Meet Mr. No

The man holds Grant’s hand and clenches tight. Grant is dressed in an Eeyore costume—really, it is a big stuffed donkey head and vest. Grant hates it. He has been trying to wiggle out of it while they take pictures and again while they grab the plastic jack-o-lantern to go.

Now, they are crossing the lawn away from their tiny condo. Grant is resisting the whole way, tugging to go back inside.

“Grant, just work with me. I promise, you’re going to love this.”

“No!” Grant yells.

This reminds the man of the paper the doctor gave them at Grant’s last appointment: “Meet Mr. No! At this stage of development, your child …”

The street they live on is not the busiest, but it is a through street to Route 28, and people often speed. So they pause, look both ways, and step into the street. Grant pulls back toward the house the whole way.

“This is so easy, Grant. We ring the bell, the people answer, you say ‘Trick or Treat,’ and they give you candy.”

“No!”

Finally, they reach the door. The man clenches tight as he wrings them doorbell. A woman in an orange pumpkin shirt emerges with a giant bowl of candy.

“Say ‘Trick or treat, Grant.’”

“No!”

The woman smiles. “He’s so cute.”

She drops a handful of candy into his bucket.

Grant relaxes. He stares into the bucket, then looks at the woman, then looks back at the bucket. Suddenly Grant bolts back up the sidewalk. He sprints to the next house, and the man struggles to keep a hand on him. Now, Grant is willing to push the doorbell, and he can barely stand still to say thank you. The candy hits the bucket, and he is moving. Within forty-five minutes, the bucket is so heavy that he hands it to the man and extends his arms to be picked up.

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