wading through the responses I’ve received to organize and group them a little. In five days, 60 women have responded. I’m hoping to have my first article written and posted by the end of the week… and I hope I can honor what they have shared with me in some small way.
In other, other news, P has left his bed 8 times already and is STILL AWAKE. It’s 10pm. I love him dearly, but seriously. GO TO BED.
…make that 9 times. Time to put my no-nonsense mom face on.
This mama is CLOSED.