It's funny how the things you come to rely on have a tendency to change without you really noticing, until one day you look over at you wife and son and think: "My God, when did THIS happen?"
Jack (after about 7 months) used to be a reliable go-to-bedder, as long he could get his little paws on a worn-out, purple screeching monkey. He would clutch the little creature to his face, sucking on a thumb or mouthing the monkey's tail, as his eyes rolled back in his head and he drifted off to dreamy wonderland bliss for (hopefully) a dozen or so hours.
Our going to bed ritual now includes, as absolutely necessary, Little Monkey, Big Monkey, a Blankey, and Roy Or-bear-son, an electro-mechanical singing stuffed animal, crooning his classic ballad "Sweet Dreams, Baby". Every night, we now rock for a half-hour in Jack's room, clutching both monkeys, wrapped in our Blankey, and repeatedly listening to Roy Or-bear-son sing his song as we nod off to dreams in Mommy's arms.
Sometimes we get fuzz in our mouth. Maybe we should just listen to Bear, instead of trying to eat him.