Some of us know this scene all too well.
You go out into the world with good intentions and who you thought were the rational children you’ve been nurturing and loving since birth, only to enter a crowded vicinity and have PDI kick in. And not just any case of PDI…the full-blownsies. I’m talking about Public Display of Insanity, also known as PDI.
PDI comes in various forms, strengths and audible levels, but usually involves situationally inappropriate displays of extreme emotion, slurred and unrecognizable speech, an abundance of tears, flailing of limbs and unwarranted disobedience.
It is a very common disorder found in children (and some adults) brought on by over-exhaustion, hunger, too much attention, not enough attention, and/or absolutely nothing at all. It occurs any time, any place, but only under optimal conditions for embarrassment. Making important phone calls, entering a place of peaceful business, and attending any event that requires extended periods of silence will almost always guarantee an outbreak of PDI.
Warning signs of PDI include a sudden lack of enthusiasm, whiney speech, a persistent complaint of hunger, an abrupt bout of defiance and/or an abnormal amount of face scrunching. Should you witness one or more of these signs in succession, you should immediately grab the ticking time bomb that is your beloved offspring and make a dash to the nearest exit. If you must leave your unpurchased items behind, so be it!
In rare and extreme cases, these warning signs may be masked by superficial displays of joy and enthusiastic bliss, in which case an escape is unlikely. You will quickly find yourself face to face with an unforeseen case of PDI. These are the absolute worst. Do not panic. It is still strongly encouraged that you leave the building you are in (yes, you must take your little crazy human with you), but avoid eye contact with strangers and employees at all cost. Their hollow glares are intended to eat your very soul and will only make your pain and suffering of PDSD that much worse.
That brings us to the subsequent condition: Post Display Stress Disorder. Often following a particularly robust case of Public Display of Insanity, PDSD is a condition involving hot flashes, extreme embarrassment, heavy breathing, blurred vision, and a strong desire for happy hour.
It not only affects the parental unit of the displayer, but it can also spread to surrounding individuals in the general area of the PDI occurrence. If left untreated in individuals without children, PDSD can become an unintended form of birth control.
While there is no known cure for PDI, parents can take comfort in knowing that they are not alone. Millions have suffered and continue to suffer from this horrible condition. PDI and PDSD are temporary disorders that will improve naturally over time. If you are a grown adult and find yourself suffering from PDI on a regular basis, you should see a doctor.
*The fine print: all conditions mentioned previously including PDI, PDSD and the “full-blownsies” are fictionally based on actual events occurring in nearly every household in the world. In other words, it’s a joke people.