How Children Are Exactly Like Pets

Every once in a while, some animal-loving friend will ask if I ever consider getting a pet. Without any hesitation, my answer is, “No.” No, I do not want a pet. No dog, no hamster, and definitely no cat.

Maybe someday my sentiment toward pet ownership will change, like when our kids are older and we decide to get a puppy to teach them how to responsibly care for another creature.

Actually, probably not even then. I remember how my brothers and I convinced my parents that we should get a dog, pledging that the three of us would be the caretakers. That arrangement lasted a grand total of two months while the little puppy was new and pet ownership was novel. After that, my dad was the sucker who had to clean the poop and take the dog out for walks.

The main reason I don’t want any pets is because I already have two young children. Let me enlighten you to the truth that little kids in the 1-4 age range are essentially the same as having a pet in the house.

They drool a lot.

They have to poop and pee at the most inconvenient times. Baggies and wipes are necessary items every time you leave the house.

They play fetch. As their fetching skills get honed, you can have them fetch increasingly helpful things, like TV remotes.

If there is food in sight, they will yap or growl incessantly until given every last edible scrap.

Potty training is a huge milestone. Pre-potty training, expect your house to smell like a zoo.

They obey short & simple commands. Sit, lie down, and roll over are all applicable to both kids/pets. Play dead might be worth a shot too; I haven’t tried it with my kids yet.

You get to dress them in Halloween costumes, mostly for your own amusement. The costume will stay on for 3 minutes (just long enough to snap a blurry photo) before getting torn off.

They need a daily walk. Preferably with a leash.

When they come into contact with peers, they get wild and territorial. Shoving and biting may ensue, in which case, that leash is recommended.

They can be bribed with treats.

No book (particularly library books) is safe from total destruction. This also goes for shoes, important documents, things owned by someone else, and electrical cords. Pretty much the contents in your entire house.

If you want to go on vacation, you need to get a sitter. God bless the sitter.

Their excitement is expressed through jumping on furniture and making loud noises until they wear themselves out.

You are the only one who can view limitless photos of them. Everyone else is just acting polite.

After a long day, one snuggle or kiss from your kid/pet makes it all worth it.

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