Has anyone else ever noticed how much the 2004 movie Mean Girls relates to motherhood? If I may be so bold, Tina Fey thought of everything when she wrote that shining pinnacle of cinematography. It’s a layered parable about female relationships; It's a time capsule that represents Lindsay Lohan in all her youthful glory; It showcases Rachel McAdams in her full Rachel McAdams glory and Lizzy Caplan's in it, too! The best part, however, has nothing to do with high school and everything to do with parenthood. That's right: Mean Girls perfectly explains what it's like to parent a toddler, and when you realize the underlying message that only procreation was able to reveal to you, you'll realize that all the other layers of that film no longer matter. (Except Lizzy Caplan being in the film. She always matters.)
Seriously though, I thought that when I became a mom I’d have to give up, or at least cut down on, my tendency to obsess over entertainment geared toward people half my age. Little did I know that this was not only a false assumption, but now that my son is a toddler I can get even more out of my favorite movies. I mean, it doesn't take much thinking to realize that hormonal teenagers driven by social politics and a teething toddler hellbent on destroying your soul one tantrum at a time, aren't all that different. (And if you’re wondering, yes, my toddler-mom pants look a lot like Amy Poehler’s pink velour mom pants from the film because, let’s be honest, why shouldn’t they?)
So, whenever I am feeling like toddlerhood is unmanageable and I'll never make it through, I simply turn to Mean Girls and think about Cady Heron and Regina George and, well, my toddler is a much easier tiny human to handle. Don't believe me? Well, here are just a few ways the movie describes parenting a toddler, the way very few other mediums can:
Toddlers (Sometimes Rudely) Question Your Fashion Choices
It's not that sweatpants are the only thing that fit you, it's more like they're the only thing that can get you through a day of dropped food, spilled drinks, playing on the floor with your kid, and running after them at top speed when they've climbed up to the high part of the couch.
You Rely On Your Breasts In New And Useful Ways
Some of us are still breastfeeding; some of us are trying to get a grip on feeling feminine again; some of us simply like to let our kids snuggle on us during nap time and use them as pillows.
There Are Surprising Thing In Your Hair
Peanut butter. Hummus. Diaper cream. Yogurt. Bubble bath. Yeah, pretty much my entire shopping list inexplicably ends up in my hair.
Just When You Think You Have It Together, Your Toddler Does Something To Remind You That You Definitely Don't
My son is always quick to remind me, even accidentally, that he can do whatever he wants and just destroy all of my plans and leave me in a puddle of my own defeated tears. Or, on a smaller scale, he can pull a complete meltdown out of his pocket when we're out (because I forgot snacks), seconds before we run into people we know on what also happens to be the day I'm in my six-year-old jeans and a hoodie and running on, like, five hours of sleep.
You Feign Enthusiasm Even Though It's The Last Thing You Actually Feel
What's that, son? Why yes, I would love to stare out the window at the delivery truck parked at our neighbor's house for twenty minutes, thanks for asking!
Wetness Happens When You Least Expect It
Okay, no one becomes a parent without hearing at least a couple jokes about potty training accidents and diaper spills. But still, it doesn't mean I go through my days totally ready with a spare towel and cleaner.
No Matter How Hard You Try, You Can't Please Everyone
We are all Amy Poehler in a pink track suit. All. Of. Us.
You Keep Trying, To No Avail, To Get The People Around You To Do What You Want Them To Do
I mean, my son only responds to my requests to put his markers away, like, 60% of the time so Gretchen Weiners is pretty much my spirit animal.
Someone Cute (Your Toddler) Gets Carried Around Constantly
I wish I could say I'm talking about myself, but nope, definitely talking about my toddler.
Everyone Else Seems Way More Put Together Than You
Looking at you, moms at the park in athlete wear and full make-up smiling happily while you sip on your coffee. I want to be bitter, but deep down, I'm actually totally impressed by you.
You Draw Style Insporation From Surprising Places
My son goes bonkers over the duck t-shirt I ironically wear to bed, so it's hard not to aim for that reaction all the time.
Questionable Tears Happen. Like, Regularly.
Please don't get me wrong, real tears happen, too. But I can't help but feel slightly skeptical when they seem to disappear as soon as I pick up the banana he's pointing at from across the room.
It's A Full Spectrum Of Emotions From Start To Finish
Yep, that pretty much sums it all up.