Monday, November 14, 2011

A Palliative

Eli 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.

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