No sucker for cheap and easy tickles, my babe requires us to work a bit for our giggles. While the occasional thigh pinch, appropriately placed, will elicit laughs, most often the way to make Evan writhe in hysterics is to appeal to his mind: give him something to anticipate and he will laugh before the laughing part has even arrived. “This Little Piggy” sends him into quiet fits not because of the piggy who goes wee wee wee all the way home but because he knows that that little piggy, last of all the piggies, will go wee wee wee.
Similarly, the best daddy tickles aren’t the ones that land but the ones that don’t — the ones that fly in on wiggling fingers, with an “I’m gonna getcha” soundtrack, but backtrack before reaching their destination, only to start their flight back in towards Evan’s little giggling body.
A current favorite game that brings out the cheeriest of shrieks is Chase. I chase Evan while he walks (races!) behind his push-wagon; he chases me back as I take shuffling little Geisha steps (small like butterflies) or crawl madly towards the opposite wall. This little game is, for Evan, far better than any raspberries, any pinches or squeezes, any gyrating fingers. His little legs pump up and down — stomp stomp stomp — and his mouth is open the whole way across the house as he squeals.
Today I’ve been wondering what adult trait this preference will turn into. Will he, like me, be immune to horror movies that simply spray blood across the screen, preferring instead the psychological thrillers that keep you guessing and mentally tense? Will he shy away from cheap attention, like his gramps, but revel in playing practical tricks and weaving impossible but believable stories? Will he become a daredevil, like his dad was as a kid, seeking new and difference sources of excitement?
Oh, I hope it’s not that last one. He’s only not-even-eleven months old and already able to give me a run for my money every single day. I need to start taking some of those crazy supplements you buy in tubs at GNC — you know, the ones that high school athletes take behind their moms’ backs? Anyone know a good one you could recommend?
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