“Daisy, breakfast is ready”.
5 year old Daisy didn’t need calling twice. She had been waiting for this day for weeks. In her young mind, it felt like a lifetime but now it was here and she couldn’t contain her excitement. She came running down the stairs with shouts of “Coming mommy”.
As she walked into the kitchen, her mother smiled as she took in the sight of her only daughter. She had dressed herself in her new school uniform and apart from the royal blue cardigan which was buttoned up all wrong. Her little girl was all ready for her first day of Fordingbridge Infant School.
“Come here sweetheart, let’s get that cardie buttoned up properly and put your book bag down while you eat your breakfast”.
Reluctantly, Daisy put the bag to one side. She had methodically checked the contents numerous times since she and her mother had bought the ruler, pencils, eraser and a shiny pencil sharpener from the post office in the village.
Finally, it was time and after helping Daisy into her blue anorak which had the stitched school badge on its left breast, the little one stroked it with her hands and exclaimed proudly “I am a big girl now aren’t I mommy”.
As tears filled her mothers’ eyes, she held her little daughter close and with a mixture of sadness and pride answered “Yes, you are my darling, your mommy’s big girl”.
Once they neared the school, Daisy spotted lots of children all wearing the same blue coat. She was smiling broadly and started skipping alongside her mother. She was going to love big school, she just knew it. She belonged.
At the school gates, her mother handed her a little purse which held a shiny £1 coin. “Now here is your dinner money, keep it safe in your bag until your teacher asks for it”.
“I will mommy” Daisy answered but her attention was somewhere else. Already she was through the school gates and into the playground without a backward glance.
“Have a good day” whispered her mother but all she could do was to watch her little girl in her knee length white socks, her shiny T bar shoes and her regulation uniform as she skipped away in search of new friends. She thought to herself how small Daisy looked amongst all the other children Even though Daisy was the same age as the others; the reality was she looked much younger and so tiny.
Once in the playground, Daisy looked around. All of a sudden, she felt a little nervous as she stood there wondering what to do next. She spotted some girls walking towards her and skipped towards them, smiling.
“Who are you?” asked the biggest girl.
Feeling happy that she had made some friends so quickly, Daisy answered “My name is Daisy and it’s my first day here”. The rest of the girls giggled and sniggered behind their hands.
“Stupid” said the big girl “It’s our first day too, it’s everybody’s’ first day”.
Daisy smarted at the word stupid, she had never been called stupid before but she knew it wasn’t a very nice word. She had heard her cousins calling each other stupid and they always got into trouble.
“Look at her eyes” said one of the other girls “She has got big cow eyes”.
Again there were more giggles from the others “She has even got the name of a cow; Daisy, Daisy, Daisy”. Soon they all joined in with the same chorus.
The little girl could feel the hot tears stinging her eyes as she decided she didn’t want to be friends with these girls. She turned her back on the big girl who was still teasing her after quietly telling her “You’re not very nice”. She found her path blocked by two other girls who had joined the group.
The big girl teased again “You’re not nice” imitating Daisy’s voice.
Daisy looked around desperate for somebody to come, where had her mommy gone? She wanted somebody to see and to tell the naughty girls off but nobody came. She felt so alone, school wasn’t supposed to be like this. She was a big girl, she was at school but right now she felt very tiny and awfully sad. She just wanted to go home and never come back to the silly school.
Before she knew it, the big girl had snatched her bag and ran away with it. Daisy ran after her pleading “Give it back, it’s mine, please give it back”.
Again, a chorus of mocking voices echoed “It’s mine, give it back” as she neared the edge of the playground, she followed the big girl behind the trees.
When she got there, the bigger girl had already tipped out all the lovely sharp pencils and was one by one breaking the points off. Next she snapped Daisy’s special ruler in two and then threw the rubber and shiny pencil sharpener up high and over the hedge.
“Stop that, they are mine, stop or I will tell”.
“You had better not tell” threatened the big girl “or else”. Just then, she spotted Daisy’s little purse and helped herself to the dinner money inside. Daisy tried to snatch the bag back but the other girls just shoved her into the trees where the branches scraped and hurt her face.
As the big girl threw Daisy’s bag at her she warned her “Don’t tell or we will get you again”.
“Yeah”, piped up one of the other girls “We will get you Daisy cow”. Tears rolled down Daisy’s red cheeks to a chorus of “Daisy cow, Daisy cow”.
As she bent down to pick her broken pencils and snapped ruler she heard a bell ring. As she emerged from behind the tree with her shiny shoes scuffed, her white socks muddied and her face tear streaked she was just in time to hear the teacher announce
“Welcome children, to your first day at school”.
©Tracey Louise Marinelli