DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT own any of the chars from TLM. They belong to Disney. I do however own anyone you don't recognize.
God loves you

"Melody's First Day of School"

Ariel grinned as she gazed down at her daughter. Melody had just turned four two weeks ago and today was her first day of pre-school.

Ariel and Eric had talked about it for a while now and they both decided it was the best thing for her.

Ariel was still a little nervous about letting Melody go on her own for six hours a day, but Eric assured her she would be fine.

Ariel knew he was right, but she was still apprehensive about it.

"All right, Mel, are you ready?" Ariel asked.

Melody looked a little hesitant, but she nodded all the same.

"It's okay to be afraid." Ariel assured her. "But I promise, I'm not leaving until you say it's all right."

This seemed to help Melody feel a little better.

Ariel helped Melody get dressed and did her hair.

After that was done, Ariel led her daughter downstairs for breakfast.

She made her some cereal and sat down to eat with her.

While they ate, they talked about their upcoming visit to Atlantica that weekend, among other things.

Once breakfast was over, Ariel and Melody left the house and headed for Melody's pre-school. It was located just four blocks away from their house.

This was one of the things Ariel and Eric liked about it. The other thing was the teachers seemed to really care about the kids.

When they got there, they were greeted by Melody's teacher, Miss Anna.

She was a petite woman with shoulder length blond hair and kind brown eyes.

She gave them both a smile and knelt down to Melody's level.

"Hi Melody!" She greeted the little girl. "Are you ready for your first day of school?"

Melody frowned uncertainly.

"She's a little scared." Ariel explained. "I told her I'd stay with her for a while. I hope that's all right."

Miss Anna nodded.

"It's more than okay." She said. "You're welcome to stay as long as you like."

Ariel smiled gratefully.

"Thank you."

"It's my pleasure." She said. "Why don't you two look around. I have to go welcome the other students."

Once she was gone, Ariel led Melody over to where a set of cubbies were.

"Mel, look!" She said with as much excitement as she felt when she found another treasure. "This is where you'll put your book bag and lunch every day. Do you want to put your lunch and teddy bear in here until later?"

Melody thought for a minute before nodding her head.

Ariel decided to make a game out of it in an effort to get Melody smiling.

"Can you find your cubby?" She asked. "Come on. Let's see who can find it first." With that, she started searching the row of cubbies, hoping Melody would do the same.

Melody started looking after a minute or so.

Her eyes lit up in recognition when she saw her name written in dark blue letters above a pink cubby decorated with kittens inside.

"Mommy! I see it! I found it! That's my name!"

Ariel grinned at her daughter's success and slight change in mood.

"Good girl!" Ariel praised her.

Melody grinned. She loved it when Ariel told her she did something right.

Once melody's things were put away, they looked around the classroom some more.

Melody seemed interested in the reading corner and the art center the most.

Just then, Ariel heard the sound of a child crying.

Frowning to herself, she decided to see if she could help.

She told Melody she would be back and went to where the sound was coming from. She knew Melody would be okay for a few minutes.

Ariel found herself at the front of the classroom.

A young woman was trying to pry a little girl off her leg.

The little girl looked terrified and tears were streaming down her face.

Ariel's heart broke. She knew not all parents were able to stay with their children their first day of school due to work and other obligations.

"Hi there." Ariel said, kneeling down to the child's level and giving her a warm smile. "My name is Ariel. What's your name?"

"Can you tell her your name?" The young woman asked the child. "Tell her your name." She prompted her daughter.

The little girl gazed at Ariel, but didn't answer.

The young woman gave Ariel an apologetic look before answering the question.

"Her name is Stephanie." She replied. "She's four-years-old."

Ariel nodded.

"Hi Stephanie." She said. "It's okay to be afraid." She assured her. "My daughter, Melody, was afraid for a little bit too. But we're going to have a lot of fun today. Do you like to make pictures?"

Stephanie nodded.

"Melody loves to draw too. Do you want to draw a picture with her? You can give it to your Mommy after school."

Stephanie thought about this for a minute. She gave her mother a big hug before cautiously extending her hand to Ariel.

Stephanie's mother mouthed 'thank you before leaving the room.

Ariel gently led Stephanie over to where Melody was coloring.

"Melody, I want you to meet Stephanie." Ariel introduced once the child had sat down. "She's new today too."

