Think back to the first time you were truly, emotionally scarred as a kid.
For me it was when, one recess, Jade Collins told Scott Derby-Clarke that she would give him two steamed dim sims if he dumped me and went out with her. By lunchtime it was over and by little-play Jade and Scott were holding hands in the stinky tunnel.
I was nine.
The humiliation of being passed over for a delicious snack food with a highly questionable filling is something that has stuck with me my whole life. It has been etched on my soul, stinking and dripping with soy sauce out of the corner of the bag.
I’m afraid that if someone asks my youngest daughter the same question she will respond with: “When my Mum made me change schools in grade two.”
Odie LOVED her old school. I mean it. She was king of the kids, everyone in the school knew her and loved her. And why wouldn’t they? She is a rad kid, ask anyone!
But quite seriously, my youngest has a special magic that lives inside of her. She’s sensitive, creative and wired slightly differently to most. When she was in prep, each member of her class was asked what they wanted to be when they grew up. Some responded with “Doctor” or “AFL player.” But my child announced that when she grew up she wanted to be a banana.
Yes, a banana.
When I asked her why she’d chosen that (instead of her usual answer to that question which would be a singing zoo keeper hairdresser) she said she’d been very hungry at the time and being a banana was all she could think about. Her answer was immortalised in the school year book for all to see, she was most proud of that accomplishment.
We are two weeks into the new school year and I am afraid I’ve destroyed her magic.
You see, my lovely little girl is having trouble making friends, and by that I mean no bastard will play with her.
Every night she looks at me with her big blue eyes and tearfully asks if she has to go school the next day. OH GOD THE PAIN. Not to be too dramatic about it but it feels like someone has broken my heart into a bazillion pieces, set it on fire, put it out with acid, ate it, shat it out and then put it through a wood chipper. Part of me wants to respond with “Of course not honey! We can go to the park, eat tiny delicate sandwiches and frolic with nature”. Instead I respond with variations of “Yes babes, it’ll be better tomorrow”.
We’ve been trying different things. On her first day she marched up to a few kids and asked if she could play with them. That’s Odie, brave and open. She was shut down each time with one girl telling her, “We don’t have room for anyone else”.
What the what now?