What’s The Point of Having Kids If You Can’t Torment Them Now And Then?

I must be stopped.

I have these urges…uncontrollable urges.

One minute I’m fine, and then the next minute…well, it’s sort of like I’m some kind of junkie.

A Tickle Junkie.

It started years ago, and probably stems from when I was a little girl, having a Dad who loved (okay, still does) being a Tormenter.

“What’s this?” he would say, tapping the front of my shirt.

“I don’t know, what is it?” I would say, looking down to check it out.

“BOOP!” he would exclaim, as he flicked my nose with his finger. “Gotcha!”

I fell for it (okay, still do) almost every time. It was–IS–so annoying to fall for that over and over and over again. You would think that I would take that feeling of Supreme Annoyance and use it to fuel some kind of restraint in my relationships with my own children.

Of course I don’t. That would make for a really boring post, wouldn’t it?

So, some years ago, and I can’t remember exactly when, I started tickling my kids whenever they reached their arms up high into a great stretch. Their armpits were like magnets to my fingers. I would do it when I was sitting next to them, and if they stretched when I was on the other side of the room, I would sometimes zoom over, to try to get them before their arms came down. Gosh, I’m so annoying.

As it happens, the sixteen-year-old is way more prone to stretching out like this than the thirteen-year-old (or, maybe the younger one is “on to me”; I have no idea!), so he is most often the victim of my wayward fingers.

As time went on and he got bigger, matching me in height, he got wise, and FAST. When I stuck my fingers into his pits, laughing my head off at my little antics, he quickly grabbed my fingers, squeezing them tightly as he pulled them out of the Tickle Zone.

Then the threats came. Joking threats.

“You know Mom, one day I’m going to totally break your fingers off and it’ll be your own fault.”

Wait. Maybe he was only half joking.

Not being scared of this teenager one iota but being awfully fond of my fingers, I tried to stop myself.

But I couldn’t.

In fact, I was getting worse. I have actually–and this is 100% true–had to stop myself from tickling other people–ADULTS–when they are in the middle of a good stretch.

Co-workers, friends, whoever. Nobody was safe from my now practically uncontrollable urge to tickle those armpits that dared expose themselves in my presence.

Finally, I came up with a solution by remembering one of the best running sketches from one of the best shows ever, The Kids in the Hall. The Head Crusher was one of the most memorable characters I’ve ever seen on television. In fact, Jim and I have, over the years, frequently gone into impressions of the Head Crusher and laughed our heads off while nobody around us has any idea what we’re talking about.

Before going any further–and to give you a clue about where I’m going next–watch this:

So–you guessed it–I started tickling the Kid, long distance. My fingers are finally safe as I sit anywhere in view of his armpits, even half a house away, virtually tickling him with my happy little fingers.

Oddly enough, and this is a bonus I never anticipated, it annoys him just as much as the real thing. I will see him stretch, set my fingers up *just so*, and he will hastily put his arms back down, scowling, “Quit it, Mom!” (and then he usually laughs.)

I can’t wait to do this in my Dad’s presence. He’s going to be so proud.

Solutions, people. I’m all about them.

I wonder what he’s going to do to his kids?


  • House of Jules

    I’m crushing your head, I’m crushing your head!

    Did you take that photo with your third hand or what?

  • KathyLikesPink

    I love the “I’m crushing your head” thing! The Hubs has no clue what I’m talking about when I do it, though.

    I am also an arm pit tickler. I think your solution is a good one!

  • Michelle

    Sadly, I totally get it. My poor husband when he exposes a ticklish area undefended (and he’s ticklish EVERYwhere). I do at least ask the wee ones’ permission — so far! It’s so much fun!

