Last night, my wife sat down with a set of reading flash cards and started going through them with Firstborn. Since I'm trying to encourage him to read, I told him that if he could get all of them right, I had a prize for him: a stuffed-animal monster who would be a buddy for Ithaqua.
He missed three of the cards on the first pass. Each time, we explained to him how to work out those words, and then shuffled them back in. Each time, when he came to them again, he sounded them out and got them right. Which was way, way better than I'd expected.
So I went and fetched his prize, and he opened it up and put it on his bed with the other stuffed animal monsters. (He has some stuffed animals that aren't monsters - a couple of wombats, a monkey, a koala, and a pirate's parrot - but they're distinctly outnumbered by the monsters.) So now, in addition to Cthulhu, Ithaqua, Nyarlathotep, a facehugger, and a giant scorpion, we now have Gug:
gug, but since gugs don't actually talk, we're just calling this one "Gug.")
Ithaqua was happy to find another buddy who was about his size, so the two of them spent the night hanging from the underside of the top bunk. Firstborn, who spent most of the day at the science museum with his grandparents, slept soundly underneath them.