If you've ever been to my house you've probably either heard of or seen a Za-Za. A Za-Za is a blue bear head with a blanket body. Originally we called it Lovey. My manly and mature brother informed me that Lovey was not an acceptable name for a boy's stuffed animal. At the time, David's book of choice was There's a Wocket in My Pocket. In the book, there is a "zillow on my pillow who helps me go to sleep". Zillow morphed into Za-Za or sometimes Za-zie. Bryan's (blue) Za-Za is called Purple Za-zie. He went through a Brown Bear, Brown Bear stage and "purple cat, purple cat" was his favorite page. Thus, Purple Za-Zie. Yes, his is really blue, but thus far no one has accused Bryan of being a feather in the wind on any of convictions.
At some point Jacob lost all confidence in us in a pretty fundamental way. Each of our boys has a Za-Za. For David and Bryan, if their Za-Zas are unaccounted for at bedtime, we would almost always conduct Za-Za search and rescue, albeit with a lot of parental muttering and complaining. Still, it was less annoying to search the house than to try to put them to bed without them. Jacob only ever seemed mildly sad if he didn't have his Za-Za at bedtime. Hence, less annoying to just say, "Sorry Jakey Bear. We'll find him in the morning." This had been going on for a couple of years. Several months ago, Jacob was either sick or particularly tired...
Me: Do you want me to go get your Za-Zie?
Me: Why not?
Jacob: If I take my Za-Zie downstairs, then I don't get to sleep with him.
Me: I'll take him back upstairs for you.
Jacob: (emphatically and near panic) I want him to stay in my bed.
A few weeks ago, he was particularly sad (see light saber battle gone awry here) and we let him start off in our bed. It was only with a lot of concern on his side and reassurance on mine that I convinced him he should take his Za-Zie to our bed.
Jacob: (furrowed brow) What if you forget?
Me: (with the face of one dealing in matters of survival) I PROMISE. I will not forget.
So Jacob, if you end up in a therapist's office discussing that blue stuffed animal as the personification of the neglect of being an easy going middle child, I want you to know that I remembered.