The rope frayed all the way through and when my 43 pounder was expecting a ride to the sky, he ended up eating dirt. Fortunately he wasn’t injured and even thought his crash was funny.
Once we detached the faded yellow rope from the swing I was about to toss it in the trash, but the boys took off with it. Tug-of-war was the first game. Then they switched to lasso attempts on the daredevil squirrels who share our backyard. Later they shredded it into three parts and made their own spider web across the swing set. Our deck chairs became a cargo train tied together by you know what, a faded shredded yellow rope.
This took hours. The only reason they ceased their rope games was obvious. Hunger. Because they hadn’t managed to snare a squirrel yet.
The next day, against my better judgment, I allowed the rope inside and while I helped my oldest with her homework at the kitchen table, the boys played under my feet, literally. I could feel them tying my ankles to the chair, but didn’t think much of it, knowing I would be able to escape pretty quickly as usual.
But then the oven’s timer dinged. Spaghetti casserole was ready and as I stood to walk to the oven I nearly fell over. This time I really was ankle bound to the chair. These were not disciplined Boy Scout knots, but something closer to the variety my own father calls ‘ax knots’ – because you need an ax to get them out.
So slowly, I began a toe-heel-skootch-the-chair shuffle across the kitchen in order to save dinner. Inch by inch I skootched. The kids were dying with laughter by now. (I should have just let their dinner burn). But I got there. Did I mention I also had to drag the chair next to me because that one was attached to mine with a double-wrap-loop-through-twist? That is the best kind to use on bad guys by the way.
Finally I managed to get close enough to the oven to save the casserole just so the kids could say, “We don’t like that dinner.” Meanwhile I began counting how many days until trash day when I could dispose of the rope.
The next afternoon was beautiful and springish. 65 degrees. Sunny. No wind (a big deal in Colorado). And the boys came to get me from washing dishes, “Mommy, you just robbed a bank and you’re the bad guy and we need to tie you up in the hammock.”
“Whoa, this sounds like a game I can get into,” I thought. “You want me to lie in the hammock while you tie me up?” I clarified.
And that is where I spent the next 44 minutes of my life – tied in the hammock, absorbing some spring sunshine, listening to birds awake from winter, and feeling little fingers tickle me as they configured and reconfigured the security level of their knots. Boys, I will be your bad guy any day!