Pumpkin loves the swirly cast iron coat rack we keep by our front door. I know babies like to stare at objects that have a lot of contrast, but she doesn’t just stare at it – she adores it. Really. If she’s upset about something and we’re not able to cheer her up in a more conventional way we’ll say “try the coat rack.” It makes her smile every time. All we have to do is carry her over to it and let her look at it. She just beams sunshine when she looks at this thing – she will actually stop mid-cry and smile. Just this evening we were on our way out the door to take a walk and we put a hat on her that was a handmade gift from my aunt. As this was the first time she had worn the hat, I wanted to take a photo to capture the moment, but Pumpkin, although smiley as she usually is, tends to freeze in front of the camera. So after several minutes of both of us saying “Pumpkin, smile, over here… look at daddy… smile…” with no luck, I moved the coat rack behind my husband, the photographer, and – voila – a beautiful picture of a very happy Pumpkin in her adorable hat. Now I’m wondering if I can find a dollhouse-sized version that will work the same magic to keep in my purse to treat on-the-go grumpies.