As a mother of two little punchers who idolize their cowboy dad, my toes are targets for little ropes, and their plastic rodeo toys play out some disturbing scenes.
I’m a mother of two sons who act just like their dad, which is usually a good thing. Milo, 5, and Levi, 2, wear pearl snap shirts, jeans and boots because my husband, Jim, does. They take their hats off at the dinner table and want to ride their horses every day because that’s what Daddy does. Here are a few perks of raising little cowboys.
Someone is always available to rope my foot
A few years ago, I’d sit on the couch in the evening with my feet up on the reclining footrest and watch TV in relative peace and quiet. These days, two little boys immediately start swinging their ropes and launching loops at my toes. I can’t escape by standing up and walking around, either, because someone recently taught them to play inside foot. My shins kind of hate that person.
The kids often lose their indoor play ropes and task me with replacing them before the toddler has a meltdown. I always try to oblige this request, because I hate to be the reason my kid doesn’t practice enough to make the NFR in 20 years, you know? So, I’ve swiped parachute cord from Jim’s braiding stash, and also blamed it on her brothers when my daughter noticed that her new school shoes didn’t have any laces.
They air rope at the breakfast table
My boys are always throwing imaginary loops, just like their father. I saw my 5-year-old air roping while eating his cereal the other day and was so relieved to know we had help on hand in case the salt and pepper shakers spit the bit out and left the country.
Little cowboys are ropey, but maybe not so good at counting
If they grow up to be big cowboys, an inability to count probably won’t hinder them much. They both pick up their 5/16-inch, 15-foot play ropes and head over to the sawhorses when Dad ropes the dummy every evening. Jim strives to make 100 consecutive head catches, but Milo doesn’t start counting over if he misses. He thinks that’s the dumbest rule ever. One night, he claimed to have caught 117 in a row by the heels. And then his nose shot out so far a bird landed on it and built a nest.
They remind us of the power of heroes
My sons look up to their dad and want to do everything he does. They wear cowboy hats every day because my husband does. If Jim grabs a ball cap for a day of horseshoeing, they put on ball caps before heading out the door, too. At bedtime prayers, they thank God for superheroes like Batman and Daddy.
Milo also looks up to J.B. Mauney and wants to be a top bull rider, just like him. We watched a rodeo this summer where J.B. was briefly hung up in the rope when he came off after the whistle. The next day, Milo showed me how he’d arranged one of his rodeo toys. It was a bucking bull with a plastic cowboy dangling by one foot still tied to the bull rope.
“Look, Mom,” he said. “It’s J.B. Mauney!”
Maybe we don’t need to notice and replicate every little thing our heroes do.