Confessions Of A Monster

“Daddy, can we play tickle monster?”
This question has been presented to me on a daily basis for the past 5 years.
I don’t even remember how the “Tickle Monster” game found it’s way into my life.
As do most things in my world it sort of developed.
I’m assuming it’s from the fact that I place the 3 kids on the bed, roar like a monster, and tickle them until they can’t breathe.
Then they ask me to do it again.
Somewhere along the line it turned into a game with rules.
These get made up on a quarterly basis.
The latest development is Tickle Monster 5.34.
I now pretend to be asleep holding the “Magic Coin” (a penny) and when they sneak up and take it I awaken with a roar and tickle them until the Magic Coin is released and I gain possession and once again fall into a peaceful slumber.
Sohaila, the 10 year old, she LOVES this game with a passion.
She creates all the rules and begs me daily to play.
I’m serious.
5 years.
She must LOVE to be tickled.
I hate being tickled.
But she loves it.

Then about a month ago, I had an awakening moment.
The kind that moves mountains.
When we finished playing I walked out of the room.
Seanna, the 8 year old, said she wanted to keep playing and be the Tickle Monster.
Sohaila said only Daddy could be the Tickle Monster.
Seanna tried desperately to tickle her big sister but Sohaila just laid there.
Not even laughing.
I was peeking from around the corner.
Seanna said…”Why aren’t you laughing?”
Sohaila…”Because I’m not ticklish”

My eyes grew wide.
Like I had just discovered I was adopted or something.
She’s Not Ticklish?!

I ALMOST walked in the room and said…”WHAT?!”

“Don’t tell daddy.  Please Seanna? I don’t want him to stop playing Tickle Monster with us.”

In that moment I knew all I needed to know.
She plays tickle monster so her daddy can hold her, hug her, wrestle her, laugh with her, roar at her, and simply…
Be with her.
She.  Is.  Not.  Dying.  Laughing.  Because.  She.  Is.  Being.  Tickled.
She.  Is.  Dying.  Laughing.  Because.  She.  Is.  Being.  Loved.

Here’s to monsters that tickle, read, hold, chase, or dance.
The Tickle Monster


Author loswhit

More posts by loswhit
  • THIS. just wrecked me.

    • Because you love my kids and you get it…
      Thanks C.
      Love C.

      • i do and i do. love and get it. my oldest nephew is 10 (we ought to get them together) and i totally see him trying to grow up, but still really holding on to that innocence. it’s just precious.

  • Because you love my kids and you get it…
    Thanks C.
    Love C.

  • Kevin

    Thank you for this Carlos! I’m going to go right home and tickle my daughter! I do know she is ticklish and she will know she is loved!

  • anonymous

    AWESOME! We have a similar game in our household, only it’s not the tickle monster…my husband moves his fingers together in a pinching motion and says, “Girls, look! Daddy’s got the bah-boo pinchers out! Better watch out!”

    then our daughters (ages 3 & 5, soon to be 4 & 6 in a month) run toward him with their cute little rear ends sticking out in his direction and when he moves towards them like he’s going to grab their “bah-boo,” they run away and squeal in delight.

    It’s awesome. It happens at least a couple of times a week. I just love it when the 3 yr old comes up to her daddy and says, “Daddy! Don’t get my bahboo!!! Hee hee hee!”

    “bahboo” is our family word for butt, heinie, rear end, bootie, etc. 😀

  • I want to be a dad.

  • Rissa

    Wow. That’s significant.

    And it kinda messes with me.

    • los

      Me too amiga

  • Carlo

    Freaking Jesus using freaking Carlos to freaking convict me. Stupid Holy Spirit always messing up my self righteousness.

    Seriously, this cracked my heart. Can’t wait until my sons get home from school. We are partying all weekend!

    • los

      Do IT!!!

      • Carlo

        Already bought Avengers tickets and booked a hotel with an indoor pool!

    • Oh, how I laughed through tears, reading this reply: “Stupid Holy Spirit always messing up my self-righteousness!”

      Love it…recognize it…feel it…get it.

      Happy Tickling!

  • Phronsie

    I love watching my husband being the tickle monster with our kids, except we call it the daddy monster. Our son is always asking to be tickled and I know he’s ticklish but I think he wants the daddy monster to come out for the same reason your daughter wants the tickle monster. And then my husband wonders why I get all teary eyed when they play, it’s because I know why our son is asking for the daddy monster and I can’t help but be happy about it.

  • Terrin

    Trying to have kids. This made my heart skip about 20 beats in a row. Love it.

    • los

      Well then. We can talk about it Tuesday!

  • Thea Nelson

    Took my breath away!

  • I love this. Positive, non-sexual touch is one of the best ways people can bond with each other. Our society is radically under served in this area! It’s so wonderful to see a little girl just want to be in contact with her dad. And what a beautiful metaphor for our Father’s love as well. 🙂

  • Crazy deep thought for a Friday afternoon. Can’t wait to see my girlies.

