Last night, Aaron and I took some time to grab our backscratchers and tickle each other’s backs. AH…………feels so good and it’s very relaxing. Well, it’s relaxing as long as Aaron doesn’t get frustrated and start bearing down too hard, or giving random little stinging whacks on my back. When that happens, I ask him if something’s wrong and he says, “Why?! Am I not doing you right?” And if I tell him that no, he is not doing a good job, then he often gets more frustrated and says, “There! Am I doing it right now? Is that better?!” I just finally tell him that it’s my turn to tickle his back. His response, invariably, is to say, “I’m not making you tickle mine, Mom!” I assure him that I know that, and to just let me tickle him now. It’s a lesson in frustration for me to hope that he’ll get any softer or calmer at that point. Time to give in and get it over with.
Such was the case last night. We sat down a little after 9:00 for some unwinding time before bed, taking the backscratchers – he likes a different one from the one I like – and getting settled. I sat on the ottoman with him on the chair behind me as he began tickling my back. I turned on the TV and there was the Lionel Ritchie special. Fun! I like his music and the guest singers were interesting, too. I thought that Aaron would enjoy it. He likes oldies music and likes watching American Idol. I was ready for some soft tickle time before we switched places, and I would tickle Aaron’s back.
We listened to the music for a minute. It didn’t take long for Aaron to ask, “Mom, who is that person singing?” I told him it was Lionel Ritchie and some other singers, too…………Ritchie’s friends that had made a special program and recorded a CD, too. Soon Aaron muttered, “Oh brother!”
Oh brother? What’s wrong, Aaron? “He’s weird,” Aaron answered.
Weird? You think Lionel Ritchie is weird?
“Yeah, he’s weird.” So I asked why he thinks Ritchie is weird and he said, “He’s trying to be too cool.”
Oh. Why do you think he’s trying to be too cool? “I don’t know!,” Aaron responded. “He just is!” I knew not to press Aaron for info because at times like this he can’t really verbalize exactly what makes him feel the way he’s feeling. He just “knows” that something about this person is weird………..to him. If I press too hard for answers, then Aaron will get frustrated.
The show continued, with me enjoying the songs and singing along to some of them. And I noticed the backscratcher bearing down harder on my back………..and then it came. Whack! A little stinging, familiar whack on my back with the backscratcher. I knew that this situation would probably only go downhill from here, but I wasn’t going to quit listening to Lionel Ritchie and Friends just because Aaron didn’t like it.
More muttering ensued. “That’s dumb,” Aaron said. Whack! “This is stupid!”
Now, Aaron, you like oldies music. There’s nothing dumb or stupid about the singers or the songs. Why don’t you like this music?
He sighed. “I don’t know………..different.”
Aaron, be softer on my back, OK? I could feel his frustration level going up……..not only in his tension that was so evident but I could feel it on my back. Whack!
Finally, after more muttered comments concerning how dumb this or that was, I told Aaron that it was time for me to do his back. “Mom! I’m not making you do my back!” Whack!
Yeah, in a sense you are, Aaron. Just let me tickle you now. As I started on his back, he calmed down some. Soon the program was over and our local news came on. Aaron perked up…………the factual format of the news keeps him focused. And of course, he loves to listen to the weather in order to find out if it’s going to rain tonight or tomorrow………..although he’ll still ask Gary and I multiple times before bed if it’s going to rain.
“Mom, are we going to get storms tomorrow?” “So, do you think it’s going to rain?” “Dad, is it going to rain tonight?”
Oh man, I so wanted to start muttering some feelings under my breath………that he would hear……….or give him a whack! I didn’t. Of course, with his back to me he couldn’t see me rolling my eyes or shaking my head.
You’re weird sometimes, Aaron! There. I feel better.