“JR and Tattoos” by Kimisha Thompson-Hitchins
Are you a parent going through the Terrible Twos? Did you live through them and survive? Terrible Twosdays is a place to commiserate over the unending shenanigans of your Darling Children (as the online parenting communities say). Nonfiction stories will be considered, so long as names have been changed to protect the guilty. Inspired by our best-selling gift book for parents, Go the Fuck to Sleep, Terrible Twosdays joins the roster of our other online short fiction series. Unlike Mondays Are Murder and Thursdaze, we’re looking for stories with a light and mischievous feel, all about the day-to-day challenges of parenting. As with our other flash fiction series, stories must not exceed 750 words.
This week, Kimisha Thompson-Hitchins tells a toddler’s discovery.
JR and Tattoos
by Kimisha Thompson-Hitchins
JR often watched TV with Grandma—either he would watch his cartoon or educational programs, or she would watch HGTV or a tattoo competition series. JR would sit in Grandpa’s recliner, which he declared to be where only he and Grandpa could sit, while Grandma had to sit on her bed. Grandma gave up asking if she could sit with him in the recliner because he would always retort, “No, Grandpa and JR chair. You sit over there, Grandma,” while pointing to the bed.
On this particular day, however, JR sat with Grandma on her bed watching the tattoo series. JR saw that the artistes were creating colorful drawings on people’s skin; he perked up and pointed to Grandma’s chest and said, “Grandma, that flower on your breast is like that on TV.”
Grandma replied, “Yes, it’s a tattoo of a rose.” JR sat silent for a moment. It seemed as if he was steering into thin air, but then he said, “Daddy has a dinosaur on his hand, right there,” pointing to his upper right arm.
Grandma nodded, but corrected JR that it was a tattoo of a dragon.
By this time, Grandpa had entered the room, sat in the recliner, and started reading his newspaper.
JR was, however, too deep in thought to notice. When he did speak again, he said, “Mommy has letters on her back, Grandma.” Grandma nodded again in agreement.
“And Grandma has a rose,” JR said, as if to confirm.
Grandma replied, “Yes, I do.
“And what does Grandpa have?” JR asked.
Grandma said, “Ask him.”
Only then did JR realize that Grandpa was sitting in his recliner, half reading the paper and half listening to his grandson’s curiosity.
JR faced Grandpa and inquisitively asked, “Grandpa, what tattoo you have?”
Grandpa replied, “None.”
JR looked at Grandpa puzzled and sat silently for a second, then asked, “Not even a smiley face?” Grandpa could only manage to laugh. That was the day JR learned about tattoos, and that not everyone had to have one.
KIMISHA THOMPSON-HITCHINS was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1981. She has taught English at both the secondary and tertiary levels for six years. She has a passion for writing poetry and short stories. She has several poems self-published and circulating online. She holds BA, MA, and postgrad diplomas in English, all from the University of the West Indies. She is very family oriented and is inspired by life and her son’s everyday experiences. She is currently teaching high school ELA and lives in Winston Salem, NC, with her husband of six years and their three-year-old son.
Do you have a story you’d like us to consider for online publication in the Terrible Twosdays flash fiction series? Here are the submission terms and guidelines:
—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should focus on the challenges of parenting. Ideally, stories should be about children aged 0 to 5, but any age (up to early teens) is acceptable. Stories may be fiction or nonfiction.
—Include the child’s age at the time of the story next to your byline.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—E-mail your submission [email protected] paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
Posted: Apr 12, 2016
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