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Crash Landing

As I mentioned, Noah and I just got back from a little sponsored vacation in San Antonio.

Every time we get on a plane together, we both get super excited about takeoffs and landings. It’s our favorite part of any flight, and we usually do countdowns together to see if we can guess the exact timing.

But this time, well into our final decent, Noah clicked off his iPad, shut the cover, turned and looked at me (very awake, it seemed), and declared, “Dad, I’m going to sleep now.”

He burrowed his head into my arm before I could yell “NO!” and fell asleep.

Instantly.

I’ve never seen him fall asleep with such speed.

I tried to thwart it, knowing that waking him up ten minutes into a heavy nap would be disaster, but it was no use. It didn’t matter how much I jostled him or yelled at him. He was out for the count.

As the plane was about to touch down, I attempted again, desperately trying to lure him with our awaited count down.

And… nothing.

He was out. And he wasn’t waking up.

As the plane was de-boarding, he had no choice but to wake up. And, just as I knew I’d have to, I got to deal with a seriously cantankerous and moody kid for the next hour.

It was a crash landing for poor little Noah that day. Which ultimately I had to laugh about.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. yeah, I know the picture above isn’t from the plane. It was from the taxi cab when he had his first crash landing of the trip.

PPS. Do any of you parents know that feeling of trying desperately to keep your kids awake to avoid the inevitable crankiness that will ensue when they have to wake up?

84 comments
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Chris Lori

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Shannon Farley Leonardi
Shannon Farley Leonardi

We drove to Disney world last summer. Three kids 10,7 and 5. 17 hours of driving we got home at 3 am, they where WIDE awake. Me not so much.

Renee Michalosky
Renee Michalosky

More than I want to remember. It happens more when we travel.

Heather Tudhope
Heather Tudhope

My daughter has issues with her ears hurting on flights so usually as the plane touches down and her ears are relieved she crashes out and then I'm stuck trying to get sleeping kid and all our stuff off the plane. Opening a stroller with no hands without waking her up is always fun too. Luckily Immigration has been very nice and not made me wake her up going through. Last time I went home she woke up just before the shuttle van arrived and got into clingy Mommy mode and wouldn't sit in her car seat. So embarrassing trying to buckle in a screaming unconsolable child with an audience.

Shelley Dornes
Shelley Dornes

I was lucky enough to have a kid that slept through getting taken out of car seats and strollers.

Laurie Kingsbury
Laurie Kingsbury

I thought when mine got older it would get better...I was wrong. I would rather deal with the younger ones that having the teenage walking mood swing. At least when they were younger I knew when it was coming and could prepare. Not so much when they turn into teenagers. Its like walking in the dark knowing that there are legos on the floor but not knowing exactly where.

Ashley Brissel
Ashley Brissel

Ok I read this then saw the old Halloween post under it from 2010. I don't think I have laughed that hard in a while! I loved the highwater spidey-man costume and the droopy drawers. Oh goodness, I need that laugh!

Kori'Kottsick'Nestibo
Kori'Kottsick'Nestibo

I will take there shoes and socks and Zip my nail up the bottom of their feet. If that doesn't do the trick, the trying to keep the feet out my reach usually does until we can get to a good nap place.

Kimberly
Kimberly

Oh my gosh! I don't know what's worse...the crankiness when a nap is desperately needed, or the crankiness that follows a too-short nap. Okay, I do know.  My usually wonderful 4-1/2 year old (who gave up naps when he was about 3) is a different child when he's accidentally fallen asleep. Whether he sleeps the nap out or gets awakened unexpectedly, it's not a happy scene. I feel your pain.

JillH
JillH

I have to sympathize with Noah on this.  "Take Off" and "Landing" are usually when *I* fall asleep on a plane.  I think it's because the pressure changes drastically.  If I don't fall asleep during take off, then I'm awake the entire flight and inevitably "crash" when landing.  Since I don't have kids - no funny kid story to report. :)

poppylaneartworks
poppylaneartworks

Oh, yes, I've lived through such times.  Driving home, in the minivan, yelling "No, no! Wake up!  LA LA LA LA LA WAKE UP!  STAY AWAKE!  Let's sing a song! SING WITH ME!  Oh god no....come on baby, stay awake...ON TOP OF OLD SMOKEYYYYYY....No? OK....OLD MCDONALD....STAY AWAKE AND I'LL GIVE YOU A COOKIE!!!!!"

Lynn
Lynn

Such a beautiful boy!

Alyosha Violet
Alyosha Violet

Oh yes, repeatedly, about a minute from home would be a-bomb-blast-couldn't-stop-me-from-falling-asleep, then the most desperate attempt to transfer quietly from car to cot, which never worked. Just screaming, and senseless horror. And I hated how miserable they were, it broke my heart every time. But I think I usually felt even more sorry for ME having to deal with it.

