Yesterday, like many days, I was driving home with Noah in the backseat and time got away from me like it usually does. I looked at the clock four miles from home and realized that we were more than 90 minutes past Noah’s usual nap time. I looked at him in the rear-view mirror and he seemed plenty awake with no signs of slowing down. This was good. Only a mile later (three miles from home) I looked at him again and noticed that his eyelids were starting to droop. This was bad.
Like any parent would understand, younever want your kid to fall asleep when you’re getting super close to home, because, well, you then have to wake him up when you get home. And it’s then that all hell breaks loose. And it’s then that your chance at him getting a real nap drops to single digits. And it’s then that you can kiss that awesome day you were just having goodbye and replace it with a black cloud of insanity and unrest.
“Noah, don’t go to sleep yet”. I said. I won’t dad, I’m not tired. “Okay,” I said, “let’s sing a song.” Yeah. And we started singing Down by the Bay, a good choice to keep him awake, I thought, because we got to yell at the end of every verse.
Two miles from home. “Noah, are you singing?” Nothing. “Noah!” What dad? “Don’t go to sleep, we’re almost home.” I won’t. “okay, sing with me, I can’t hear you singing”. Okay, he said barely audibly. And I started to sing. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A BEAR, COMBING HIS HAIR, DOWN BY THE BAY?!
One mile from home. I look in my rear-view and watch his eyes fight closing as if lead marbles are sewn into each lid, struggling against his attempts to keep them open on Dad’s demand. “Noah” Grumble. “Noah!” Nothing. “Noah, wake up!” Nothing. This time I scream. “Noah, wake up buddy! We’re almost home, just 30 more seconds.”Nothing. I see his head start to drop. “Noah, NO! WAKE UP! WAKE UP NOAH! WAKE UP BUDDY!” Nothing. His limp head falls forward. “AAAARGH! NOAH!!! Wake up! We’re almost home”.
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