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Oh, My Molly Moo

You turned one today. That's one entire year of being compared to your brother, something I know I'm not supposed to do, but can't help doing every single minute of every single day. It's what you get for arriving second, I think. There's not much I can do about it. I mean, the both of you are just THERE and he's not so much older than you that I've forgotten what he was like when he was your age. He took his first real steps at his first birthday party, for example, while you didn't even want to bum-scoot. You probably could have used a morning nap today (though you're refusing them at all, so I don't even bother) and that meant you refused to leave your perch on my right hip. It's your preferred method of transportation even when you're in a good mood, so it'll probably be a while before you deign to plant your feet on the floor.

You eat better than he does (which, let's be honest, isn't saying much). You've had more Diaper Incidents in your one year than your brother has had in two, even though everyone says little boys are the worst. You're an infinitely better sleeper -- the other day your dad and I realized that you won't be rocked to sleep in church because you've never been rocked to sleep in your life. Jack loves everyone -- his parents, his grandmas, the neighbors, the grocery store clerk -- but you love me.

Okay, so you're kind of turning into a major Daddy's Girl, but you still have a special place for me. I passed you off to every one of your aunties at one time or another today -- we were HOSTING the party, Molly, I can't get lunch ready with one arm -- and every time you wailed and sobbed and basically tried to look as sad and pitiful as possible. And it worked. I'd drop whatever I was doing, rush back to you, my Molly Moo, and instantly all was well in the world. No more tears, no more quivering bottom lips.

And you were so tired, Molly. I sat you on my lap, tummy to tummy, and you just threw yourself against me. Your arms went around me, as far as you could reach anyway, and rested your cheek against me. Just when I was starting to fall in love, you whipped your head up, flashed a smile, and threw your head back down on the opposite cheek. You did this FOREVER, Molly. And I was so disappointed when I had to put you down to teach my nine thousandth lesson on sharing to your brother. Jack did not love on people. It wasn't until he was your age, maybe, that he actually bothered to look at whoever happened to be holding him. He was social and cheerful and adorable, but he did not cuddle.

He didn't gaze adoringly. He didn't lean his cheek against my arm or my shoulder or my face the way you do. You might be the strongest-willed, most stubborn, most demanding little person I know, but you're also the sweetest, lovey-est baby I've ever had the pleasure to hold.

Every just-for-Mommy smile wraps me just a little tighter around your finger, and I know you know it! Happy one year, sweets.