“Ana arkab at-ta’irah ma’aki wa ma’… Abooni?”
[a funny pronounciation of the generic “my father”]
It is well-known among toddlers and babies that the best time to fall asleep on an airplane trip is just as the airplane is touching down. If you fall asleep before, you miss the opportunity to spill your apple juice and kick the seat in front of you, play peek-a-boo with other passengers, grind up Fritos, and totally wipe out your parents.
If you know how to ask questions, ask them constantly. Ask about the airplane wings, ask about the seatbelts, ask about the airport, ask about the escalators. Ask in a way that minimizes verbalizing, so you can produce the maximum amount of questioning power to outlast your parents’ energy reserves.
“Whatsthat? Whatsthat? Whatsthat? Whatsthat? Whatsthat? Whatsthat? Whatsthat? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?”
Don’t worry that other passengers snicker or comment on what a little chatterbox you are. Don’t worry that the airplane or bus is silently waiting to unboard and the only sound is your piping, overly amplified voice. Be absolutely confident in your cuteness.
When your voice starts to give, you become tired, or you don’t know how to ask questions in the first place, just whine.
If you ever have trouble understanding what’s going on around you, just put it in mommy-daddy context, since it is a framework that can be applied to most situations.
"At-Ta’irah tanzil ila al-matar…tureedu umaha?"
[The airplane is landing because it wants its mommy?]
“Al-Hafilah Abu Sayaratuna?”
[Is this bus the father of our car?]
Finally, when you hear the landing gear coming down and the airplane roars into its final descent, you may at last curl up and go to sleep. Resist all attempts to wake you up, and make Abooni carry you off the airplane.