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almost always due to disagreements about raising the kids

You're not kidding!

But it's not just what you would think, like, what time they go to bed or if vegetables are a necessary part of dinner. It's that and 100 more things that are all complicated by the weirdness of the split family.

For instance, table manners. Really basic stuff, like, use your fork and knife, don't stick your head in the bowl, don't stab a big chunk of food and eat it off your fork. Their mother doesn't re-inforce any of this. She says "as long as they eat, I don't care how they do it." SO, even something as simple as "you don't eat pancakes with your hands" puts the kids in the middle. I think they feel like I'm picking on her when I tell them the "right" way to do anything. Like, "Mom lets me do it... are you saying Mom doesn't know how to eat?"

Not that they say that, but that's what I know they're feeling.

So, everything means more than it really means, you know?

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