Like most couples, my husband and I have a lot of inside jokes. We call the children by the names of where they were born:
“Fort Gordon, get over here!”
“Clean up your room, San Angelo!”
“Where are you, Little Creek?”
Sometimes he’ll “forget” to get me a Cadbury bar, a chocolate that is kept well-hidden in the pantry and only eaten when the children are asleep, only for him to pull it from behind his back. He just does it to “get a rise” out of me. Nothing’s funny when I need my emergency chocolate.
He is, however, no match for me.
When my husband came home from the hospital last August, he needed to sit down a lot. His nerve damage was extensive. Tics and surges of pain ranging from tiny pinpricks to pain similar to stabs were unpredictable. He still didn’t have full feeling in his left leg.
So we have this L-shaped couch in our family room where I jokingly say R’s butt has been imprinted on one side after months of sitting there in recovery. He sits on one side with his legs stretched out. I’d lay on the other side facing his feet.
Most times while the kids played outside on the giant trampoline or upstairs making art projects, we’d sit downstairs reading, surfing the net, or catching up on the newest series on SyFy. His feet would randomly tic next to my head. What else was I supposed to do?
It started off with my pointer finger. Poke. No response. Poke again.
Doh, he’s rolling his ankles and moving his toes in circles. Still no response.
I wonder if he would feel my fingernail on his heel. Poke. Nothing.
By this time, I’m suppressing wild laughter. Pokepokepokepokepoke. Wait!
Toes in circles again. Phew.
Hmmm. Let’s try tracing lines down his foot. Nothing again. With my fingernail—
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
There was nothing I could but laugh. Sometimes I’d deny. Most times I laughed.
Sometimes the kids were accessories in my evil pranks.
Our kids are sweet and love giving hugs and kisses just out of the blue. The youngest would come over to me and give me a hug. Instead of leaving to go back to join her siblings, I’d get her tiny little hand and have her poke R’s foot. She couldn’t do it for very long because she couldn’t contain her laughter.
“STOP IT! CUT IT OUT!” L and I would giggle while we saw steam come from my husband’s ears.
Eventually these tickle sessions got shorter and shorter. Good for his recovery, bad for a practical joker.
That’s okay. I’ll find something else.