Huxley learned a while back how to open doors by, of all things, turning the doorknobs. Amanda thought we should get the devices that go over the doorknobs to thwart his efforts. I thought we should just attach fasteners to the doors and seal them up until he’s eighteen.

But, I respected Amanda’s opinion, even though it was based on no data and conflicted with my opinion that was based on vast experience and such, and encouraged her to try the doorknob covers. So she got them and installed them and they worked. That was two days ago.

So earlier this evening, distant thunder combined with earlier concerns expressed by the weather service caused me to flip on the radar to see if a tornado might be in the offing, and indeed, there was a tornado watch just put into effect and a big and growing suspicious looking blob heading our way. So I was standing there in the living room a bit distracted, and I felt a tapping on my leg. I looked down and Huxley was slapping me on the knee to get my attention, so that he could hand me something. It was two white plastic objects. Huxley is always handing me stuff, so I figured these were just fragments of some toy or something. I took them and refocused my attention on the radar blog.

Once I had taken the two white plastic objects from him, Huxley toddled off. Toward the closed bathroom door. Then he opened the door and went in. That’s when it dawned on me: He had disassembled the door handle cover, walked the fragmented remains over to me and turned them in (“Ah, dad, this item won’t be needed any more, you might want to put it in a box in the garage or something.”) and then walked back to the still-closed door. Then he opened it effortlessly, as per normal.

So, Amanda, if you read this, I don’t want to say I told you so or anything, but we’re suddenly out of toilet paper in the bathroom.

Comments

  1. #1 Emory K.
    June 22, 2011

    Huxley has simply been reading your blog archive for inspiration.

    So, you got exactly what you deserved for posting this a few months back, pal:

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/12/child_safety_devices.php

    You, like Julian Assange, need to think more carefully about just what sort of sensitive security information you really want to be exposing.

  2. #2 gwen
    June 22, 2011

    That made my laugh for the day!!! Now, if I can only stop choking and wheezing…..!

  3. #3 Arkham
    June 22, 2011

    Welcome to parenthood. Children will never cease to amaze their parents. I can’t imagine something more fun than a 3 year old stating a dinosaur’s given name (and why it may be wrong) or a 7 year old explaining to his mom that there is nothing to worry about based upon the convective outlooks of the SPC (He’s storm obsessed).
    Huxley will amaze you for the rest of your life and I love the fact that you relish every revelation. Children are amazing.

  4. #4 david
    June 22, 2011

    if you had attached fasteners, as I had done, Huxley may have just pulled over a chair and unfastened them. all child safety devices are temporary, and are only good until the child outsmarts them.

    great story, well-told.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    June 22, 2011

    … moving fasteners to higher position … cutting legs off chairs …

  6. #6 Tamara Griesel
    June 22, 2011

    My daughter, then 12 months old, amused herself as we moved into a new apartment by following me around and removing all of the outlet covers from the electrical outlets as soon as I put them in. She was kind enough to put them all in a neat little pile for me.

  7. #7 gruebait
    June 22, 2011

    Confining toddlers effectively requires nothing less than a nail-gun.
    (No, No, NOT on the toddler…)

  8. #8 Amanda
    June 22, 2011

    I’ll give credit given where it is due: You were right, Greg. Congratulations Huxley! You figured it out!

  9. #9 nomuse
    June 23, 2011

    Maybe you should have named him Feynman.

  10. #10 Karst
    June 23, 2011

    “Maybe you should have named him Feynman.”

    Are there any safes at your home, Greg?

  11. #11 Scott
    June 23, 2011

    I love it.

    My advice to new parents is: 1) The little ears are always on and 2) They are intelligent.

    Do not think you are fooling them at all.