“No” To Toddler’s Temper Tantrum

July 25, 2010

in Baby & Kid Stories

I was taking a quick flight back from Orlando, FL to Lubbock, TX with a brief stop in Austin to let passengers get off and more get on. While waiting to board in Orlando, I saw a small family (Dad, two year old son, and Very Pregnant Mom) sitting in front of me. Dad had brought the little boy a Happy Meal. Upon opening it, he refused to eat it, screaming ‘No!’ then pushing it away. I cringed; not that McDonald’s is the finest of foods, but the kid is two, meaning if he doesn’t eat something, he’ll get hungry and cranky within no time, and the rest of the passengers are going to have to deal with his screaming for the flight (I’m a teacher and former au pair; I know what little kids can be like when they’re not fed!).

I wish there could have been a bet on that one, because I would have won the jackpot. No sooner had the kid been buckled in the aisle across from me than he began screaming. Well, not ‘screaming,’ but rather shouting, ‘NO! NO! NO!’ at the top of his tiny little lungs. I took this as a cue to put on my headphones and drown out his very vocal temper tantrum. Perhaps it was because the ear buds I was using were from Walgreen’s and not top of the line, but that kid even drowned out my music he was that loud. After the plane had taken off, he still screamed ‘NO!’ but would change it in tempo, sometimes quickly shouting, ‘NONONONONO!’ in rapid succession, and then sometimes hollering ‘NOOOooooOO!’ in an almost Castrati-like operatic way with dips below and beyond the forte line. I must admit, when he then changed his operatic way to a shrieking ‘No! No! No!’ while violently kicking the chair in front of him (that passenger deserved canonization), he kept the bass line with the Tool song I was listening to (‘Parabalus’ if you must know). Finally, at one point, he settled down right before we landed in Austin. I took off my ear buds as the fellow passenger next to me tapped my arm. He asked loudly, somewhat jokingly, somewhat serious, if our future Axel Rose to the left had stopped.

As if on cue, our little protagonist screamed ‘NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!’ as if getting stabbed by Norman Bates in a shower. Our entire row cracked up. I looked at the father who had a ‘please shoot me’ look on his face while his son screamed himself blue and thrashed in his seat. Upon arriving in Austin, the family ran out of the plane as quickly as they could. The guy next to me asked the flight attendent if she knew what the little boy wanted, why he was carrying on the way he was. She cracked a huge smile and said, loudly, ‘Nooooo!’ Ah, at least she had a sense of humor.

At lunch with my new staff a few days later, a co-worker mentioned that one of the first words a toddler learns and says is ‘no.’ No one had any clue why I burst out laughing!


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

The Logger July 26, 2010 at 2:26 am

All screamers and seat kickers must travel in cargo.

Ne exceptions.


good king Herod July 26, 2010 at 2:37 am

@the Logger, riding in cargo is too good for them.

Put them on the wings of the Airplane.

That will shut the little bastards up in no time.


Hack September 2, 2012 at 10:01 am

Shut up.


ElegantErica July 26, 2010 at 3:59 am

If you don't think your kids are ready for a plane flight, then unless the trip is truly necessary you might delay it for a year or two and plan a closer road trip.

And IF the flight is absolutely necessary then try to schedule it around the child's nap time.

I seriously don't understand why parents of small children consider the effects an ill behaved child has on other passengers.


Amber May 18, 2016 at 8:25 am

Scheduling things around nap times don't always work. You could have somewhere to be, at a time they are normally finished their nap and happy, come nap time they suddenly decide they don't want a nap. Not napping gets them extra cranky, as does hunger, but kids are finicky, they often want anything but the food you present them with. The best solution is having enough things to distract them, offering more choices for their meal, in situations like this, and simply being prepared and responsible.


Jim July 26, 2010 at 9:39 am

Hmmmm….Orlando = Disneyworld. Can a two year old really enjoy Disneyworld? Will a two year old even remember this trip? I wonder why do parents insist on shuffling their kids around on planes, where the other paying passengers are stuck, to listening to their children's tantrums. And, children of that age, do not enjoy sitting still for that long…and, they do not know how to pop their ears….and, they may be scared of the sounds, cramped in quarters, etc…. so, why fly with a child, unless it is an absolute necessity…until it is old enough to behave as a civilized person should.


Dina July 26, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I used to work in childcare, and I've seen kids come back from trips to Disneyland when they're 2, 3, 4 years old. Trips to Disneyland… from AUSTRALIA. Um, yeah. Great thinking there…


Vonnie August 12, 2010 at 11:45 pm

My husband and I are over the road truck drivers.

We had a couple of days off in Orlando once and went to Disney World……which I won't do again….and were amazed at how new parents actually thought their 2 yr old, or under, would have a good time.

It was hot as hell and the kids were bored silly.


Amber May 18, 2016 at 8:33 am

My 18 month old would love Disney world, she'd never remember being there a month later but she would absolutely love being there while she's there. The rides, the junk food, the other people, the characters. Every part of it would be awe inspiring for her, but she'd also only want to be there for at most a couple hours then she'd be bored of it all and want to do something else.

So yes, I think it's possible a 2 year old or under would have a good time at Disney, as long as the parents don't expect to hang around long after they've gotten bored of the junk food and watching the people and rides. However, taking a child that young to Disney for a couple hours would be silly, best to wait until the child is older and will remember the trip, and can get more enjoyment out of it.


Peace Lover July 26, 2010 at 11:38 am

I like kids but it is when I see or hear angels like this one even I can't help but cringe. I often have thought about having kids when I reach my adult years but when I hear of incidents like this I reconsider. But as celine dion says, "fly fly precious one".


Laura July 26, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Tool, nice. Next time try Nasum or Pig Destroyer, grindcore drowns out everything.


Tux November 15, 2010 at 8:33 am

Christ. When I was ever on a plane to Orlando (yay SeaWorld!) as a kid, I kept my little mouth SHUT. I knew if I wanted any souvenirs and didn't want to spend the whole trip in the hotel room with a nanny, I better be GOOD.


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