Why is it that tickling makes us laugh, but most times we dislike it? I can remember being held down by my uncle when I was a kid. He’d tickle me just under my chin, so I’d move my head. He’d go for under my arm, so I’d clench. Then, he’d go for the side of my belly, so I’d squirm. Then, my kneecap; I’d twist. Finally, my foot: he’d clamp my foot under one arm and just tickle away. There was nothing I could do to get out of that one. I hated it.
But, there’s something about tickling someone that still seems fun, so I must confess: I tickle my kids. Not often, mind you—and not incessantly like my uncle—but probably once a day for a few seconds. My favorite is to drum my fingers over their rib cage; that always gets ‘em going. Rarely do I tickle their feet.
Tickling Heather is another matter. When I first met her, I thought she was unticklable. It didn’t take long after we got married for me to figure out that actually she is extremely ticklish. We’re talkin’ almost everywhere. Sometimes just giving her a hug makes her shudder. I often want to accompany my hug with a kiss on her neck. This, however, is off limits, as it makes her ticklish. So, I’ve just learned to live with it. Woe is me.
One final thought: I wonder why dogs aren’t ticklish.
I have a violent aversion to being tickled, which I believe I got from my Mom. I rarely saw her get as mad as when she did if one of us tickled her. She was extremely ticklish, but that was something we rarely exploited because she was fearsome in her wrath.
I am hoping that I can continue to keep my children from realizing that I am at all ticklish. Right now, Nicolas is not very good at tickling. AT ALL. So he’s still safe. However, I shudder to think of what he may be like when he is a teenager bigger than his Mom. I don’t doubt that he will get a kick out of sitting on me and tickling me until I want to kill him. I guess that means he will never be allowed to read this blog. Ever.
Troy knows better than to tickle me, and mostly he behaves himself. But not always. He likes to try and kiss my ears, which I do not tolerate. He always whines about it “C’mon, let me get in there.” But I am an expert at using my shoulders to block him and his goatee from my delicate ears. I am fully aware that if he really wanted to, he has the strength to tickle me at will. However, he prefers not to have to sleep in the bathtub for the rest of his years on earth, which is where he will most certainly end up if he presses his advantage.