Inspired by my niece, who always blamed her (nonexistent) evil twin.

Wouldn’t it be fun to say: “It wasn’t me, it was my evil twin”? If you happen to be a twin, I doubt that either of you is evil, but tell the truth: growing up, how many times did you point the finger at the other hoping they’d get the blame for what you did?

Fun, eh?

We weren’t triplets, but with 1.5 years between Seester and me and 2.5 between brother and me, there must have been plenty of times we felt like same-age kids to our stay-at-home Mom. We blamed each other for everything bad we did. Whether she ever bought into our blame-game or not never came to light.

I think kids have a natural sense of self-preservation and will toss the credit for bad actions anywhere they can.

Our parents taught us to take the blame and share the credit, but that age of learning comes along after the usage of the, “S/HE DID IT!” passing of the buck.

Niece wasn’t so big on blaming things on her much calmer little brother, but she was an ace at saying with attitude, “My evil twin did it.” Where does a kid even get that notion?

And how could we use that to our advantage in adulthood?

“Rm, who broke the shredder?” 

I never bat an eye, “My evil twin must have stopped by!”

My spouse pauses in his tracks to consider this new piece of information. No, he shakes his head, by now I’ve met all her family. Haven’t I? Pray that I have.

But, hey for a moment, he had to wonder, right?

Taking the blame for the things we do that are less than stellar is never an easy thing. I would like to never be the bad friend again, never hurt someone’s feelings, never forget to say thank you or do the right thing. But I’m not that good. How convenient to blame some other part of myself rather than taking a deep breath and setting the responsibility squarely on my own shoulders where it belongs.

Teaching kids to accept their shortcomings but not let those flaws define who they are must be a daunting task for parents. It’s hard for adults to shake off mistake-baggage and move on. Perhaps allowing ourselves to have an Evil Twin on which to occasionally blame things is not, exactly, a bad idea after all.

Parents, what do you think about your kids? Adults, how about yourselves?

My non-evil niece a few years ago...

My non-evil niece a few years ago…