Engender twin daughters. Provide them a loving home environment and expose them to identical information and discipline. Results will vary despite your best efforts to keep all the variables exact.

Case in point: my daughters are each expected to brush their teeth after every meal. At the age of two, I began to explain to them the possible side effects of improper dental hygiene.

One of them is completely disinterested and considers it a chore to brush her teeth; and the other, is utterly enamored with floss and toothpaste.

The latter conducts a thorough nutritional value inspection on all she eats for fear it might result in a cavity. She double checks with everyone the health benefits of everything she eats before she eats it and after she eats it. Her twin, however, is blissfully unperturbed by the subject. The higher the sugar and artificial color content; the greater the thrill in consumption.

As fate would have it, my highly self-disciplined daughter has a cavity. Thankfully she doesn’t bemoan the fates, but, it does amuse my husband and I the way life works. Since the discovery of the cavity, I catch my daughter perched on the bathroom sink inspecting her teeth with the same intensity her twin watches cartoons.

She is on a NASA countdown, awaiting her dental appointment. She is giddy with anticipation. Go figure.

July 24, 2009