Z, like many children, sleeps with stuffed animals. Unlike many children, however, his go-to friends are not teddy bears. Instead he has Mr. Penguin, Mr. Beagle (earlier in life he saved time by referring to this pair as "Pengle"), and Fuzzy Froggy. The intrepid trio:
(shown here in the "chairs" made for them using waffle-blocks)
The stories behind these names are complicated, time-consuming, and full of cultural references, so I'll spare you the mental anguish. Mr. Penguin and Mr. Beagle were given to us at baby showers and became inseparable bedtime companions pretty much as soon as Z had any say in the matter. Fuzzy Froggy only joined us this year, as we were halfway through a 13-hour drive before realizing that Pengle had been left behind. Fearing for Z's emotional stability, we picked up Fuzzy Froggy on a stop at Walmart. He filled the void admirably, there were no tears or tantrums, and upon returning home he quickly became good buddies with the other two. The bedtime ritual now involves finding all three of them, handing them to Z one by one (while naming them...very important!), setting up a couple of sidekicks (panda, bear, and alex monkey...name them too!) along the sides of the bed, and tucking everyone into the blanket. Tears ensue if any of the animals are missing, so woe is us if we don't locate them all before starting the bedtime routine!