Vinnie’s mom sits in Dr. Candace Sampson’s office. Rupert sits on her lap. The receptionist smiles at her and types something on her computer. Vinnie’s mom strokes Rupert’s head and says, “Don’t worry, Rupert, whatever she’s typing it has to be good.” Vinnie’s mom thinks, I really need help, I am trying to ease Rupert’s anxiety and he’s a stuffed grizzly bear.
Dr. Sampson’s door opens. Dr. Sampson steps out and sees Vinnie’s mom. She says, “Marti, I’m so happy to see you. And, you brought my good friend Rupert with you.”
I should leave now, thinks Vinnie’s mom. Before she takes a step toward the door, Dr. Sampson is standing next to her and takes Rupert out of Vinnie’s mom’s hands, lifts him up to look at him face to face. She says, “Rupert, you are more handsome than the last time I saw you.”
Dr. Sampson uses a falsetto voice for Rupert. Rupert says, “Dr. Sampson, thank you. You look more beautiful than the last time I saw you. If only you were available.”
Dear God, why did I make this appointment? Help me, prays Vinnie’s mom.
Dr. Sampson turns and begins walking toward her office. She glances over her shoulder, “Come along, Marti. Don’t keep Rupert and me waiting.”
Vinnie’s mom follows Dr. Sampson into Dr. Sampson’s office. Vinnie’s mom uses her falsetto voice for Rupert. Rupert says, “Thank you, Dr. Sampson, I’ll sit with mom now.”
Dr. Sampson raises Rupert up and looks at him, “You are so adorable. Here you go.” Dr. Sampson hands Rupert to Vinnie’s mom.
Vinnie’s mom presses Rupert to her chest and whispers, “Don’t worry, Rupert, I won’t let her steal you from us.”
“What did you say to Rupert?” asks Dr. Sampson.
“Oh, I was telling him how much I missed him.”
Dr. Sampson gets her notepad off her desk and sits down in a cushy chair near a beige leather sofa. “Please lie down, Marti.”
“I think I want to sit and hold Rupert on my lap,” says Vinnie’s mom.
Dr. Sampson scribbles something on her notepad.
“What are you writing, Dr. Sampson?” asks Vinnie’s mom.
“Oh, nothing really.”
“It was something,” says Vinnie’s mom.
Dr. Sampson says, “Why did you want to see me? Or, was it only a social call because Rupert wanted to see me?”
Vinnie’s mom says, “It’s about Vinnie. I think he’s going to get in trouble at school today with his teacher, Mrs. Mavis, because Vinnie and she disagree on how to do an assigned oral history project.”
“I see,” says Dr. Sampson. Then she adds, “Rupert, Vinnie talks to you all the time. What do you think?”
Vinnie’s mom stares at Rupert. Then she hears Dr. Sampson’s falsetto voice, “Vinnie’s not trying to be mean. He’s got a good idea that Mrs. Mavis won’t let him explore.”
“Thank you, Rupert. You are so wise. Have you told this to Vinnie’s mom?”
“No, Dr. Sampson because Vinnie and me have each other’s back.”
“I’m glad he has a friend like you,” says Dr. Sampson.
Vinnie’s mom jumps into the conversation, “I was the one who wanted the session. I only took Rupert because I know you like him.”
“Marti, you need to listen to Rupert. Remember at our last session you said Rupert was the smartest person on Earth? I can believe it. Is it because his IQ is higher than your IQ that you don’t listen to him?”
Vinnie’s mom stifles an urge to say, ‘well, Rupert is smarter than you, too.’ Instead, she says, “I just remembered I have a dental appointment in twenty minutes. Thanks for everything, Dr. Samuel.”
Vinnie’s mom stands up, extends her arm to shake Dr. Sampson’s hand. Dr. Sampson extends her arm and shakes Rupert’s paw instead of Vinnie’s mom’s hand. Vinnie’s mom pulls Rupert close to her chest and turns. “Be seeing you, Dr. Sampson.” In her mind she says, “Not in my lifetime if I can help it.”