“Mom! Daddy’s been lying to you! He is ticklish in his armpits!!” An eager, out-of-breath smile met me when I got to the top of the steps. The little guy was reaching with all his kryptonite might to reach dad’s armpits, which were still about twelve inches too high. “Mom, get ‘im! Get ‘im!”
I set the clothes basket down, and just watched for a minute, but I noticed that my husband’s peripheral vision was cutting in my direction frequently. I asked, “Whatcha ‘fraid of?” He was fending off the two little people, who were doing their best Lilliputian act, to get take him down. Grabbing his tummy, his arms, lifting up his feet…anything they could reach was fair game.
This turned into all-out tickle war. On our bed, arms and legs were flailing, feet and hands were flopping. Giggles turned into guffaws, snickers became snorts. Tickle spots were being sought and found. New names were given to unidentified flying body parts…”That’s my knee pit! My knee pit is ticklish!” “Under her chin…her gooly-gooly…get it!” The fearless family leader squealed like his three year old daughter as his fatherly suit of armor was penetrated by tiny tickling fingers. The little gal was demonstrating her “belly slops” and attempting to do jumping jacks while gaily shrieking…she looked like a drunken jackrabbit. Then the screams of “possum” pain, “Oh my butt cheek…my butt cheek…I can’t feel it. Take me to the hospital!” “Mommy, is my belly gonna fall off from laughing?”
The squeals turned to sighs, the flailing and flopping ceased. Deep breaths. Giggle remnants when a tickled memory flitted by. Sapped children. Satisfied smiles.
This war has been won.