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Your dog is better behaved than my kid, you say?

Well, I should certainly hope so!

After all, your dog is an animal, a pet, whose mentality likely won’t cross the level of a two-year-old human. So his limits, his willpower, his intelligence, his desires likely will never exceed that mentality, either. Controlling the behavior of such a creature—who will never need to be defiant to create a life for himself, since he has you to do that forever—should be quite an easy task, indeed.

In fact, if your bumper sticker didn’t say that—if it said that my kid was better behaved than your pooch—I’d call you a moron. Really? You can’t ensure the behavior of one loyal companion, an animal known to be easily controlled and taught—so easily, in fact, that it makes one of the best and most popular pets on earth? What is wrong with you, sir (or madam)?

Of course, this is not what you mean when you smugly point to the little sticker while your poor pooch pants from the back window of your car, waiting for the chance to go take a dump so he can finally get a treat. What YOU mean is that you think my kid should be as well behaved as a dog.

You think that my kid, who will have to think critically and find her own ways of living, of making ends meet, of settling disputes in ways other than A. barking or B. sniffing someone’s ass, should be as obedient as your pup. My child, who oozes intelligence and will get bored if told to “sit” for longer than a few moments, who YOUR future—whether through scientific innovation or simple social security taxes—depends upon, should not be testing limits, exploring the world, defining herself, and learning because her questions, loudness, energy, or personality BOTHER you, and you would much rather she sit, stay, and be a good kid.

You know what? Every dog is a good dog, and every kid is a good kid. It’s dingbats like you that I’m not sure about. And I bet if we polled your parents, we’ll find that you were oh so much fun—and oh so much less controlled than your pooch—when you were a tot as well. And you should thank your parents for that opportunity and stop comparing my kid to your dog. I don’t do that to you or your mother or your girlfriend, do I? Why the hell do you think it’s okay to do it with my child—or anyone else’s?