“Everybody on your tush in the reading circle!” Mrs. Johansen flipped the lights off and on a couple of times to catch the attention of the score of five-year-old kids hyper from lunch and recess. Tiny bodies, many with faces smeared with the remnants of spaghetti, dropped, rolled and, in the case of her daughter, Kristen, somersaulted to their assigned spots.
She navigated her way through the still squirming minefield of children and sat in her chair. She reached into a milk crate serving double duty as a book-holder. “Today we’re reading Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss,” she said in her gentle voice, holding the book up and swinging it back and forth so every pair of eyes could drink it in. “Before we start, are there any questions?”
Randy’s hand shot up, the confusion in his eyes plain. She pointed to the dark-haired boy. “Yes, Randy?”
“What’s a ‘tush’?”
“Oh.” Mrs. Johansen bit her bottom lip as she thought of what to say. “Well, a ‘tush’ is another name for your bottom.”
“Oh. Like ass?”
Her eyes widened and her mouth opened to scold him, but the complete lack of guile in his expression told her he wasn’t trying to be funny. “Well, yes. But we don’t say that word because it is inappropriate.”
“Okay.” Randy sat back, his face thoughtful.
“Any other questions?”
Kristen, her little gymnast, raised her hand. “Yes, Kristen?”
“So when you and Daddy are in the bedroom, you should say, ‘Spank my tush, ba-‘”
Mrs. Johansen threw out her hand, palm out. Her words came out a bit sharper than she planned. “That’s enough! Let’s just read the book now.”
Randy’s hand shot back up. “Why is your face red like that?”
Mrs. Johansen buried her forehead into her palm and shook her head. “I do believe I’m coming down with a headache. It’ll probably last the next thirteen years, if you must know.”
Word Count: 321
Trifecta time again! Poor Mrs. Johansen, she tempted fate one too many times 🙂
This week in Trifecta: On now to our one-word weekly prompt. This week we wanted to do something to mark the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, and we foolishly thought that would be easy. There are so many amazing Yiddish words that found their way into the English language, and we thought it would be great to highlight one. To find one with a third definition, however, was not so easy. We thought all was lost until we stumbled upon this gem.
2. an interjection used to express disdain or reproach