I was at a Chinese restaurant the other day and there was something present in the restaurant with me that left a real bad taste in my mouth. No, the restaurant doesn't substitute dog for chicken. I'm talking about something truly disturbing. Something that shouldn't be allowed to continue in this world.

I turned my head and stared at this woman for a long time. I couldn't believe the nerve of her... taking a life-long committment an turning it into a half-assed inconvenience. What makes people give up so easily? What makes them stop trying?

I'm sorry, but when you make the decision to bring another living thing into this world, you bestow responsibility unto yourself which you can't take back, no matter how badly you want to. I sat there in the restaurant and watched this parent trying (well, not really) to control her five year old daughter, who was running around the restaurant like she had enough caffeine in her system to last the rest of her life.

"Excuse me, ma'am. Why didn't you just get a dog? At least when a dog ignores you, it's understandable: the dog doesn't understand you. When your child ignores you, that's just embarassing."

Pretty soon, the parent isn't the one doing the parenting anymore. Children learn boundaries when growing up. They learn exactly how much they can get away with without getting in trouble, and they continue to push that boundary, indefinitely if possible.

"Gee, ya know... maybe the 32nd time you tell that child to sit down and be quiet, she'll listen. You think? Why don't you go ahead and try. Couldn't possibly make you look any worse."

Please, people. If you're not 100% serious about having a child and raising him or her right, just get a dog. They're much less expensive, take less effort to maintain, and are always happy to see you.

Seems much more worth it to me, personally.


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