  • BriAnne

    This gets to me in a different way.. I don’t have kids of my own but work with toddler age foster children at times.. our kids find a way to get the tickle game going on an almost daily basis.. it always ends in a huge hug.. we’ve got 2-5yr olds who love their parents to death, but yet want that touch from us for the same reason your daughter wants it from you.. to know that we love them and truly care about them… same reason they sit in our laps and lay their heads on us during movie time.. the need to feel loved..

  • Dale

    One of the many reasons I don’t want my kids growing up!

  • Thanks for sharing this. Lately, conviction has been hiding around every corner about my kids. It’s good to get new ideas about how I can do better. So interesting that it often comes from people I have never met, but respect immensely.

    I really appreciate your transparency and candor.


  • JWhit

    How awesome is that?

  • Ali

    tears streaming down my face…

  • Jennifer

    Carlos, almost 6 years ago you married my husband and I in a small backyard in Corona. I randomly came across this post today because I saw the words “Tickle Monster” and had to chuckle. My husband plays the exact same game with our 4 year old and it is so precious. I love your realization at the end of your post and it makes me realize just how fast time flies. In a couple months, we’ll be expecting our second little boy and I look forward to seeing the type of relationship that my boys and my husband will have. Thanks!

  • Wow. Amazing.

  • Joey Bergeron

    BOOMSAUCE! This is what i remember when I’m too tired to tickle my little girl. When it’s time for bed and we have to stop. How she tells me, “Daddy, no one tickles me better than you do.” If the only thing I do right is tickle her then I hope those memories out weigh the mistakes i’ll make as she grows. Allowing us to view your family is a blessing. Keep it up. Love your family with everything you’ve got!!

  • The only thing better than watching my hubby tickle my kids as the Tickle Monster is watching my own Tickle Monster, my Daddy, tickle my kids. At almost 32 you make me want to ask my Daddy to tickle me… 🙂 Love. Wow.

  • Sam

    My dad used to play Tickle Monster with my sister and I all the time.

    After reading this, I went and found him in the living room. I’m 20 years old, and I somehow just managed to rope my 55 year old dad into a tickle fight 🙂

  • Ok, so check this. I read this and convicted. I go downstairs where 3 of my kids are watching tv. I lie on the ground and before I can play tickle monster with them, they yell, “TICKLE DADDY!” It was SO awesome!
    Even my eldest boy, who is 12, started playing.

    Thanks Carlos!

  • Matthew W

    Dude. Amazing. Most piercing thing I’ve seen from you in awhile. I’ve starred this on my rss reader so that I have it to look at when I’m older and a father. Good stuff.

  • There’s a lump in my throat, and tears on the brink of bursting from my eyes.

    I was broadsided by this message. Such a beautiful thing.

  • terrence

    Another amazing post! Writing like this is why I’ve been reading this blog for over 2 years now. If you would ever put some of these in a book,it would be great! I’d have to have some tissue handy because stories like this one trigger the tears. I have a almost-two year old son who loves being tickled and he loves talking in this monster voice(which he developed on his own!) and I don’t want these days to ever leave!

  • Betty

    Thanks for sharing your story. I am a nanny and “Love my job. Our greatest asset for our future is our children. One day, they will grow up and be making decisions for us. Take time to talk to children. Talk about anything they are interested in, and some times it may seme like pretty silly ideas. Then one day soon… these ideas may not be so silly. They will remember you were the one that took the time to listen, play, love and cherish them. We are their soft place if they fall. Then one day soon “we” may need a soft place to fall or just a phone call to say hi, and you know what they will remember.

  • Courtney

    This post got me! Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait for my one day kids to play tickle monster with their daddy! My grandpa use to tell us he loved us by reaching over while driving and squeezing our knee until we peed. Grandma always put a trash bag and towels on the front seat for that reason!

  • Marcelo

    WOW!!! Gracias, amigo. We the tickle monsters at large salute you! :0)

  • Elaine & João

    Linda Percepção! My son loves to be tickled…I love him…love is everything…

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  • Absolutely beautiful. Can really relate to this a lot. My children and I have our own game called airplane.

  • Sam

    Absolutely beautiful. Such an incredible bond you have and I think its lovely you didn’t let her know you heard. By the way is Heathers blog now for family only? I used to love reading all her creative ideas and have missed her posts since she password protected.

  • Loved this so much I read it to my husband who plays similar games with our 3 kiddos. He teared up. Good dads the both of you!

  • This is strong to quite strong. Wow. Great stuff los.

  • 🙂 That is awesome, man. Love the closing line.

  • I am full up, from reading this. Full up.

    Thank you, Tickle Monster.


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