This is all really Nick's doing. You see, Nick is the best person at playing pretend you have ever met. Seriously. You think you know somebody who is awesome at it? You have no idea. Nick can turn a crouton into hours of entertainment as he brings it to life. TO LIFE people. I swear sometimes I watch him and I am sucked in and as entertained as Henry. It is a gift.
Anyway, at some point Nick brought Tickle Bug to life, not just as a tickle game, but as an actual little creature. He walks around, jumps, trips falls... he loves to be petted and he takes naps, he gets his feelings hurt if you are mean to him and he will do tricks if you ask nicely. He is kinda sorta a member of the family.
And the real magic is in the fact that Henry understands that every single person has the ability to make TWO tickle bugs. He will declare he wants "TOO MANY TICKLE BUGS!!" which means he wants us all to make tickle bugs out of our hands and have them stack into a tower, which then falls down. It's a real crowd pleaser. He tells us he wants "Funny Tickle Bug" which is when tickle bug runs across his bedroom wall to turn off the light, makes a jump for the door and misses, falling to the ground (or sometimes the door handle, if I am lazy). He plays sometimes I will just look over at him and he has his hand in the Tickle Bug position, sitting in his other palm. He will just say "Tickle Bug Wants to see too!".
Tickle bug comes in handy in lots of other ways too. You know all those pictures of Henry smiling? It isn't just because he loves his Mama, it's because Tickle Bug jumped on top of the camera.
And Tickle Bug makes Henry brave. When he was afraid to go down the slide at the swimming pool, he decided him and tickle bug would do it together. Sometimes having a friend with him, even if he is imaginary friend, makes it feel a little easier to do new things. And sometimes new things are hard for Henry, so this is an amazing gift Tickle Bug has given us.
So we love Tickle Bug at our house. I even thought about writing a children's book about him*. I mean, Tickle bug Is really pretty awesome. And what is better than a beloved children's tale where the main character lives in your hand and is always with you? The could make Tickle Bug toys and games, it could be HUGE! Then one day Nick decided to make a Tickle Bug out of play-doh.
And... well... he looked sorta creepy.
Now I find the Play-Doh Tickle Bug around the house and I do not love this tickle bug nearly as much. The other day he was on top of the head of one of my Willow Trees. It was startling.
Anyway, maybe tickle bug isn't for the masses, or maybe we just don't need tickle bug toys. But in our house, for our boy, the Tickle Bug is a pretty amazing
*Dibs on my tickle bug book idea. I will know if you steal it, so don't do that.