My Daughterâ€™s First Bully Was Another Mother
As a woman, a mom, and a former teenager, I look at the young girls in movies like Mean Girls and I shudder. I remember those girls. The Plastics made fun of me for wearing the same jeans two days in a row. They taunted me and my classmates mercilessly on everything from who we were dating to what we were wearing to sitting at the â€œwrongâ€ table at lunchtime. Everything was fair game. What a relief when graduation came and I was done with any obligation to interact with this uber-clique on a daily basis. Unless, of course, I had children.
My daughter was born about four years after Mean Girls debuted. A few quick calculations told me I had about ten years before The Plastics would make an appearance in my daughterâ€™s life, and I guessed I had about three years after that before The Plastics would be a genuine concern. In reality, I had about ten minutes. It was then that I realized that The Plastics were not the girls who would be debuting in my daughterâ€™s life, but it was The Future Plasticsâ€™ mothers who were waiting in the wings.
My first significant encounter with a Plastic Mom was when my daughter, Emma, was about two years old. I work full-time, but Iâ€™ve always had a very flexible schedule and frequently spent time in my daughterâ€™s classroom to get to know her friends and teachers.Â After a few weeks, I met Alice. Aliceâ€™s daughter, Karly, was in the same classroom as Emma, and our daughters quickly became friends. Alice and I soon began to talk regularly as we dropped off our daughters and were headed down the path to becoming friends.
I will acknowledge here that my daughter is a girly-girl. She has incredibly long hair that is almost always pulled up in some way, a large supply of cute outfits and dresses, and a small but respectable shoe collection. She is an only child, and she has three grandmothers. Despite her propensity for all things feminine, my daughter is never fancy for school. Sheâ€™s four now, but she has not and will not wear accessories on a regular basis. She does not and will not get her hair curled or blow-dried for day-to-day life. She loves every moment of dressing up, but sheâ€™s still only four.
Karly is also an only child and a girly-girl. That is where our similarities end.