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The Ugly Child

As you may know, my wife and I have twins, a boy and a girl.  They turned six years old in May.

Frequently when we are out we split up and each of us takes one of the kids.  We try to mix it up but frequently I and up with our son and she ends up with our daughter.
Some days however one or the other of us has reached our last nerve.  We know we need to separate them, but neither of us wants to spend time with the kids.  This sounds rude, but it's a truth of parenting.

On these days we talk about "the ugly one".  If Kristie is frazzled I'll say "I'll take the ugly one today."  When you have twins frequently one is uglier.  This isn't a matter of aesthetics, it's personality.  We don't always know which one will be acting up the most, so this is my way of volunteering to accompany the child who is most likely to drive Kristie over the edge.

In the beginning this was almost an inside joke, but years later we still do it and it's actually a very effective parenting technique.  Separating the kids from each other is good, but separating them a parent who is on edge can be better.  Sometimes simply the change of the family dynamic for a few hours does all the parents and children lots of good.

You may be wondering why I'm telling you this.  My friend, Canadian Dawn, sent me a bunch of pictures labeled "parents of the year".  I've seen several of them before but this one was priceless.  Thanks Dawn.


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