Toddler behavior is baffling. Sometimes your kid is all calmness and cuddles, then suddenly they're nothing but testiness and tantrums. You can communicate with them a lot more than when they were a baby, but it can still seem like nothing's really getting through. And for every time where a bit of reasoning seems to work, there are two more times when they can't be bothered to listen to a word. So, naturally, you try to figure out where they're coming from, and put them in some sort of comprehensible category. And one lens to try is '90s sitcom characters.
That might sound strange, but hear me out: The best sitcoms of the '90s were defined by their boisterous, over-the-top characters. People who stole the show in all sorts of unexpected or outlandish ways. Some were super nerds, a few were totally cool, and most fell somewhere in the middle. But whatever problem or challenge they had to overcome, we knew they were going to figure it out — and usually with the input and support of their friends and family. They had admirable qualities as well as major flaws, and that's why we loved them. Not all that different from a toddler, amirite?
Is your toddler the type to say it like it is (even if that means using some inappropriate language now and then)? Do they complain incessantly, but in an unbelievably endearing way? Then they might be a Sophia Petrillo. Candid, cheeky, and unfiltered, this Golden Girl breaks all the stereotypes about what a little old granny should be like, and lives life on her terms. Just be on the lookout if your kid starts muttering about the mafia, or mentions anything about a Sicilian curse...
Roseanne Conner is known for being domineering, loud, and something of a control freak when it comes to her family. But she cares about them deeply and does the best she can to make time for them. If your kid is always trying to be the boss yet always has the best of intentions, they might be a Roseanne.
Is your toddler talented, confident, and able to talk their way out of just about anything they don't want to do? Then you may have a Zack Morris on your hands. Zack is the ultimate charmer — maybe a touch self-absorbed at times, but a reliable friend and all-around good guy.
Uncle Jesse Katsopolis is the life of the party. He's a born performer, self-assured, and loved by all who know him. Of course he gets into the occasional scrape, but with the support of his family, it's never too much for him to handle. So if your toddler has a tendency to make a scene wherever they go, but still manages to stay on everyone's good side, they might be an Uncle Jesse.
If your kid is intelligent and assertive but also fairly neurotic, they may be an Elaine. She fits right in as "one of the boys," but she's also hilarious on her own. And, like many toddlers, her temper's on quite a short fuse, even with those she loves.
No one steals the show more than Steve Urkel. But he manages to do it while remaining completely oblivious to everyone's reactions. He's the ultimate nerd, with stereotypically limited social skills, yet he's completely charming in spite of himself. If your toddler is blessedly unaware of the effect they have on others, and has some geekily intense interests, you may have a mini Steve Urkel.
If your kid is a neat freak and a bit of a mother hen, they could be a Monica. Monica, who's known for being OCD and talking unusually loudly, has a competitive and determined spirit and knows how to be there for her friends.
Was your toddler born in West Philadelphia and do they spend most of their days on the playground? If so, they might be a Will Smith. Other telling characteristics: they're laid back, independent, and adaptable, with a mischievous streak.
If your toddler has a tendency toward the dramatic, an unfailingly wry sense of humor, and a very distinctive way of talking, you may have a Fran Fine on your hands. The star of The Nanny may have some unconventional ways of getting things done, but that just makes her even more endearing. Just watch out if your kid starts obsessing about fashion — you may be in for an expensive ride.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.