For Chicago Dad parenting means learning how to fall off a horse

Falling off a horse is not easy. In fact, mankind has developed highly effective defenses against it: the saddle, the stirrup and the La-Z-Boy. Still, some brave men may find themselves in the outrageous position of being atop a moving horse in a saddle neglecting its most important duty (staying attached) while barreling down a steep trail through a herd of micro-equestrians to save their only son from certain death.

Or, as I like to call it, Scouts.

For these men, I offer the following systematic guide to sudden dismount.

STEP 1: Be sure to misunderstand your disaffected teen wrangler’s instructions:

“Dude, check it out: the hay didn’t show up, so the horses are really hungry. Don’t let them eat on the trail, it makes them sick. If your horse tries to eat anything, just pull back on the reins gently or it’ll bolt and the horses will freak out and run.”

STEP 2: Steadfastly ignore the teen cowboy’s admonition to check the cinch on your saddle, thinking, Idiot kid, I’m a grown man. I’m from Alabama. I know how to ride a horse!

STEP 3: Watch in horror as your son, allowing his horse to gnaw through an evergreen, is told to NOT LET THAT %$#@ HORSE EAT THAT TREE, and then, embarrassed, jerk the reins backward, which, to a starving horse, means RUN!

STEP 4: With misplaced heroism and a wild misunderstanding of equestrianism, kick your heels into the flanks of your unstable steed, causing you to lurch into warp drive, spurring the other horses to gallop breakneck down the trail with their screaming Cub Scouts and screaming Cub Scout leaders.

STEP 5: Watch in horror as your child is hurled into the air.

STEP 6: Be sure to arrange the rest of your troop with an unobstructed view as your maniacal mustang hurtles toward a tree as your loose saddle rolls you from high-noon to 3:45.

STEP 7: Teach the scouts some new words.

STEP 8: Your horse will skid to a stop, with you pointed at the ground like a kickstand.

Now you fall off the horse.

As you stand to uproarious laughter and applause, tearfully receive your bruised dependent, who runs up to you with unbridled joy, saying “OH MY GOD, I FELL OFF A HORSE! DO I GET A BADGE?”

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