MiriamJane
MiriamJane

ooo yes! the crash out right before we unload the car!!!! and then they are sooooo mad!

LisaJentz-short
LisaJentz-short

Our crash landing from our 4 and 1/2 hour plane ride monday ended with a puking toddler.  That smiled the whole time until the big blaaaah came up and all over himself and his seat and mine too!  It was not the best landing for us and it smelled so bad!  I was traveling home from visiting my sis in Cali with my two kids all by myself it was not an easy flight and my poor guy did what I myself has done in the past just lost in on the landing.  What a mess it was.. luckily we had our luggage so he could get some clean clothes on.

Liberty Hatfield Mason
Liberty Hatfield Mason

Only a parent can appreciate the full-bodied panic that an ill-timed nap initiates!! Love it!

Jill Mendez Ziman
Jill Mendez Ziman

we used to sing 47 verses of 'Wheels on the Bus', making up lots of new verses, to keep kids awake until we got home!

Liz Bull
Liz Bull

My 6 year old bit me in her sleep last night as I tried to move her after crashing... She of course denies that the incident ever happened-- almost as much as she denies that she was asleep!

Amy Jo Syfert Schilling
Amy Jo Syfert Schilling

My 4 1/2 year old is growing out of naps, which is never pretty to start with, but he's taken to staying up while laying down for nap then passing out on an evening trip to one of his brother's practices or in random locations around the house around 6, you CAN NOT wake him, I've picked him up, talked to him, sat him up, you name it, he does not wake up, so he sleeps for at least an hour or two then can not fall asleep at bed time, the worst.

Ruben Abril
Ruben Abril

All the time. I have a 5 year old and an almost 2 year old. My oldest flew beautifully to Cancun one year. Fell asleep just after take-off and woke up on final descent. With the connection I fears the worst. But he did it again! Asleep up and cruising, awake to land! The very worst timing for the tired nap is on our nights to dine out. They both fall asleep on the way to the restaurant, just a time bomb waiting to go off..

Aaron Witt
Aaron Witt

One of my trips back home to Ontario with my son, found me explaining the 'Safety Guide' and what the pictures meant. He asked me about the yellow slide and what it was. So I told him that if the plane crashes we can use the slide to get off the plane. Of course in his loudest, most innocent voice, he proclaimed, 'If the plane crashes that will be FUN!' Judging by the look on the other passengers faces, they had not heard my prior explaination about the slide. :P

Schaefer Montgomery
Schaefer Montgomery

this happens several times a week when our youngest inevitably crashes just before dinner time. not only will she be cranky for an hour or more, but she'll be up til midnight, bright eyed and bushy tailed!

Ashley Dian Anderson
Ashley Dian Anderson

Chantelle: that happened to me when I had 5 kids(2 of mine and 3 of my cousin's for a family wedding) on a flight by myself, from 7-2 years old...the 3 year old had stomach problems from nerves... Here's my favorite crash out moment of my 6 year old in time out: http://youtu.be/qcSumLH3k3o

Allison Ross
Allison Ross

It's always after they refused to sleep hours earlier when they would have had time for a good, convenient, meltdown-preventative nap, too.

Lisa Childers
Lisa Childers

The exact opposite happened. I usually can't sleep on planes and after an overnight flight to London, I fell asleep before we landed. My 15 year old son couldn't wake me so he ate my breakfast. Upon landing he called the flight attendant who began shaking me. LOL! no alcohol was involved in my zonking out, just sleep taking over.

Jennifer Meyers Heeter
Jennifer Meyers Heeter

LMAO - the same thing happened with my son on his first plane trip. I thought he passed out to be perfectly honest. It kind of freaked me out but he just fell asleep. So funny

Chantelle Bentley
Chantelle Bentley

K, I thought that was going to say something more like "I have to poop!"

Christine Adkins
Christine Adkins

Both of my kids would be awake for the entire flight and fall into that no-waking-them-up sleep, just as we were hovering over the runway and the plane was about to land and there was nothing I could do to stop it. My youngest would also fall asleep 5 minutes from home in the car. I would turn up the radio, roll down the windows, grab her legs, yell, sing, ANYTHING to keep her awake to no avail...a 5 minute nap it was. I don't miss those days!

Michelle Morgucz Swindle
Michelle Morgucz Swindle

On one of our recent trips, my son was exhausted. Knowing that he would be a cranky mess the entire trip, I WANTED him to fall asleep on the plane... just not 10 minutes before landing!... No such luck... that was a rough trip.

Von Thompson
Von Thompson

Wow, this is totally an experience I understand. My oldest had to be kept awake in the car when he was little because if we got someplace and woke him up, he instantaneously went into total meltdown mode, complete with kicking and screaming. Let's just say that if we had to remove him from the car, my husband did NOT take part. Those tantrum kicks can be very dangerous to a dad.

