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?