Noah and I have a dirty little secret.
He is ticklish EVERYWHERE. Especially if I am touching him – I know all of his hot spots.
I can’t even change his clothes without him giggling until he gets the hiccups.
(My offspring all have a weird genetic mutation that makes them get the hiccups every time they laugh vigorously. Ali knows about her deformity in this area and will beg me to quit making her laugh before she gets the hiccups.)
His ticklishness isn’t our big secret – it’s much more devious than that.
Our secret is that he and I use his sensitivities to make people think that he adores them – and even finds them to be the most hilarious people in the entire world.
For instance, Sunday:
A little old lady walks up to us at Church. She lights up with the sun of a thousand days at the sight of a baby.
She stoops down to make eye contact with Noah, who I’m holding, and starts talking to him.
I wait until he looks at her, then immediately yet subtly touch his thigh.
He breaks into laughter.
She looks up at me with shining eyes and exclaims: ”He loves me!!! How precious!!”
I quit tickling him while she’s looking at me.
She looks back at him. He looks at her. I tickle him. He laughs while looking at her.
She exclaims how wonderful babies are, and how he’s been the happiest part of her entire day.
She looks back at him. He looks at her. I tickle him. He laughs at her.
She gets misty-eyed with the thrill of a baby’s love, and hugs me through tears of gratefulness, thanking me for reproducing and therefore bringing happiness to the world.
Noah and I walk away, impressed at ourselves for being able to, once more, successfully make someone cry with his cuteness.
…and not feeling at all bad about our deceptive, dirty little secret.