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Overly cau­tious

No one is more cau­tious than a first-time par­ent. Af­ter our daugh­ter was big enough to ride on the back of my bi­cy­cle, I bought a spe­cial car­rier with a seat belt and got her a lit­tle hel­met. The day of the first ride I put her in the seat, dou­blechecked all the equip­ment, wheeled the bike to the end of the drive­way, care­fully looked both ways and, swing­ing my leg up over the cross­bar, ac­ci­den­tally kicked her in the chin.

Dou­ble Decker

It be­gan as an in­no­cent game with my tod­dler son, Robert. I’d get in the fighter’s stance and start shad­ow­box­ing. Jab­bing with both fists, I’d say, “One-two, one-two,” and he would im­i­tate me over and over. I never thought about the con­se­quences of this lit­tle ex­er­cise un­til my wife took our son to a birth­day party. When the boy’s mother was hand­ing out noise­mak­ers she leaned over to Robert and asked, “Would you like one too?” It took my wife a while to ex­plain her way out of what hap­pened next.

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