Brittany E. Garrigus
Brittany E. Garrigus

My girls love to crash whenever we are in the car coming home from my parents' house. Luckily I have an older model Mercury and it has a HUGE backseat. So I will very quietly open the doors and unbuckle them and let them sleep their nap out in the car. They think it's great since they say the car is more comfortable then their beds haha!

Kristen Andrews
Kristen Andrews

Won't let me comment on the page so I'll do it here: My youngest(6) falls asleep anytime we are in the car for more than 15 minutes...it's fine on long trips because she also gets carsick and this helps avoid the tummy aches. The problems arise when it's a 20 or 30 minute car ride...sigh. Usually I just try to keep her talking.

Allegra Waggener
Allegra Waggener

My baby sleeps through anything, but I can't he has a tendancy to fall asleep in the afternoon when they're doing construction right out my window, and I dread it because I know he'lll get a second wind right when I'm at my lowest ebb. But I've already learned to save my energy, there is no waking this boy once he's out out.

Jessica DiZerega Taylor
Jessica DiZerega Taylor

Always happens on the decent when you're on a plane. You could try the whole flight to get them to take a nap but as soon as that plane starts going down it's like a switch flips!

Stephanie Larie Neeley
Stephanie Larie Neeley

When my kids were 1 and 2 their father was stationed in Germany and the kids and I flew over to see him. After what seemed like 5 days in the air they both fell asleep while landing in Frankfurt! I was one exhausted momma.

Barbara Sliney Converse
Barbara Sliney Converse

My son has always waited to sleep 2minutes before our destination. He times it, I swear! He has even gone off sound on the 4 minute carride to kindergarten! LOL, now that is a very scary drop off. Live that Lil Stinker!

Cyd Melcher
Cyd Melcher

I flew with my then four year old daughter from Springfield MA to San Francisco CA for a vacation and then back. She was absolutely perfect on the flight out--the guy in front of us actually said, "I was really worried when I saw I was going to have a child behind me but I was very pleasantly surprised by how well behaved she was." On the way back, during the last half hour of the flight, she totally melted down. I did what I could to calm her down, more for her sake than the people around me because she'd really been an incredible trooper up to that point.

Carol Richards- AnCel
Carol Richards- AnCel

This happened on our way home during out last trip too!! She has NEVER fallen asleep on plane but for some reason feel sound asleep during the landing. Very hard to wake up!! not fun for anyone.

Marisa Baselice
Marisa Baselice

This happened to me all of the time!! My daughter would fall asleep shortly before landing and be OUT! I would have to carry her which was basically dead weight since she was so zonked out, and all of our stuff through the airport which when she was younger included the car seat. As she has gotten older she still does it and I have the after effects you are referring to. Good times indeed!

jilljanine
jilljanine

My daughter could not be woken up from a nap without a severe crying jag ensuing.  We did everything we could to not have to wake her up.  People would think we were a little crazy, but hey, they never had to try to calm down a hysterical 'woken up' child.  We would also work diligently to keep her awake on road trips.  If it didn't work, we paid for it.  Luckily she's now 9 and can be woken up easily now.  I was worried for awhile. 

DrB
DrB

Our daughter essentially did this as we were landing in Tokyo.  She'd been up all night with one tiny cat nap.  She was about 22 months old and just CRASHED about 10 minutes before landing.  We had to get through a very long customs line and she started to fall back asleep in her stroller.  A nice customs official sped us through an express lane and we still had to take a train to the hotel.  She handled it really well all things considered.  My dreaded plane incident is when a kid says with panic "I have to go potty!" either during take off or landing and the flight attendants are NOT going to let anyone leave their seat.

EricaMarvinHoffman
EricaMarvinHoffman

I was visiting family in Vegas alone with my 4 mo old and 25mo old.  We went to the park and had an unfortunate mishap on the slide and thought for sure my 2 yr old broke his leg.  long story short, we flew home 36 hrs later with a half cast on his leg and an appt scheduled with his dr at home.  In the meantime I had to figure out how to maneuver a huge suitcase, a carry on, a single stroller and 2 small children unable to walk through Lav Vegas international!!  And absolutely NO ONE had the decency to offer help!!  the real icing on the cake was that I was not allowed to carry both kids through the metal detector.  I stood there a full 5 minutes arguing with them because my oldest had his own ticket he had to walk through alone,  I'm almost speechless at how stupid the guy was to think a child with a cast was gonna do that alone.  he's in pain and miserable and didn't even want me to put him down!!  Oh, and they said no one else could help him either.  finally, with tons of grumbling from the masses behind me, as well as the tsa people, they got a tsa person to carry him through.  Major kudos to Alaska Airlines for their amazing flight attendants!!!  One of them walked with him up and down the aisles and kept him content while I nursed the baby!