I should have known better than to brag about how easy it is to travel across the country with two kids-like a tragic Greek hero, my hubris led to my downfall on our return trip home. I'll spare you the details (I'm trying my best to forget them) but suffice it to say, a toddler stuffed with candy from her Christmas stocking, and two weeks worth of spoiling from grandparents, is not poised to be the well-mannered traveling companion I had on our departing flight. It was a Jekyll/Hyde situation for sure. Plus, she skipped her nap, sleeping for a grand total of about five minutes just before we had to change planes. By the time we hopped on the "big airplane," which she'd been so excited about for our five-hour flight back home, she was quite the handful. She demanded sweets, stage dived repeatedly on her baby sister ("I'm swimming," she'd shout) and refused to sit in her seat. Putting her seat belt on caused such a ruckus I felt sure an air marshal was on the way to toss us all off the plane. By the end of the flight I neither recognized my child (who is this brat?) or myself. I'd transformed, like my toddler, into my worst self-a sniffling, threatening, haggard parent who couldn't handle her kids, her luggage or even her in-flight snack (spilled it everywhere). What did I learn? With kids, as in life, the second you think you've got it all covered is the exact moment it falls apart. Don't be deluded into thinking you're in control. Especially of an overtired toddler. So I am starting the New Year with humility and my ego smaller, having been knocked down off my soapbox and on my ass. But just like my little ones, who battle gravity on a daily basis, I get back up again. Someone has to save the baby from stage dives. On my humble pie soundtrack: U2's Vertigo.