"Hi Stephanie!" Melody greeted. She wasn't shy when it came to making friends. "Do you wanna draw with me?"

Stephanie nodded, although she didn't say anything.

Soon, the girls were both drawing pictures for their respective parents.

While the girls drew, Ariel helped more children ease into things.

Before long, three more girls had joined their table.

Their names were Kassie, Sophie and Savannah.

As Miss Anna passed the table on her way to the supply closet, she gave Ariel a thumbs-up and grinned.

Ariel knew that was a good thing, so she smiled back.

When circle time rolled around, Ariel led Melody, Kassie, Sophie, Savannah and Stephanie over to the story carpet.

They all sat, although Melody wanted to sit in Ariel's lap.

Ariel allowed her to as long as she listened to the teacher.

Melody promised she would and Ariel pulled her onto her lap.

In the middle of Miss Anna reading them a story, Melody looked over and saw that Stephanie was sitting alone.

She whispered to Ariel that she wanted to sit next to her.

Ariel smiled approvingly and let her go. She watched her progress until she was sitting down and then checked on the other children.

"Okay." Miss Anna said as she held up the book. "Who can tell me what this animal is?"

Several kids started shouting answers at once, but Melody and Stephanie raised their hands.

Miss Anna smiled at them and ended up picking Melody.

"Mel, can you tell us what this animal is?"
Melody looked at her teacher in confusion. Nobody ever called her 'Mel except for her mother.

She didn't like someone else calling her it.

Ariel saw the problem immediately and tried to rectify the situation before Miss Anna mistakened Melody's silence for rudeness.

"Miss Anna," she said quickly. "Can I talk to you for a second?"

"Of course." The teacher replied. She instructed the children to stay seated while she and Ariel talked.

Ariel led the teacher over to a corner of the room before starting her explanation.

"Melody wasn't trying to be rude," she started.

"I know." Miss Anna assured her. "I didn't think that. I thought she was just shy."

Ariel shook her head.

"No. You see, I'm the only one who calls her 'Mel. Not even my husband, Eric, uses that name for her. I've called her that as a special name ever since she was born. She's grown to associate it with me as a part of our bond. When you called her it today, I think you confused her. Melody's fine with people calling her honey and sweetheart and things like that. She just knows 'Mel as my special name for her and she usually won't answer to it if anyone else uses it."

"I completely understand." Miss Anna said. This made Ariel sigh with relief. "My daughter, Samantha is the same way. I'm the only one who calls her 'Sammie. I'll try hard to remember next time."

"We'd really appreciate it. " Ariel told her.

Miss Anna nodded.

After they returned to the carpet, Miss Anna called on Melody again. She used her name this time and Melody was all too willing to answer her.

"It's a cat!" She said proudly.

"That's right." Miss Anna said. "Good girl. Now, can anyone tell me what cats eat?"

"Fish!" The kids chorused in unions.

Miss Anna laughed as did Ariel.

"Exactly." Miss Anna told them. "Now, let's see…Today, I'm going to read you a story called "The Cat Who Didn't Like Fish."

"That's silly!" Kassie proclaimed while giggling.

"Yeah." Melody agreed. "All cats like fish!"

"Well, let's see why this cat didn't' like it." Miss Anna said. With that, she started the story.

Melody ended up sitting with Stephanie and Kassie during lunch. The three girls talked about their favorite books and movies while they ate

Ariel ate with Miss Anna and the two talked amongst themselves while still keeping an eye on the children.

The kids were relatively good for the most part.

Miss Anna had to break up a few verbal arguments, but other than that things went smoothly.

Once lunch was over, Miss Anna announced it was soon naptime.

A few of the kids groaned, but they didn't complain anymore than that.

"I could sing them to sleep." Ariel offered. "I sing to Melody all the time."

"That would be wonderful!" Miss Anna exclaimed. She then turned to the room at large. "Would everyone like it if Ariel sang for us?"
"YES!" Came the unison reply.

Melody's yes was the loudest of all.

Ariel grinned around at the children.

"Okay. But you have to lay down and do exactly what Miss Anna tells you."

The children obeyed at once and soon the room was quiet.

After everything was set up, the kids laid down and Ariel offered to pat some of them. She patted Melody first and then went onto the others.

She then asked a question she would soon regret.