  • Anonymous

    Seeing as though YOU brought this up, I might as well ‘fees’ up now. I have loved you since you were conceived! I have loved you while you were growing up. I love you now, MORE than ever! Because I always wanted you to belive I was the strongest and bravest daddy on the entire planet, I never admitted this to you before and although it’s very painful for me to admit it now, it’s the right time. Honey, every time I ‘booped’ you in your cute nose when I convinced you to look down, it hurt me tremendously! Yes, I felt conflicted about it, and still do! I weep inside because I’m so very ashamed to weep openly, for I know your bubble will burst and you’ll know that I am just a mortal dad who has feelings and weeps when he teases his beloved daughters and grandsons. Yes, I WEEP! It took SECONDS for me to be consoled by your wonderful mother after I did that to you.(Oops..I meant, it took DAYS for your wonderful mother to console me after I did that to you!) Yes, it’s true, my name is Irv and I’m a dad who teased his girls and grandsons and felt badly afterwards! I admit it!

    NOT! NOT! NOT! I LOVED IT! I LOVED IT THEN! I LOVE IT NOW! AND AS ALONG YOU KEEP FALLING FOR IT…I’LL LOVE IT! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! (Besides, ever hear of a song called ‘A Boy Named Sue?? I did it to toughen you up! In fact, you owe me for being so gulible!) Hey! Wait a minute…! Want’s that on your blouse? HA HA HA…GOTCHA!

    Gawd, I love you Melisa! :):):) I really do honey! You always made my day and and you STILL do! One piece of fathely advice…DON’T LOOK DOWN SWEETIE! HA HA HA HA!


  • Melisa

    Julie: Ha! My third hand! No. Jim took the photo: actually about 7 of them, while I was “perched” in front of him. I had a less blurry shot, but the lighting was totally off. It was a post-dinner family photo shoot! 🙂

    Melissa/Kathy/Michelle: Glad I’m not the only one!

    Dad: Arr Arr! Right. I’m not falling for that “It hurt me WAY more than it hurt you” business… ha ha (And YOU: weeping? Try to sell that somewhere else. LOL!)

  • House of Jules

    I thought if you were a boy there were going to name you Maurice, not Sue. Now I’m really confused. (Just kidding, dad!)

  • Melisa

    Julie: Yes, that is true, and I am not ashamed of that fact at all.

    I lie.

    I am ashamed of that fact. LOL

  • Kat

    Long distance tickling…what a sport. Do you think it will get its own space in the next Olympics? You’d totally qualify and most likely you would win that thing. The photo is soooo funny.

  • Sarah Clapp

    LOL! I love the Head Crusher! I do it all the time, but didn’t know it came from Kids in the Hall! Awesome!

  • Anissa Mayhew

    Oh I ran to give the kids a tickle just because it sounded like fun. MY kids are little enough they still come back for more and beg for the tickles…and I eat up the belly laughs and use them to regenerate my soul and keep me young.

  • angie goff from DC

    As a child I HATED being tickled. I would gasp for air and literally had a fear of dying from the uncomfortableness.

    I can’t understand why I am laughing at that video of the head crusher…then I saw the grand finale pic and couldn’t hold it all in!

  • Melisa

    Kat: If it becomes a sport, then you can say that the Gold Medalist is your evil American Twin!

    Sarah: My pleasure to be so educational today! LOL

    Anissa: Is that all it takes to stay young? I thought it was Twitter.

    Angie: Ah yes, I am very familiar with that HORRIBLE tickle style. Like it seems endless and you end up crying or getting really pissed off. This is less of a tickle really, and more of an armpit poke. There is no length of time to it at all, really. But it’s so fun! (for me)

  • Astrogirl

    I’m lucky too – my guy is still small enough (4.5 years) that he loves being tickled. The hubs taught him to say “Uncle” (literally) when he’s had enough, and it’s hysterical to hear his little 4 year old voice say “Uncle” when he’s had enough. Then when he wants you to do more he says “Yes please!” I’ll miss the pit-tickles when he gets older (sigh).

  • Qweenie

    OMG I love it!! I watched and worshipped EVERY episode of KITH and “head crusher” was one of my favorites…..I am sooo stealing the tickling thing!

  • ThePeachy1

    I do this all the time when I am with anyone who knows what it is.. Cause there is nothing cooling than "crushing your head" my poor kids have never seen KITH, but do crushing your head to anything and anyone it's our own tickle spot. Thanks for the memories .