Since I am staying home with my own cold and two sons with their colds, I thought I'd share something from Josiah's stay in the hospital last week.
He lay there on the bed, bored, staring at the ceiling, the walls and whatever he could see out the door. Then his gaze lit on the monitor screen, which faithfully recorded all his vitals. There were four or five wavy lines making their way across the screen, with numbers along the side, one number for each line. He figured out what each was for, except one. He studied it for a while before realizing that the slightly rounded vee shapes traveling across the screen corresponded to his own rhythmic breathing.
With this realization, a new form of entertainment presented itself. For this was the one line on the screen he could actively control!
First he tried to breathe in such a way as to make the waves perfectly rounded, even, and all the same size, like sine waves. This was hard. Then he tried making the line go straight up, over, down, over, up, over, etc., like the top of a castle wall or a cross-section of a waffle. Then he decided to see what would happen if he held his breath. The straight line had almost crossed the whole screen when the corresponding number began to flash 0 over and over. Realizing he really didn't want to cause a commotion with his nurses, he decided to end his breathing experiments.
Later, and at his request, Tom brought him a couple of Canadian history books to study. This kept him interested, yet he was never more glad than when the doctor told him he could come home.