Nobody told me that when a child is old enough to walk, that they also develop an invisible forcefield. A very selective invisible forcefield, I should say. It seems to appear directly in front of the toddler 2’ inside doorways they have just entered. This happens exclusively if a parent is directly behind them, carrying anything in their hands.

I don’t know how this barrier appears, or why. I’m also baffled as to why the only person to feel it is my two year old. Yet, time and time again, he proves incapable of moving beyond the threshold of a doorway without a pause of at least 15 seconds. Enter, stop……….. continue standing in place…………………………… go. He’s like a miniature Spartan army of one. A diminutive King Leonidas, valiantly blocking anyone from passing his tiny little version of Thermopylae.

All the while I’m incapable of ushering him forward. My hands are usually occupied with groceries, or work or a portion of the mountain of trash housed in my minivan. Toddlers are so top-heavy, that any nudge with a bag would be sure to topple him over, ensuring an even longer wait, inches inside my own home. The narrow confines of the doorway also preventing me from any sort of flanking maneuver around him. I’m trapped. Every time.

I know from my older two that they eventually grow out of this anomaly. That they proceed into a doorway, and continue walking forward, like normal humans might do. I say might because I’ve walked around NYC enough to know that many adults remain afflicted with the “I can move no further” in the tightest, and most heavily trafficked areas of walkways.

I guess for now I just wait patiently, bags in hand, air conditioning tantalizingly brushing my face. Waiting for this forcefield to abate, and the toddler jam to allow traffic to flow once more.