Goodbye To Tickles

Early on in elementary school, after all of the children had gotten used to the idea of going to school everyday and maybe became a little bored with it, a rash of tickling swept through the school. I had never experienced tickling before and I was very sensitive to it. I quickly realized what a vulnerability it was to be ticklish. It caused one to laugh when one wanted to cry, to wriggle about in an undignified way, and made one pee a little if kept at long enough. So I asked my sister to tickle me so that I could train myself not to be ticklish. I showed her what tickling was and she did not like it either. She set to tickling me with vigor, digging her wriggling fingers into my armpits and neck, and fluttering them across the soles of my feet. It took a while but I was very pleased to be able to desensitize myself to tickling. At age of about seven I had developed one of my first interpersonal skills. Like so many other things in life, the trick is to ignore the superficial sensation, to calm the startled nerves until the actual physical touch is felt, the touch of silly wiggling fingers that are no real threat.

Caption: Goodbye To Tickles

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019


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