Dante has acquired an obsession over the last few weeks, and that obsession is called OUTSIDE. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one having fun on those walks we were doing together when it got warm in March. OUTSIDE offers numerous attractions:
- Rocks. Rocks rock, according to Dante. Small rocks are a part of the landscaping around our condo, and Dante looooves to pick them up, throw them, identify them as big or little, and so on.
- Walking with me. He holds on to my finger, but he’s definitely the one in the lead. Many of the other OUTSIDE places are stops on our walks.
- Walking on grass. “Gra! Gra! Gra!” he says.
- Closely related to walking on grass is going up and down hills. We have a couple of grassy slopes, and he loves to climb up (while holding my hand) and then walk back down.
- Closely related to that is the new forwards-backwards trick. He started it while going up and down a slope. He’d get to the top, but instead of turning around to go back down, he just started backing up. Now he likes to surprise me with sudden backwards-walking while we’re in the middle of a stroll anywhere.
- The newspaper dispensers. One has NEWS written on the side, and the other has POST. (That’s the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post, our two local papers which were actually competitors going into the 21st century, but then consolidated like so many other media outlets.) He points at each letter and identifies it, then wags his finger across the whole thing for me to say the word.
- Trees. He’s really into touching the needles of evergreen trees right now.
- The mailboxes. We live in a condo complex, so all the mailboxes are together, with numbers and locked doors. It’s the numbers that are the big attraction for Dante.
- Our cars, and other people’s cars. He’s especially interested in Laura’s car. He walks up to her license plate, identifies each of the letters and numbers on it, then pats her car and says “Maaaa maa.”
Sadly, it’s been pretty cold out lately, so OUTSIDE opportunities are far more limited than he wants them to be. Many many times a day, he points to the front door and says, “Ah! Ah!” (Which stands for “Out! Out!”) He even goes over and places his little shoes on top of his feet — he knows he must be shod before going outside, but he’s not quite skilled enough to put the shoes on himself. It’s quite a bummer to tell him, “It’s too rainy!” or, “It’s too cold” as he sits there pathetically, shoes dangling from his feet while patting the door with a hopeful expression. “Ah! Ah! Ah!”