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My Daughter’s First Bully Was Another Mother

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amy poehler, mean girls mom 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 “wrong” 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 daughter’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 daughter’s life, but it was The Future Plastics’ 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 I’ve always had a very flexible schedule and frequently spent time in my daughter’s classroom to get to know her friends and teachers.  After a few weeks, I met Alice. Alice’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. She’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 she’s still only four.

Karly is also an only child and a girly-girl. That is where our similarities end.

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