You know how scientists say that you can tell approximately how far away lightning is by counting how long between the flash of light and the sound of thunder? I've always heard that it's one mile for every second that elapses.
Well I've developed a similar method, sort of a game, for determining how badly Harper and Marley are hurt based on the same science. The length of silence between the catalyzing event and the first shrill cry is directly proportionate to the severity of the injury. Here's an example from about 30 minutes ago.
Marley was playing on the floor with a toy. As he was playing he bonked himself in the head. Immediately he started flailing, kicking and clutching. But there was no noise, not a peep. His face was distorted in a soundless howl, as though he had hurt himself in a silent movie and was waiting for the title screen to read "Waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh". And then the floodgates burst and much high pitched wailing followed. Fifteen seconds between impact and the breaking of the sound barrier. Pretty bad.
But I've also found this observation to be fairly useful. It provides a concrete criterion for us to communicate boo boos to each other.
"Harper fell out of her chair."
"How bad was it?"
"Not bad, three seconds of silence."
However, unlike with real science, this is something you can use in everyday life. If you have a little one, see if my observation isn't spot on. And if you don't, go sit at a park and watch toddles in their natural environment. You'll probably get all the necessary data to replicate my findings.