We just celebrated my daughter’s 5th birthday. I naively invited everyone from her class (I was proud she wanted to include everyone!) plus a few extras. Here are the top five party standouts:
1. The Face-Smash-Into-the-Cake Kid
Yep, he’s real, and he’s awesome. Did I mention it wasn’t my kid? That’s partly what makes him awesome. With his dad just a couple of feet behind him, he boldly dropped his face square into his red-and-blue-frosting-covered piece of cake. At no point did he show fear, but instead he reveled in the subsequent eruption of laughter he rightfully earned. I immediately grabbed the camera and enjoyed the “show Mommy how the piggy eats” moment.
2. The Non-Birthday-Girl Present Opener
She was adorable with her pale blond braids, pretty dress, and perfectly fashionable cowgirl boots. Her angelic face made for beautiful party pics, but as I attempted to watch my own daughter open her presents, the angel turned devil. She was ripping and tearing through tissue paper with abandon. It was too late to stop her on the first gift bag, but I managed to slow her pace so my daughter could collect her own goodies from then on.
3. The Model Child
Not only is this girl pretty and poised enough to be auditioning for TV shows in Los Angeles (seriously, she’s talking with agents), but she warmly let me welcome her with a hug and sat stunningly still while eating her pizza and cake. She politely said please and thank you (without reminders) and brightened up the party with her gleaming smile—clearly not my child.
4. The Child I Almost Lost
One dad dropped his daughter off at the party, so this little redhead became my responsibility for two hours, which seemed perfectly reasonable. She was no trouble throughout the magic show and cake and even sat happily on my lap for a bit. As the end of the party was near, I saw her dad with his eyes darting around the room. With about 30 people, I figured she must just be hard to see, but then my eyes were flashing back and forth too. My heart dropped, but I tried to appear totally calm and in control. I gave her dad a look that said, “Oh, it’s no big deal you can’t find your daughter, I know exactly where she is.” I quickly ran to check the bathroom, where thankfully, she was standing right outside the door with another girl and mom. Whew.
5. The Birthday Girl
My freshly turned 5-year-old started out sitting quietly at the party table, then she lit up and glowed with magical wonderment at the magician’s ability to turn paper into cookies. She got mad when her sister attempted to open her new Elsa doll without permission, but flew on her cake high all the way home. Now we have a year to recover, and do it all over again.
Honorable mention goes to “Ask-Too-Many-Questions Kid” and the “Birthday Cake Stalker.” Accept your awards partygoers, because let’s be real, I’m never going to get thank you cards sent.
This article was originally published on