A PalliativeEli 10.2 had a "well check" with the pediatrician for his tenth birthday last week, and when he came home, he was crying.
"What happened?" I asked.
"Flu shot," he said, holding his left arm like a broken wing.
"I'm really sorry, buddy," I said. "Do you want to put some ice on it?"
"NO," he said. "I don't want to touch it."
I was taking over in just a few minutes, but I had to finish one or two things (including a post). Eli laid down on the couch with a blanket over him. "I'll be in my study," I said, "but I'll leave the door open in case you need anything."
A few minutes later, I heard an unholy moan from the living room. About thirty seconds later, there was another. I walked out of the study.
"Hey, where's your travel bingo game?" I asked.
"It's there on the shelf," he said. "Why?"
"Look, your arm is probably going to hurt for at least the rest of the day," I said. "Instead of moaning when your arm hurts, yell the name of a state instead, then flip it over on the travel bingo board."
He laughed. "I'll do that," he said.
I went back into my study. A few minutes later, I heard this: "O-O-Oklahoma!" A few minutes later, "MISSOURI!" (he pronounced it "misery", which was very clever). Then, a big one: "MISSISSIPPI TENNESSEE FLORIDA!"
In another few minutes, I'd finished the post, with a pleasantly spaced series of state names shouted from close distance. Always followed by laughter.