Miss Susan rolled her shoulders and let out a thankful exhale that it was Movie Time. Not that it was surprising Hank had shoved Kat down on the playground earlier… Hank loved terrorizing his sister as much as he loved being the center of attention. Kat’s tears were dried and the skinned knee was kissed, but Miss Susan didn’t miss the hateful look those remarkable green eyes had flung at Hank.
Across the toy-strewn room she spotted Hank, front and center. Even at six years of age, anything less than prime seating was inferior. He was solidly sprawled on the floor, face up with his arms crossed underneath the mop of curly dark hair. And sitting quietly in the back, was the everything Hank was not. Four year old Kat was slight of build with a shock of white-blond hair and an adorably freckled nose. The tiny smile on her lips said that she seemed to have forgotten the trauma quickly.
Seeing that all the kiddos were content with the tv-cart movie, Miss Susan left the room to go snag some Tylenol. When she returned, Kat seemed fine. Still smiling.
“Hmmm. Wait. Did Kat move? She looks a little farther forward than where I put her.” In the dimmed light, the teacher narrowed her eyes and watched carefully.
Then, after a few minutes of stillness, and without even bothering to check that she had the all-clear from the watchful eyes of the grown-ups, little Kat gracefully scooted her little butt 6 inches forward.
More minutes passed. And then another booty-scoot.
Miss Susan knew this could end badly, but surely Kat wouldn’t…. would she? And just then, little Red came toddling over. Aw, poor guy had an accident. Off they went to the potty.
Until, with one last stealthy scoot, the target was achieved. Front and center.
Miss Susan had just stepped back into the room when she spotted the upswing.
Hank didn’t see it coming. He only felt the blinding pain as the tiny hand descended at full overhead speed, open-palmed, making direct contact with his nose.
Miss Susan was already in motion before impact. She sprinted to Hank, who howled as blood poured and chaos ensued. Another teacher practically snagged Kat by the scruff of her neck and placed her in the Time Out spot. It took a while, but eventually the cacophony was silenced and the movie was rewound and restarted. Hank snuggled into Miss Susan’s generous lap as he sniffled into a hanky.
Only then did the teacher direct her eyes to the little girl. Kat was smiling in her punishment, a picture of victory in her dirtied yellow dress with a band-aid on her knee. On the surface, Kat was beauty and sweetness. But there lay beneath a strong undercurrent of tenacity and devious intelligence.
Miss Susan smirked and laughed inwardly, “Some poor man is going to have his hands full one day.”