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Trick or Treat

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Neal giggled as Peter flipped a pancake in the air and caught it on a plate. "Do it again! Do it again!"

Peter doused the pancake in syrup and slid it across the island to Neal. "Okay, okay. If you eat that one," he laughed as he poured more batter into the skillet, "I'll do it again."

With fork in hand, Neal ate the entire pancake with gusto. His face and hands were covered with syrup by the time he was finished, and he squealed with delight when Peter flipped the next pancake onto a clean plate.

"Do you remember what today is?" Peter asked, looking over at the four-year-old expectantly.

Neal thought for a moment, the tip of his tongue sticking out the corner of his mouth in concentration. Then, his eyes lit up. "Halloween!"

Peter nodded and said, "Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat! Can you remember that for tonight?"

"Trick or treat!" Neal bounced on his booster seat until Peter had to slide a hand around his chest to keep him from toppling over.

For the rest of the day, Peter and Elizabeth spent time with Neal, playing games and watching some of their favorite toddler-friendly Halloween movies. Neal didn't remember ever going trick-or-treating before, so they prepared him for it as best they could. Peter continued to sing the jingle throughout the day, getting looks of exasperation from his wife and giggles from the little boy.

Neal was so excited by the time he got into his Halloween costume that all he could do was bounce around the living room while laughing. "Look at me! I'm Tigger!" He'd refused to consider any other costume because Winnie the Pooh was his favorite book and cartoon, and he loved Tigger the most.

Elizabeth reached out and took Peter's hand. "We're never going to calm him down tonight."

Peter couldn't do anything but grin and grab Neal as the boy ran by him. "C'mon, let's go get some candy."

"Candy!" Neal clapped and squirmed to be put down so that he could run for the door.

Peter and Elizabeth had decided to take him to a few of the houses in their neighborhood that belonged to friends. They let Neal climb the stairs to the first house by himself and ring the bell while they stood back and took pictures of him getting his first treat of the night.

As soon as their friend Dorothy opened the door, Neal shouted, "Smell my feet!"

There was a beat of stunned silence before the adults burst into laughter.


Thanks for reading! Hope you all had an excellent Halloween!