Saturday, October 17, 2015


Currently I am thinking lots about babies.  I’m thinking about babies not because I want to make another baby, I'm thinking about babies because I am teaching Child Psychology and always thinking on topic for my next class delivery.  I’m a fan of snappy titles so here goes my thought processes ... I could’ve easily entitled this essay, KENNELS AND CRIBS, the actual working title until Mutts and Tots  jumped into my brain on my morning run.

I like both titles.  In both these titles, the actual one and the working one, the metaphor is consistent.  Mutts are dogs and tots are humans; and, kennels and cribs both represent containment.  I did toy around with Barks and Babies, but that metaphor is mixed (bark being a sound made by a dog, and babies being little humans).  I did also toy with Puppies and Pampers, which, too, is a mixed metaphor (puppies being dogs, pampers being accessories).  I like snappy titles.  I don’t like mixed metaphors.

Anyway, it is so easy to think of children, especially newborns, as pets.  Isn’t it?  (Yikes.)  And it is easy to compare the raising of dogs (man’s best friend, to coin a sexist metaphor) to raising children.  As sacrilegious as this may sound (sacrilegious being too strong a word I know), I do enjoy making the comparisons right along with, of course, the contrasts (hence the subtitle: THE COMPS AND CONS).

Here are the COMPS:

  • Both are family.  Both need love.  Both need attention.  Both need potty training.  Both need guidance.  Both need socialization.  Both need toys.  Both need sitters.  Both bring happiness. Both have a major impact on people’s lives.  Both take considerable time and effort.  Both have loads of information, information overload, really, on how-to raise and discipline.  Both need rules.  Both are governed mostly by carrot-and-stick.  Both become routine. And last … both will hang around the home for approximately twenty years.

And now here are the CONS (which are few when compared to the COMPS):

  • Children are much more complex than dogs.  You don’t have to be a positive role model to raise a dog.  And last, children will eventually talk back (pun intended).

And there you have it, my bowdlerized notion of mutts and tots, and even though I do teach Child Psychology, ‘tis obvious I’m no cognoscente on raising children.  Since I’ve reminded the reader that I am an academic of sorts, I would love to confess that this entire essay has been Aesopian in nature, an intellectual gambit for my bully-pulpit writing to suggest to crappy parents that kids are people too, and deserve far better than what they are delivering.  I would love to confess such, but it just ain’t true. 

Perhaps this essay was unconsciously written for the wooden be or wouldn’t-be parents, more so than for the wannabee or would-be parents but … wait a minute … I usually only write for would-be or wannabee buskers.

Hmmm … I have on occasion written before on dogs (see my blog entries, PETS-TO-GO:  THE MAX FACTOR, January 12TH, 2014, and CANINES AND COINS:  A SHAGGY-DOG ESSAY ON BUSKING WITH BOWWOW, December 27th, 2011), and I’ve written before on children (see my blog entry, BEND IT LIKE … A BUSKER:  THE BUSKOLOGY OF RECREATIONAL AND COMPETITIVE PITCHES, MAY 5TH, 2013). 

Whatever my reason for writing about mutts and tots, I must apologize to my ailurophile (cat lover) friends and readers, and hope to redeem myself with this retraction and closing … 


(And now I must apologize to my cynophile (dog lover) friends and readers ... but wait a minute ... I did write an entire essay appealing to your pooches ... let's just leave it at that!)

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