Who Needs “Z” Anyway?

We have a set of magnetic letters on our fridge. You know the ones: boxy, plastic letters in solid primary colors, with hollow backs where rectangular magnets nestle. The same exact kind we had when we were kids. No house of preschool children is complete without them.

We have other fun sources of alphabet learning in our house, many of which have added nutritional benefit. Haribo gummy letters. A-Z Spaghettios. Alphabet soup. These learning devices are suspect, in my mind, however. It’s hard to learn the letter “H” when it’s drenched in orange, tomato- based sauce.

But those cheap, thin little letters on our fridge: those are classic. They’re also very easy to lose. How many times have I picked those letters up off our floor? How many times have they gotten in the way of the vacuum? The broom? The baby?

These dangerous cleaning methods threaten the integrity of our alphabet set. Over the years we have found – and returned – numerous letters to their rightful place on the fridge. But now, finally, I am forced to admit defeat.

We have lost the letter “Z”.

Yes, if you're planning on looking, the lowercase "z" is in here. That's because these letters aren't mine. I found it at http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/seo/ca%7CproductSubCat~~p%7C2534374302176200~~f%7C/Assortments/Lakeshore/Promotions/promo/magneticletters.jsp if you're interested.

I’m thinking this isn’t too big of a deal. I mean, really, who needs “Z”, anyway?

I can go to the “oo” to look at the “ebras” and it won’t ruin my experience. I can “ip” up my coat’s “ipper” in chilly weather. I can even “ig ag” on my sewing machine, if I’m ever brave enough to attempt it. Someday, I might go to New Ealand, and I don’t think I’d feel any differently about it without that pesky “Z”.

It’s possible, even, that I could appreciate the angles and history of an ancient Mesopotamian “iggurat” or the historical significance of the German “eitgeist” during the mid twentieth century without any real harm being done. I admit, though, that it might get a little confusing if I have to say “Any Eus oomed to Ion” and expect people to know what I’m talking about.

As for those “ombie” books that are out there right now…well, I guess they don’t sounds quote so scary without the “Z”. And if I ask the florist for an “innia” she’ll probably look at my funny and I’ll get all embarrassed.

Shoot. I guess that the upshot of this discussion is that I realize I must go and purchase yet another set of those magnetic letters. How else will my youngest child learn about the number “ero”?

Perhaps I could just make one out of a dried up Spaghettio noodle? That would be attractive.

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