While Kristy was out for the evening, Tori and I were eating pizza; AJ was eating chicken wings, because he does not like the feeling of the cheese if it gets stuck in his orthodontic appliance.

Midway through our meal, AJ asked, “Who do you think is enjoying their meal more, Daddy? Me or you?”

I don’t know,” I responded, “and we never will. You can never know how much I am enjoying my pizza and I can never know how much you are enjoying your wings.”

“I have an idea Daddy,” he said, “Why don’t you give me a number to tell me how much you like your pizza tonight?”

“Is a big number good or bad?” I asked.

“Big numbers are better,” he replied,

“How high can we go?” I wondered aloud. “10? 100? 1,000,000? Infinity?”

“No Daddy…” AJ said, “…just 10. 10 means you like it the most you can.”

“Well,” I told him, “this is the best piece of pizza that I have had in a very long time. It has just the right amount of sauce and cheese, it is cooked just right and I am really enjoying it a lot, so I think I would have to say I am enjoying this pizza at a 10. How much are enjoying your wings?”

“12. They are great and I am enjoying them more than you enjoy your pizza.”

I sighed. I knew that the next morning I was obligated by policy to walk into my first patient’s home and ask them a similar question; it would measure their pain no more successfully than my son can measure his pleasure from food.


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