5 o’clock Tuesday morning, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse, except for Vinnie, Dexter, and Rupert. Vinnie tosses off the covers, they land on Dexter who is sleeping on Vinnie’s bed. Dexter looks like a mole trying to find a way of out of an underground maze. Vinnie jumps off the bed, snatches Rupert, and pulls up his jammy bottoms. He glances back at his bed and suppresses a laugh when he sees Dexter worming his way through the covers. He frees Dexter. Dexter jumps off the bed anticipating an early breakfast before the real breakfast.
Vinnie holds Rupert out in front of him. He says, “Rupert, today’s the day I am going to see Santa. I want to make sure we’re not late.”
Vinnie turns back toward Dexter, “Too bad you can’t come with us, Dexter. I’ll put in a good word for you. Santa loves all animals.”
Dexter smiles, wags his tail, and translates Vinnie’s words to say, “Dexter, I’m going to give you all the left over pizza.” Some things are lost in translation.
Vinnie opens his bedroom door and walks into the hallway connecting the guest bedroom, the guest bathroom, his bedroom, and his mom and dad’s bedroom. He opens the guest bedroom and walks in the room. Dexter follows. Vinnie closes the door and flicks on the light. He turns his head toward Rupert, “Linda said parents hide the presents in the guest bedroom. Dexter, you check under the bed. Me and Rupert will check the closet.”
Two minutes later Vinnie emerges from the closet. Dexter is lying on the floor waiting for something to happen. Vinnie says, “Linda’s in big trouble when I tell Santa she doesn’t believe in him. I’m going to tell him to give her worms or beetles. There are no presents in the guest bedroom, Rupert. There really is a Santa. This proves it. Let’s go wake up Mom and Dad. I don’t want them to oversleep today. It’s only a few more days until Christmas. I’ve got to see Santa or Christmas will be ruined.”
Dexter becomes disoriented when Vinnie opens his parents bedroom door instead of heading to the kitchen. He barks to signal Vinnie he’s taken the wrong turn. Vinnie flicks the switch to the overhead light and hollers, “Wake up Mom. Time to get up, Dad.”
Vinnie’s mom sits up, a startled look on her face, “What’s wrong, Vinnie? Did you have a nightmare?”
Vinnie’s dad reaches over to the end table and grabs hold of his iPhone and checks the time, “It’s five oh four. What are you doing out of bed?”
“We’ve got to get up and get ready to see Santa. You know how long it takes you to get ready to go shopping, Mom. As for Dad, he’ll start working on his laptop and we’ll have to pull it away from him. Come on, Dad. Do you want Dexter to lick your face?”
“Make him go back to bed,” Vinnie’s dad begs.
“It’s okay if you don’t want to get up. Rupert and me will make breakfast. I’ll call you when it’s ready. That way you can get a little more sleep.”
Dexter’s thinking, did Vinnie mention breakfast? Dexter barks twice.
Before Vinnie’s mom can speak, Vinnie, Rupert, and Dexter are out of the bedroom and on their way to the kitchen.
Vinnie holds Rupert in front of him. He says, “What are we going to make for breakfast, Rupert?”
Vinnie uses his special fake voice for Rupert. Rupert answers in a high pitch squeaky voice, “Let’s make pop tarts and cover them with peanut butter. We can stick Fruit Loops on the peanut butter.”
“Great idea, Rupert. When you grow up, you might be a famous chef.”
Dexter barks. Vinnie glances at Dexter. He says, “I forgot all about you, Dexter. I’ll give you a special breakfast and microwave the sausages Dad loves to eat when he doesn’t work. He won’t mind because he’s too excited about going to see Santa.”
In the bedroom, Vinnie’s mom says, “Dear, do you think it’s safe to let Vinnie alone in kitchen?”
Vinnie’s dad pulls the pillow off of his head and says, “What could go wrong?”