I find myself tickling Bee a lot these days.
We seem to be entering the terrible twos, and tickling is coming handy. A few tickles can often get Bee to do things he doesn’t want to do or distract him from a meltdown. Like lately he’s taken to telling me, “No, thank you,” when I try to put his sleep sack on at bedtime. (No, thank you? Very cute.) A little tickling and while he squirms and laughs, I stealthily slip the sleep sack over his arms. Voila! He often refuses to hold my hand in the parking lot – because big brother isn’t holding anybody’s hand – so I’ll try to carry him. Then he starts fussing and squirming and I can see the meltdown coming. Sling him upside down and tickle him all the way to the car – tantrum averted, which is worth it even if I end up with a black eye from his feet flailing into my face. And when he is sobbing hysterically for reasons unknown even to him (a clear indication we’ve hit the twos), bust out the tickles. Crying turns into laughing, and we’re back on track. It doesn’t always work, but it works often enough tickling has earned a spot on my go-to list of toddler-taming tactics.
Also, the tickle-monster game is one of the games I can play with both boys at once that never seems to result in fighting over a toy or my attention. Bee thinks it is just hilarious to wiggle his fingers at his big brother, even if his fingers are just hovering 6 inches from Zippy’s head. They run around and roll on the floor and beg for more. Joy. The only thing better than two little boys laughing hysterically is two little brothers laughing hysterically.
But mainly I keep tickling Bee because of the way it makes him laugh. Is there anything better than the laugh of a 2-year-old? It is so sincere, so pure…so straight from the belly. His whole face lights up and he wiggles and squirms, trying to get away, but so clearly delighted. Today, cradled in my arms, he giggled and grinned and cuddled in closer, nose to nose with me, and I thought “Aha! This is one of those moments.” Those Kairos moments that Glennon wrote about this week over at Momastery? It was one of those. Bliss.
(And if you haven’t read Glennon's post, I can’t recommend it enough! Here’s the link.)