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A few years back when B and I were trying to figure out the parenting gig out — it seemed that every subtle fluctuation in temperature, skin rash, or change in the twin’s parlor resulted in a midnight run to a hospital.

Some of the incidents were legit. For example, Maya was once rushed to the  hospital for splitting her forehead on concrete. Seventeen stitches later, Maya still bears a Harry Potter scar between her eyes. There was a period right after the girls were born where they were diagnosed with respiratory apnea, and so every misfiring of their apnea monitors led us to believe they were in respiratory arrest. The panic of those early days set a pattern of underlying tension we never overcame.

Once B took the girls to a pond to visit a new batch of recently hatched ducklings. They handled the ducks and turtles in that pond, and B, who happens to double as a National Geographic explorer, caught every reptile in sight for their close inspection.

A few days later, the girls became seriously ill and the pediatrician suggested their symptoms were consistent with Salmonella poisoning. One of the twins was quarantined in the hospital as the other recuperated at home. We were later told they were clean for Salmonella, and the matter was tucked away as another freak mystery illness.

I walked away from the experience with the belief that ducks and turtles = horrible infection, and so, I’ve since kept the kids away from these harmless creatures.

Last week at the park, I quietly made peace with the matter. The girls and Ryder delightedly handled newly sprung chickens without hearing any paranoid shrieks from you know who.