Yesterday was the third birthday of Annie’s BFF and cousin, Michaela. To celebrate, my sister invited us over for pizza, cake, and presents, and Annie was very excited – especially since everything was princess themed. We had a great night together, but there was one part of the night that wasn’t so great. Annie had a hard time understanding that this birthday was not about her.

Things started well – and adorably – with Annie saying “Happy  Birthday, Michaela,” while hugging her cousin hello.  We then adjourned to the patio which was set up with princess cups, plates, and napkins. I excitedly lifted a napkin and pointed out the princesses on front.

“Look, Annie! It’s Tiana! And Belle! And Cinderella! And Rapunzel…”

I recited the names of a few more princesses until I realized my brother-in-law was looking at me a little funny.

“Annie, uh, really likes princesses,” I said.

“Apparently you do too,” he said with a smirk.

“Hey,” Heather said, coming to my defense. “That’s cinema history! He just knows his cinema!”

Yeah, that’s it. Thanks, honey.

My sister then brought out some princess party blowers and rings, and the girls (and boys, for that matter) got a kick out of them.

Party on, Annie! Party on, Michaela! Party time! Excellent!

looking at her rings
Look, Dad! I’m a regular Ringo Starr here!

Later we had princess cake, of course, and Michaela blew out the candles like this wasn’t just her third rodeo.

blowing out the candles
I wish for a pony. A tiny, live pony that will speak French and live in my pocket.

Unfortunately, things went off the rails a little bit when we went inside to open presents. Both Annie and Michaela’s five year old brother, Danny, desperately wanted to do more than just watch and cheer. Danny wanted to open the presents (and might have ripped open a couple before Michaela could), while Annie wanted the presents for herself (and might have said, “For Annie!” a few times).

opening presents
Michaela: “Back off, you freaking vultures!”

Heather and I weren’t going to let Annie make a scene, so we took her into another room and explained that it was Michaela’s birthday and not hers. Nothing seemed to calm her down, though. Luckily, my mom had bought both girls matching Cinderella dresses, and once Annie was able to open a present of her own she was happy as a clam to let Michaela open the rest of her presents in peace.

Remember when Cinderella’s dress illuminated with lights? Me neither.

The thing is, Annie isn’t always going to have grandma there to give her a present when she goes to birthday parties. She will have lots of birthday parties to attend, and she’s going to have to behave and understand it isn’t about her. Again, I know she is only two, but we need to find a way to nip this kind of behavior in the bud and fast – especially since if people stop inviting Annie her old man isn’t going to get to eat nearly as much birthday cake.