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Oops-Daisy (still working on it...)

by  Spuggy

Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Word Count: 1455
Summary: Daisy has a fantastic life; great job, lovely home, beautiful daughter - but also a dodgy ex on the horizon and a passion for forbiben fruit. With the support of her friend, can she reconcil all the issues in her life?

Chapter 1

‘Thanks Miss Cassidy, we’ll keep your name on file and let you know if anything comes up’. That’s how the conversation usually ended when I was ‘phoning around the nurseries in my area looking for a job. Honest to God, you would think in this day and age that people would be crying out for experienced nursery nurses. After all, this is the age of the working woman, is it not? And even once a vacancy did come up, there was a very high chance that it would be one of less reputable nurseries that I would be loathe to kennel a dog in, much less leave my child all day.

I did have a senior role in Sunshine Tots which was a fantastic nursery. I was assistant manager and it was a great place to work. The staff was efficient, friendly and loved the kids. We built up solid relationships with the parents and by the time our little ones were leaving to start school, I felt as if I were sending my own kids out into the big wide world. Even though I was deskbound for a lot of the time with paper work, I always had time to go and look after the kids in the different rooms as well. My favourite was the baby room – the smell of the talcum powder, the soft cuddly toys, and of course, the adorable babies. I’m one hundred percent sure that my daughter, Lily, is the direct result of me spending so much time in the baby room. Okay, maybe not the direct result after all, we all know what’s involved in making a baby and it doesn’t include Early Learning Centre toys and changing tables. What I mean is that by being around babies so much, the feelings of broodiness overwhelmed me to such an extent that I was tempted on more than one occasion to slip one of the little poppets into my bag and sashay out the door. Thankfully sense (and the fear of being arrested) prevailed and I solved my problem by falling pregnant. I was engaged to my boyfriend of three years – we had decided that we weren’t bothered about doing things in the ‘traditional’ order, so we set about starting our family sooner than we had originally planned.

I fell pregnant pretty quickly, within the second month of trying. I had a dream pregnancy and a reasonably okay delivery – I gave birth to my daughter on a rainy Wednesday morning and fell in love with her immediately.

I called her Lily because I wanted something wildly romantic and feminine, not like my name at all. You see, although everyone calls me Daisy, it’s not my real name. I was christened Susan but when I was four, I took umbrage to my name and, inspired by The Dukes Of Hazard, announced that I would only answer to the name of Daisy. My parents intended to humour me for a little while, but somehow the name just stuck and I went through the rest of my life as Daisy Cassidy. So much more fun than Susan Cassidy, don’t you think? Anyway, I decided to stick with the flower theme when Lily was born. I might do the same if I ever have another girl – I could have Poppy or Rose. Boys could pose a problem though – I’d have to give that some serious thought.

Sorry, I went off on one there. I do that all the time, just ignore me. Now, where was I? Oh yes, looking for a job. So, why did I leave Sunshine Tots when I became pregnant? Well, after Lily was born, I decided that no matter how much I loved my job, I just couldn’t leave her. She was so tiny and defenceless that I hated the thought of anyone else changing her nappy, winding her or nursing her. The thought of someone else discovering her first tooth, applauding her first steps or hearing her first word petrified me. I’ve seen too many faces fall when nursery staff informed a parent that little Becky or Robbie walked or said a word. The look of disappointment is quickly replaced by a fake, overly cheerful mask. I’d bet my last lip-gloss that every mother who had missed such an event wept as she put her child to bed that night. I was determined that wasn’t going to be me. After major discussions and re-jigging of finances with my boyfriend, we worked a way for me to stay at home. We had to downsize our car, cut up some credit cards and work out a new (significantly reduced) monthly spending budget, but we thought that it was worth the sacrifice. Lily was worth it.

So in went my letter of resignation. There was a lovely leaving do at the nursery and I cried like a big girl when the kids gave me home made cards. I felt an honest to God hole in my heart as I left that day, but as I strapped Lily’s car seat into the car, I looked forward to my new life at a stay-at-home mum.

I would love to tell you that I lived the rest of days in domestic bliss – but I have a feeling you know that didn’t happen. To cut a very long story short, domestic bliss was most definitely not on the cards for me. What was on the cards, however, was me discovering that my betrothed was doing the dirty on me. Looking back, it was hardly the romance of the century, but I didn’t see that one coming. Lily was four and a half months old when I picked up his mobile to call my own mobile (I had misplaced it under a heap of washing but couldn’t remember where it was). There was a text message waiting on the screen and the first few words read ‘Miss you so much. Can’t wait…’. Well, call me a meddling old fool if you like, but I couldn’t not read the rest of the message. The upshot of it was that she missed him and couldn’t wait to be together again and how she hated being parted from him. I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of the confrontation (lets just say the words ‘dirty cheating bastard’ were used on more than one occasion) but the end result was that I realised I couldn’t manage on my own financially, so Lily and I moved back home with my parents. Just between me, you and the gatepost, I needed more than financial help. I needed to be cared for, soothed, nurtured and loved. I looked to my own mum and dad to provide all the caring that I provided for Lily. I’m glad to say they obliged.

So I moved back in to my old bedroom while mum and dad converted their spare room into a nursery for Lily. On the mornings that I couldn’t bear the thought of getting out of bed, Mum would gently coax me into going shopping for a new wall-hanging or a teddy bear picture for Lily’s room. Mum and I would head into town and there would be no light-hearted banter over who got to push the pram. Mum knew that for my own sanity, I had to feel in control. I might have lost Lily’s daddy, but there was no way I was letting go of my baby. I never had to tell Mum how I felt, she could tell by the hard line of my jaw and the tight grip I had on the foamy handle of the pram. Although I didn’t realise it, Mum was nursing me through my breakup as I had comforted the kids in the nursery with grazed knees or bruised shins. Mum’s wily plan to re-focus my energies on designing a new nursery worked wonders during the day, but as I lay in bed at night, I plotted my bloody and satisfying revenge on TMF and his new bit on the side. Sorry, I should have explained – TMF is my ex-boyfriend. It stands for The Mighty Fuckwit and that is all he is ever referred to as these days. My friend Grace made a poignant comment the other day – she pointed out that she’s known me for two and a half years and she doesn’t know TMF’s real name. I’ve done it again, gone way ahead of myself. All this stuff happened years ago, four to be precise. Lily is no longer the tiny, pink baby that she was and I am no longer the bitter self-loathing victim. Well, not all of the time anyway.