Dear Lola,

My husband and I have been discussing having a baby now that we are on firm financial ground and have settled into our careers. We decided to list the pros and cons of having children because we know life will change drastically and we want to be as prepared as possible. Unfortunately, the list of cons looks a lot scarier once they are written down and our list of pros seems meager in comparison. We decided to turn to a wise canine in the hopes your humorous take on having children would bolster our courage. So, what are the pros and cons of having children?


Provisional Parent

Dear Provisional Parent,

Let me just start off by congratulating you and your spouse on placing the proper amount of thought into such a major life decision. Unlike when you purchase a car, there is no buy back period when you give birth to a Miniature Human. Also unlike a car, there is no warranty period to cover damages – which is unfortunate.

Miniature Humans spend an inordinate amount of time trying to destroy everything of value around them.

I think it would be most helpful if I started with the list of cons. Not only will this validate your own fears, it may add a few new – and probably quite a bit more terrifying – concerns to mull over. Then, just as you are about to burst into tears and swear off parenting forever, I can present you with the pros and leave you feeling hopeful about the future of your species.

You will never get a full night’s sleep ever again.

Please take note that I said never and followed it up with ever to really make my point. Other parents will lie to you, telling you that Miniature Humans eventually sleep through the night. They are quite careful not to say that parents of said Miniature Humans eventually do so as well. Instead, you will stay awake worrying about every single thing that can go wrong in the world. College funds, life insurance, volcanoes erupting, eating vegetables – all of these worries play through your mind as soon as the lights go out each night. Then your Miniature Human starts driving and a whole new set of terrifying nightmares will keep you awake. This cycle repeats with each phase of life your Miniature Human enters – resulting in a loss of sleep that you can never recover from.

You will never have spare income ever again.

Like a broken record, I have to stress the words never and ever. Miniature Humans cost a fortune! It starts with daycare and diapers which could reduce the most financially secure couple to wearing rags. Then you start to pay for extracurricular activities that may include sports, dance, music, art, and any number of other interests that your Miniature Human may be drawn to. These interests will also switch rapidly, leaving you paying for a new activity before the old one has even ended. It finally culminates in cars and college. Even if you are a multi-millionaire, your budget will never be the same after having a Miniature Human. They’ll just expect nicer cars and better allowances!

You will never have a tidy home ever again.

Miniature Humans are tiny when they enter this world, but the amount of equipment they require is not. You may as well build an addition onto your house now – and then watch helplessly as it fills up within a year. While you may assume that the house will be cleaner once the Miniature Human is old enough to pitch in with the chores, I guarantee there will always be one tiny building block, or race car or crayon, just waiting for your foot to find it – resulting in a visit to the nearest hospital. Then once you are released, you can come home to clean up the blood and broken furniture from your fall. Just when you assume the house is yours again, your not-so-Miniature Human will arrive with their own little bundle wrapped in blankets. The cycle starts again.

You will never have any privacy ever again.

Have you ever wondered why virtually every bedroom and bathroom door in your house has a lock on it? That was a desperate attempt to keep Miniature Humans from following their parents every place they went. Unfortunately for those parents, the locks did not keep the tiny intruders out of their private areas. Instead, Miniature Humans decided to have a bit of fun with the idea by locking themselves, and sometimes a pet or two, into those rooms. Parents would bang desperately on the doors before using whatever tools were at their immediate disposal to rip the door from its hinges. Miniature Humans studied the technique and deployed it against their captors. Parents are now forced to use the bathroom as tiny fists pound on the door, shouting for entry into the forbidden room. And all that fun you had with your spouse when the lights went out before having Miniature Humans? That’s over! Small eyes see everything – and then they tell their teachers and classmates about it.

Now, as promised, I will give you a bit of hope for your parenting future.

It isn’t a big list. Neither is it a glamorous list. But in my defense, if you want to live a life filled with big hopes and glamorous dreams, you should have a canine instead. My species loves to nap. In fact, napping is one of our favorite hobbies and it costs you nothing. Which moves me to my point that other than food and medical, my species can survive on a much smaller budget than our human counterparts. Your home will also be much cleaner with a canine in residence. No rodents or insects will dare cross our threshold because canines allow no scraps of forgotten food to lure them in. We keep your floors clean so you don’t have to! We also cannot reach very high, limiting our zone of destruction and decreasing your decluttering time.

I’m not going to lie to you, the privacy issue is still going to be a problem.

My species has an innate need to follow our humans wherever they go – whether that be the bathroom or the bedroom or any place in between. However, I can guarantee that a canine will never turn around and tell the neighbors about your habits, thus your privacy is actually protected. I would also point out that should an intruder think to interrupt you during your private time, a canine will be sure to drive them back out of the home with a chunk of their trousers hanging from our mouths.

Unfortunately, canines have one limitation that humans do not – a lack of opposable thumbs. This is where having a Miniature Human can be quite beneficial in the long run.

You will have someone to change your diapers when you get old.

It’s the ultimate payback for all of the sacrifices you made to raise a Miniature Human. The perpetual lack of sleep, the inability to buy a private jet to transport you to remote locations, the house that always looked like a tornado tore through it, the embarrassing moment when your neighbors know what you did last night with your spouse – all of that will be forgotten the first time you make a mess in your pants and call your Miniature Human to change it. Be sure to capture that look on their face with a camera so you can frame it in a place of honor on your wall. The beauty of the cycle of life is that what goes around will eventually come around. All of your hard work to raise a productive member of society will hopefully result in society being a better place than it was before.

If all else fails, you can adopt a canine to watch tv and eat pudding with you in the retirement home.


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