Pañal is “diaper” in Spanish. Tantrum is “hell on Earth” in English. I can handle each on its own, but ne’er the two shall meet. Unless they run into Little J and ask him to meet them for coffee. Little J is usually the happiest little two and a half feet in the toddler kingdom. But a walk to the changing table starts a catastrophic metamorphosis. I am suddenly the proud mother of a steel plank that has lost all flexibility in the cooling process. In related news, I am now studying the ancient art of hog tying. And the hog is winning. I thought the tantrum de pañal was the apex of tantrums. But I had the privilege of experiencing an in-flight meltdown.
I’ll pause for sympathy. It was our first public tantrum and we went for the gold. It was an all out aviation event. Two minutes (football minutes including Super Bowl commercials) of pure lose-it-ness. If I didn’t try to Eternal Sunshine this brief moment in time, I’d tell you there was a lot of screaming. And stiffening. At one point I think he actually turned into liquid so he could exit his seat undetected. And then as quickly as it started, it was over, like a scene from Twister. As the credits rolled, we surveyed the devastation of Sky Mall magazines and empty beverage cups. A flickering iPad lay on the dangling tray littered with graham crackers and Cheerios. I looked down and the little ball of fury was limp in slumber on my lap. The first nap all day, just as the wheels touched down. I’ve been inducted, folks. I’m officially a parent. I’ll wear my badge proudly, on the no-fly list.