"Does anyone have a song they want me to sing?"

"Sing "He's Never Failed Me yet." Stephanie requested.

Melody piped up just then.

"Mommy, sing "Part of Your World" please?"

Ariel frowned. As much as she wanted to fulfill her daughter's request, she knew she couldn't, at least not here.

"I'm sorry, sweetheart. I can't. But I'll sing it to you tonight."

"Why not?" Melody asked.

"Mel, I'll sing it to you tonight." Ariel told her. "I promise. I just can't sing it here." With that, she started singing the song Stephanie requested.

Melody frowned in disappointment. She had really been looking forward to hearing her mother sing one of her favorite songs.

After Ariel was done singing Stephanie's choice, another little girl named Bridget asked her to sing "A Voice in the Night."

Once she was done, she picked a song of her own to finish with.

It wasn't "Part of Your World" but she prayed Melody would catch onto her apology all the same.

"Thank you. " Miss Anna said in a loud whisper so she wouldn't wake the now sleeping children.

"You're welcome." Ariel replied. "It was my pleasure."

"I was thinking…" The other woman said. "We always need extra help. How would you like to be my TA?"

"What's a TA?" Ariel asked.

Miss Anna smiled. She didn't' think anything of it, considering nobody knew everything.

"It stands for teacher's assistant." She explained. "Would you be interested?"

Ariel's eyes lit up.

"Sure!" She said. "Thank you."

"No problem." She replied.

Just then, Ariel heard someone calling her name.

She knew it wasn't Melody because the person hadn't called her 'Mommy.

Glancing over to where the voice was coming from, she realized it was Stephanie.

"Stephanie, what's the matter, sweetheart?" Ariel asked, coming over and kneeling beside her.

"Are you gonna be here every day?" She asked.

Instead of answering with a yes, Ariel posed her own question.

"If I was, would that make you feel better about coming?"

Stephanie smiled.

"Uh-huh." She said before closing her eyes.

Ariel smiled.

"Good." She whispered. She then started humming "Part of Your World" to help Stephanie get back to sleep. "Sweet dreams, Steph." She said.

"That's amazing." Miss Anna commented. "I've never seen Stephanie take to anyone like that before. I've had her before and she always shies away from new people."

Ariel grinned before going back and checking on Melody.

Her daughter was fast asleep. She had one arm around her teddy bear and the other at her side.

"I love you, Mel. " Ariel whispered as she kissed her cheek. "I'm sorry about this afternoon. I'll make it up to you tonight."

Melody rolled over and mumbled something in her sleep.

"Shh," Ariel hushed while putting a hand through her hair. "Shh, Mommy's right here. Shh.."

Ariel's method worked a few minutes later.

Just then, Kassie called Ariel's name. She had to go to the bathroom.

After Ariel gave her permission, she tucked her back in after she was done and sung her "The Tree song."

An hour and a half later, almost all of the children were awake.

The only ones that were still sleeping were Bridget and Madison.

Miss Anna advised Ariel to let them wake up on their own.

Ariel didn't' need any advising. She knew how grumpy Melody got sometimes whenever she was woken up early from a nap.

Ariel gazed over at her daughter who was happily playing a game of jacks with Stephanie, Kassie and a little girl named Tiffany.

"Do over!" Stephanie shouted with glee.

Melody giggled, but obliged her new friend.

Once the game was over and Melody had won, Ariel approached them.

"Ariel, do you wanna play the next game?" Stephanie offered.

"Sure." She said. "But I need to talk to Melody for a second first."

"Is she in trouble?" Stephanie wondered.

"No." Ariel assured her. "We just need to talk. We'll be right back. Why don't you guys set up another game."


With that, Ariel led Melody into the hallway.

Getting to a spot in between the main office and a supply closet, Ariel knelt down to her daughter's level.

Melody hadn't said anything to her since they left the room.

She frowned as she gazed up at her mother.

"Melody, I know you're upset with me," Ariel started. "And it's okay. But I think I owe you an explanation."

"Why didn't you sing "Part of Your World"?" She asked. "You always sing it to me at home."

"I know. But that's when we're at home. Sweetheart, the reason I didn't sing it to you here is because that's the song I used to sing before I was Human. When I was still wondering about them."

"So?" Melody retorted. Her tone wasn't one of irritation nor was there any challenge in it.

