The Birthday Ceremony: A Treatise On Doilies, Flaxseed, and Light-Up Shoes

October 14, 2010 at 5:00 am | Posted in Lollipop | 20 Comments
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A gaggle of children, 10 or so, sat around a wooden picnic table. Lollipop sat in a chair at the head of the table, a delicate cloth doily spread out in front of her. Her teacher placed four pink striped candles in wooden holders on the doily and lit them.

“Okay, Lollipop,” she said, “Make your wishes!” Lollipop paused for a second, pursed her lips, and blinked a slow, deliberate blink. Then she blew out the candles, one at a time, and waved away the smoke.

Multitasking Miniatures
The other children watched as intently as their little attention spans would allow. They also concentrated on lobbing blades of grass and bits of hay, giggling at two cats wrestling in the nearby garden, and working hard not to fall off the picnic bench.

When the teacher asked the children to share something nice about Lollipop, it was, in fact, Lollipop herself who spoke up first. “I love princesses!” she said. This got the gaggle of children going. “I like Sleeping Beauty!” said one little girl. “I like bananas!” said another. “When’s it my birthday?” asked the boy across the table.

Eventually, with a little prodding from the teacher, a boy with hair the color of cinnamon said, “I like Lollipop because she plays with the fairy houses. I like to play with those, too.”

Milestones & Muffins
Then my husband talked about all that our little girl has accomplished in her four years and how happy we were to celebrate her birthday with her at her school. I could see her listening, thinking, itching to ask questions, about when she learned to walk and sing and tell jokes. But she stood in front of her chair and listened carefully.

Then we hugged. I managed not to cry. Lollipop handed out the apple muffins (whole wheat! flaxseed! healthy!) we had made the night before. Her teacher followed behind passing out sippy cups, Chex, and bananas.

Munching & Mingling
One little boy went around randomly kissing classmates on the hand. He kissed me, too. Another inhaled three bananas. One little girl showed me how to make her shoes light up. Pawpaw took pictures, Gramy kept Bun soothed, and Giggles joined us from his class. Daddy used his trusty Swiss Army Knife to cut muffins in half so everyone could have seconds. (They liked them!)

Our first preschool birthday celebration ā€” it was equal parts endearing and entertaining, just as children themselves are.

Plus, there were Omega-3 fatty acids. Friends and family. Flashing footwear. A little something for everyone.

Do you enjoy glimpses into the life your child leads at school? What’s the birthday protocol for your child’s class? And why don’t they make light-up shoes for adults??

[Edited to add: Here’s the muffin recipe. My mom threw in some cinnamon because “it needed it.” And when I asked her how much, she said “enough to make it smell good.” She can cook on the fly like that, whereas I cannot, so take those recipe additions with a grain of salt. Or cinnamon, as it were.]



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  1. It sounds like it was wonderful šŸ™‚ What an incredible glimpse into friendships and childhood.

  2. I wonder about that last one all the time!

    I haven’t seen the birthday in action at school. I send a treat (not nearly as healthy as yours) and hope they sing happy birthday.

    I like hosting parties, though. I’m already planning Flora’s 6th (!!) at a nearby roller skating rink.

    Happy birthday to your little girl. Four was nice, especially after 3!

  3. Do I ever, because I so rarely get an opportunity to see them interact with other kids. I find it fascinating and fun and so amazingly indicative about their presonalities.

    Happy Birthday to her!! May all her wishes come true.

  4. I hope Lollipop loved her ceremony!

  5. Your daughter’s school do a lovely birthday celebration. At my daughter’s school you can take cake or cookies in to share at snack time but that is about all they do.

    As for the shoes, you can buy light-up shoes for adults – just google it, you are not the first to wish for some šŸ™‚

  6. I loved hearing about Lollipop’s day! I also giggled at the kid who said, “When’s it my birthday?” That tends to be the reaction, isn’t it? Visiting the classroom has always been a fascinating (and learning) experience for me. We get to see them in ways we usually don’t.

  7. What a wonderful celebration! You’re so lucky to have shared it with her! Sounds like a really great day! Happy Birthday, Lollipop! šŸ™‚

  8. That’s wonderful that she got to have her birthday celebration at school with her friends and that you got to be there to share it. So wonderful to glimpse at the person your child is away from you.

  9. oh, I could just cry reading this…it was so sweet and special. Happy Birthday to Lollipop!

    PS: I just read in Martha Stewart’s Living that you should add 1 teaspoon flax seed oil (per every 15 lbs of weight) to your dog’s food to keep their skin and coat supple. So, dogs need omega threes too!

  10. Oh, the sweetness. Happy birthday to Lollipop (and to you, mom!).
    Jack hasn’t had a proper birthday party yet, and he isn’t in a proper school, either. This post was a window on something I didn’t know I could look forward to!
    I think my most special birthday was my 6th, near the last day of kindergarten. My mother came with Disney character-shaped popsicles, and my teacher wore a pink, rose-printed outfit so pretty I still remember it.

  11. Wow! Lollipop’s school really does birthdays in style. Good for them and good for you for making it such a special, Omega-tastic day for her.

  12. Such a great idea. Low key, meaningful, festive, lovely.

    You’ve inspired me to ditch the cupcakes for Cappers’ birthday party tomorrow and make wholewheat muffins instead. Bit of icing and a cupcake topper and they won’t even know the diff!!


  13. Happy birthday Lollipop! I love seeing my girl in school. It is a treat.

  14. Lovely, lovely, lovely — sounds like a wonderful celebration!

    And how about sharing your muffin recipe? We aren’t allowed to bring birthday treats at my son’s school. Instead, parents read a favorite book aloud to the class and then donate the book to the “birthday book shelf.” A nice tradition, but I think candles and muffins and sharing good thoughts about the birthday girl sounds a little nicer.

  15. Sounds like a perfect birthday celebration! Hope you little sweetie enjoyed every single moment!

  16. So beautifully written. A lovely day to remember…. =)

  17. Happy Birthday to Lollipop and to you! What a sweet time. Don’t you love how happy children are at birthday parties? Yes, I do love catching glimpses of our son at school. At his preschool party he shared the “head table” with his then “girlfriend.” She was smiling at him adoringly the whole time. I just kept thinking “wedding” the entire time…is this what it’s going to be like…

  18. i totally want some light up shoes! and maybe the recipe for those muffins! we have tried making “healthy muffins” over here, and they are always rejected. Glad they liked them! šŸ™‚ Sounds like a sweet party.

  19. I’ve never heard of such a cute pre-school celebration. I usually bring mini-muffins and some kind of fruit. I also make little gift bags for the kids with stickers, pencils, and a toy inside (no candy!). That’s about it. The little speeches and candles and all are really wonderful.

  20. Happy Birthday Lollipop! Sounds like a wonderful celebration at her pre-school. I love watching my daughter interact with all of her peers. It always makes me appreciate the innocence of their age.

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