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How to tell if your child is related to you, in 5 easy steps:

1) Does he choose to eat half a banana in one bite, smashing it into the deepest pockets of his cheeks to allow for maximum food storage while he chews? He probably picked up on that trick after watching you eat an entire piece of cake in one bite. Sure, he might almost gag on it, but he seems to be proud of himself so you should be proud too.

2) Does he crave seconds of chocolate milk shortly after you poured the first big cup for him? While technically you both know that milk isn't refreshing, you guzzle it down because it tastes so good. And why not tink your glasses together to create a little "cheers" moment while you do so? This is America, after all.

3) Does he request to eat cereal for lunch? Yes, lunch is technically one of those savory meals of the day, but when it's dad-and-me time, why not indulge with a little honey bunches of oats for lunch? Now that's nutrition!

4) Does he opt to pour the remainder of the contents of his chocolate milk into his cereal bowl? It seemed to make sense to you to rinse out the bottom of your glass by pouring milk into your glass and then emptying the glass into your cereal (I mean, why waste perfectly good chocolate particles, right?). Does he continue to ask for "more milk" in order to pour as many glasses into his bowl as you poured in, even though he has never eaten cereal with milk thus far in his life?

5) Does he like the idea of slurping up the remaining chocolate milk from his bowl after the cereal is gone? (Again, why waster perfectly good chocolatey milk?) Chances are that by now you have realized that he is copying EVERYTHING you do and you probably saw this one coming. What you didn't see coming, however, was picking up the bowl the wrong way and dumping chocolate-cereal milk all over the kitchen table, chair, and pants of your oldest son, whom you are now sure is related to you.


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Running Start

"The worst that could happen is wet shoes and a broken ankle."
Those were the encouraging words Katie offered as we walked around the backside of the pond a second time.

On the front side of the pond was a little island, about 7 feet away from the shoreline. It appeared to be the home for the geese and ducks who flocked about the water that warm winter day. From a distance it looked like an easy jump to make it from the bank to the island, but the closer I got to the edge of the pond, the further the jump appeared to be. I definitely knew I wouldn't be able to make the distance from a standing jump but I felt fairly confident I could make the jump with a running start.

If it was just a matter of jumping from point A to point B, I would have attempted the jump with no hesitation, but there was some risk involved. Wet shoes, a broken ankle, and wounded pride were all fairly low risks overall, but still, it was enough to make me second-guess my parkour abilities.

So I decid…