Evil twin baby!
Do babies come with a double who’s out to cause trouble?
Ever wondered if your child has an evil twin? Maybe his secret double is hiding in his cupboard, and only exchanges places at significant times: The minute you brag to your friends about your baby sleeping through/eating everything/never being sick or doing well at school, you’re essentially extending an invitation to Evil Twin.

Cue the ominous cello music

Wait... Before you shoot me down for assigning the word “evil” to a kid, you may be one of the lucky few who have never met Evil Twin. While I love my kids to pieces, I’ve also been driven to tears by them on occasion, and I know people who have muttered darkly about “The Omen” when their own kids have summoned the Forces of Darkness.

I’ll happily admit that my lack of skill, wit and patience when it comes to outwitting a tot is likely the catalyst for the appearance of Evil Twin. That said, ancient and modern literature, from Cain and Abel to Evil Spock- and every soapie, EVER, has explored the concept as a means of generating thoughts on human nature: A benign character will have his life upset by a doppelganger, and the rest of the characters will have to decide whom to believe.

It may not be an actual twin (even identical twins have independent emotions and personalities), but the general idea is that one character’s inherent good is offset by another’s inherent evil.

The madness of early parenthood

Back to the beginning: Repeat after me: A baby is not “evil”. No matter what your cultural or religious background is, a baby is simply a baby. A baby does what a baby does: cry, poop, cry some more, eat, gurgle happily and then yell. Some parents cope well with this routine (or variations of it). For other parents, their failed attempts at getting the crying to stop or the baby to sleep through or just  generally understand what’s going on, coupled with sleep-deprivation and a massive lifestyle change can induce what feels like a mild psychosis.

You’ll probably find that if you wait it out, the baby will eventually settle or get used to change- if you think you’ve had a lifestyle change, imagine what’s going on in the mind of a baby! I say baby, but there are similar afflictions which affect every age of childhood- the terrible twos (and sometimes threes and fours), the pre-school years, pre-adolescence and (help us, please), the teens.

If you only look at the difficult bits, though, you’ll miss out on so much. Evil Twin may make the occasional appearance, but, for the most part, kids are wonderful to be around. Rather than fretting about how to fix the Evil Twin, his appearance actually teaches me more about my own flaws than my child’s character. Far better for me to work on being Good Dad.

Does the ‘Evil Twin’ ever make an appearance in your home?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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