She was simply trying to understand.

Ariel thought of the best way to explain this to her.

She finally got an idea.

"You know how we don't tell everyone about Aunt Aquata losing her first baby?"

"Yeah." Melody replied.

"Well, that song is something that needs to stay a family thing too. It's not a bad thing, it's just something that should only be sung at home. Besides, you're the only one I sing it for. Do you understand now, Mel?"

Melody nodded.

"Yeah. I'm sorry I got mad at you." She said.

"It's okay." Ariel assured her. "I'm sure it won't be the last time."

"I love you." Melody told her as she gave her a hug.

"I love you too, Mel. And I'll bet this will make you crack your teeth. What would you say if I told you Miss Anna offered me a job in your classroom?"

"Really?" Melody asked, a smile forming almost immediately.

"Yup." Ariel said. "I'll be working here every day."

Melody grinned.

"School's gonna be so much fun!" She exclaimed.

Ariel giggled.

"You still have to listen to me." She said. "Just like you do at home."

"I will." Melody promised.

"Aw, that's my girl. Now, come on. We're missing afternoon snack." With that, they re-entered the classroom.

"Is everything okay now?" Miss Anna asked when she saw them.

"Yup!" Melody said with a grin.

Around three o' clock, parents started arriving to pick their children up.

When Mrs. Johnson came to get Stephanie, she was surprised at what she found.

Stephanie was playing a game with two other girls and looked happy as ever.

"Stephanie," Ariel said as she came over to where the girls were playing. "Guess whose here?"

Stephanie's eyes lit up in realization. She put down the card she was holding and ran to greet her mother.

"Mommy! Mommy!" She said. "I had so much fun today!"

"You did?" Her mother asked.

Stephanie nodded eagerly.

"Well, you can tell me all about it on the way to McDonald's."

"YAY!" Stephanie cheered. She then turned and gave Ariel a hug. "You'll be here tomorrow, right?"

"Yup." She told her.

Stephanie grinned.

"I can't wait for school tomorrow!"

Miss Johnson raised her eyebrow at Ariel.

Ariel shrugged.

"I didn't do much." She said modestly.

"You're a miracle worker." Miss Johnson declared.

Ariel giggled.

"Well I do whatever I can to help. I'll see you tomorrow, Steph." She said as the Johnsons'' left.

"Bye, Ariel!" Stephanie called back. "Bye, Melody! I'll see you tomorrow!"

Miss Anna smiled as she watched them leave.

"Well, I think you're the answer to my prayers." She said, referring to Ariel. "I've never seen Stephanie so happy to come back to school before."

Ariel grinned.

"My Mom's the best." Melody declared.

Ariel embraced her daughter lovingly before picking her up and kissing her cheek. She held her for a few minutes before setting her down so that she could get her things together. It was almost time for them to go home as well.

Once Melody had gotten her stuff, she said good-bye to Miss Anna before taking her mother's hand and following her out of the building.

When they returned home, Melody ran into the house and straight into Eric's arms. She was smiling from ear to ear, which gave Eric the impression the day had gone well.

He hugged Melody while glancing at Ariel for confirmation.

"So I take it the first day of school was a success?"

Ariel smiled.

"It sure was." She reported. "Melody had a great time! She made some new friends and-" She was interrupted by Melody.

"And Mommy got a new job!"

"She did?" Eric asked as he put Melody down.

Melody nodded happily.

"Yup! Miss Anna gave her a job in my classroom. Isn't that cool?"

Eric smiled.

"It's really cool." With that, he gave his wife a kiss and hug and Ariel returned the affection.

Melody giggled at the pair of them as she left to find Sebastian. She wanted to tell him all about her first day of school.

She loved telling her friend's stories and she knew Sebastian would enjoy hearing it. She had missed him all day and she wanted to spend some time with him before Ariel called her for dinner.

Later that night, Ariel tucked Melody in bed. She stroked her hair and kissed her cheek before starting to sing her the song she had wanted to hear all day.

After she was done, she whispered good night to Melody, made sure she was warm enough and left the room.

She was glad Melody's first day of school was a success.

As she laid down for bed and snuggled up to Eric, she wondered what God had in store for her and her family tomorrow.

She would find out soon enough. With that, she closed her eyes and was asleep in minutes.