Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tickles, Please

The four-year-old likes to be tickled. As is my policy, I always stop when he says "stop." It sometimes takes kids a while to get used to this-- they are used to tickling continuing, and most of them are fine with that-- but most catch on pretty quickly that if they really do want me to keep going, they just say "tickle me again!" and I will happily oblige. This boy has that one down pat.

One day as we were both standing in the kitchen, I asked if I could tickle him, and he said, "No!" Then he ran over to the dog's chair, laid on his back, and said, "NOW tickle me!" and I did.

A week ago Saturday, I walked in his house as his family was leaving for vacation (for which I have been house-and-dog-sitting). My young friend looked at me reprovingly and said, "'Neelya, when you come, you always tickle me."

I thought about how careful I had been about permission, and how, in fact, these days he usually asks first. I decided to point this out. "You usually ask to be tickled." He didn't really respond. Then the other shoe dropped. "Did you want me to tickle you now?"


(So I did.)

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