My youngest son is about to turn two in a couple of months. He’s cute as all heck and equal parts a challenge. You pay fair price for love in parenting, but you get an infinite amount in return. He has now discovered how to open doors, which has crumbled one of our zone’s last line of defence. He can basically get into whatever he wants now, whenever he wants. The one remaining security measure is locks, though our little Macgyver is not far away from figuring those out, too. As a result of his new proclivities, there have countless scenes of holocaust, like walking in to a bathroom to see lotion smeared all over the mirror and all over his clothes and him happily squishing it between his hands.

The one saving grace is that in his toddler magnificence, he has become an excellent “helper.” He is eager to “help” with the dishwasher, vacuuming, changing his own poopy diapers (…oy), and anything at all he understands as a protocol of daily routine. As he has seen us religiously closing doors to keep him out of the various rooms of delicacy, he has registered that it is a routine that he can now help with. As soon as one of the doors is left open, he runs as fast as he can to the door and slams it shut.

But the moment after is an existential crisis for the poor lad. He stares at the door emptily for a second, his mind puzzling over the implications of his action. ‘Does he realize he’s closing it to keep him out,” I wonder. He stares a moment longer, as I say his name and slowly looks up, pleasantly startled from his enigmatic reflections. Suddenly, under two feet of snow, 15 degree temperature, and a pandemic, I realize I can empathize… He’s got the right idea, I figure. We go eat an apple and read some books and then it’s time for a nap.