I will say this upfront, I am not an animal person. Don't get me wrong--it's not like I hate them or wish them any harm, but I've never had any pets nor do I have any desire to have pets. That being said, the only people more annoying than people with kids are people with pets. Why? Parents are constantly offering unsolicited parenting advice to other parents, but people with pets? They offer parenting advice based on their experience with an animal!
Let me rewind. Last week I was having a perfectly pleasant conversation with my daughter on the bus when this woman decided to interrupt and go on and on about how cute my daughter was... and how much she reminded her of her dog as a puppy. Say what? Sadly, this is not the first time this has happened to me. People in NYC love--like love--their dogs and they're constantly comparing them to children.
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In a way, I sort of get the comparison, but I still find it beyond annoying. Yes, your dog depends on you the same way my child depends on me, but that's about where the similarities stop.
So for all you pet-owners out there, here's a little insight into what most moms are thinking when you go on and on about how similar babies and dogs are. Okay, so maybe not all moms, but definitely me. Here are just 8 of the many, many ways in which my child is NOT like your dog--so please, once and for all, stop comparing them!
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1. After sharing my body with my child for 9 months, I spent a very painful 14 hours bringing her into this world. I know you love your dog, but I'm sorry, it's nothing like I love my daughter.
2. When my child wakes me up at 6 a.m every morning, she is not satisfied with a quick walk around the block. There are teeth to be brushed, potties to be filled, breakfast to be made, clothes to be ironed... shall I go on?
3. And speaking of clothes, can we discuss laundry for a minute? My toilet-trained 2-year-old still manages to go through at least 2 outfits a day. When she was an infant, at least 3 onesies on a daily basis. You know what that adds up to? A whole lot more laundry than those cute doggy sweaters.
4. Your dog can't say "Why." Every day, without fail, I have to answer at least 25 whys from my inquisitive 2-year-old. "Why is it hot," "why am I 2," "why is that green,"... AAAHHH!
5. Dog food is expensive--I will grant you that. But that, a few collars, a bowl and some toys are really all you have to buy your dog. A kid? I read somewhere that parents spend an average of $7000 on their child before his/her first birthday. The kicker? Most that cash is spent before the baby is even born. I'll skip over all the expensive years in between and leave you with one word: college.
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6. Should dinner plans arise or a friend pop in from out of town unexpectedly, I cannot just drop some food and water in a bowl and let my daughter fend for herself for the night. And babysitters, for the record, are very expensive these days.
7. Last, but certainly not least, my child is a human and your dog is an animal. Yes, my child may sometimes behave like something from the wild, but the incontestable fact is that my child will eventually grow up to be a rational, reasoning human being just like you and me. Therefore she should not, under any circumstances, be treated, referred to or compared to a dog.
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Your turn: am I being overly sensitive or does it bug you when people compare dogs to children? Weigh in in the comments.
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