Dante is riding

Sorry I’ve been absent for a while. Work has eaten my life, as explained here. The Dante update is overdue, so here it is. He has a couple of new fun things that he can’t stop talking about.

The first is “riding the bike.” We have an exercise bike at home that Laura rides most every morning, and Dante has been saying for a couple of weeks, “Want to ride a bike.” (He’s lost the “do you want” and replaced it with just “want.”) We weren’t sure how to give this to him, until my dad had the brainstorm of putting him on the body of the exercise bike and putting his foot in one pedal. That description probably isn’t too clear. I’ll try to provide a picture later. Anyway, while he’s on it, he says this every few seconds: “Dante is riding the bike.” He is so, so, so immensely pleased about it all. He asks for a legal pad, a pencil, and glasses, so that he can really look like Mama, who often does her planning while cranking the pedals. He asks for somebody to come sit next to him while he’s riding it, and turns to that person over and over again to say, “Dante is riding the bike.” Then he’ll send that person away and ask for a new person — “Want Granddad to go over there. Want Grandma to come here” — and make that new person the confidante for a while.

Speaking of riding, Dante has been quite unwilling to play on riding toys, which is a symptom of his delayed motor skills in his legs. However, his occupational therapist hit on a great idea, which was to give him a riding toy that was lower to the ground. (It’s a “Clifford The Big Red Dog” ride-on.) The difference in this toy is that he doesn’t have to swing his leg over it in order to mount it, and he LOVES riding this new toy. It’s great to see him using his legs that way, too. The only problem is that it’s a loaner (the therapist borrowed it from her own kids) and he’s not going to want to give it back.

The other big deal right now is all about the toilet. We’ve had a few instances now where after the water has drained out of his bath (we generally let him play in the empty tub for a few minutes), we’ll see him straining in there. We’re always just a little worried about poop in the tub, so we’ve offered to sit him on the toilet that’s right alongside that bathtub. He enthusiastically agrees, and says (again every few seconds), “Dante is pooping in the potty.” Just to clear up the hype: he is not, in fact, pooping. In fact, he’s really not doing much of anything except sitting on the edge of the toilet seat and repeatedly announcing that he’s pooping. Thursday night, however, he actually did pee into the toilet after the bath, and we (of course) made a HUGE deal out of this. He loves to flush the toilet, too, so that was a nice reward for him.

I think he’s giving us the signals that he’s just about ready for toilet training. (Sorry, toilet learning.) Maybe that’s wishful thinking on my part, but he’s verbal enough to talk about it now, he generally wakes up with a dry diaper (indicating overnight bladder control), and he’s capable of taking his own pants down. I think we’re going to give it a shot pretty soon.


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