10 Insane Things I Experienced As A Children’s Birthday Party Performer

Shutterstock / holbox
Shutterstock / holbox

1. Handsy Daddy

You would THINK that the father of the child I was hired to entertain would treat me with some level of respect, right? I mean, his wife is in the next room and I’ve spent the past hour bonding with his daughter, so it would be ridiculous for Daddio to hit on me. Oh, what a sweet, sweet fool I was! Obviously, this wasn’t the case for majority of the lovely gentlemen I met, but I had more Creeptown experiences than most people would believe. I had a man walk me to my car, slip me my money, and whisper, “I wish I could get some tail, you know what I mean?” Step the fuck back or this mermaid is about to stab you with her dinglehopper.

2. Skeletons, So Many Skeletons

Kids, bless their angelic hearts, are the most honest people you will ever meet. They have zero filters, and this is probably the most endearing and, at times, annoying thing about them. They are going to tell you exactly what they think, whether or not you want to hear it. Maybe even spill some deeply dark family secret that I’m sure their parents would be horrified to learn I now know. It’s like having a tiny human narrate the most messed up parts of a soap opera to you, all while smiling because they honestly have no idea how deeply disturbing what they just told you was.

3. Fascinated With My Boobs

I get it, I’m wearing glittery sea shells for a bra, why wouldn’t that be a focal point? As someone who doesn’t really have too much ACTUALLY going on underneath the shells, I found it hilarious how interested the children were with my chest. My personal favorite: a 5 year old girl was hugging me, then touched my “shells” and said, “Why do you have boobs?” I was a little flustered and just responded, “I was born this way.” Okay, Lady GaGa…

4. Pint-Sized Divas

You think TLC programming is bad?? I performed at a party for a 6 year old, and it was more elaborate than any party I have ever had in my entire life. The birthday girl immediately informed me she had 3 costume changes and that all of her dresses were prettier than mine. She told me there was a professional photographer there to only take photos of her, and nobody else (this included me, she warned). I watched as she strutted around, furious when other children talked about anything that wasn’t involving her. She was the most entitled, lil’ diva I have ever seen. And I am terrified of what will happen when she discovers social media.

5. Reinforcing Gender Stereotypes

This one bummed me out, and I saw it happen ALL THE TIME. I’d have an adorable little boy sit down, so excited to ask me to paint a butterfly on his cheek. His dad would swoop in and say, “Nah buddy, how about a snake?” I’d watch as his little face fell, and he’d softly say, “But I like butterflies!” The dad would say something again, harsher this time, “No, let’s do a spider. You don’t want a butterfly.” In an attempt to please his father, he’d fake it. “Okay, I want a spider!” This broke my heart again and again.

6. Over-The-Top Cakes

It was like living episodes of Cake Boss. I never knew what to expect! Would there be princess figurines?! A giant photo of the birthday kid plastered on the cake?! A cascading waterfall of cupcakes? I couldn’t indulge (thanks, gluten), but I was blown away by some of the goodies I saw. My favorite: a four-tier cake that was made to look like the tower in Tangled. Just, WHAT?! For a child?!?

7. Everything Gross And Beyond

I love kids. I seriously love kids. I can’t wait to hopefully be a mother one day when I’m ready and all that jazz. But…kids are kind of disgusting sometimes. I have witnessed truly nasty, nasty behavior. One kid throws up and the others want to look at it. Contests to see who can spit the farthest. One group of kids were super obsessed with armpits and seeing who smelled the worst. The future, ladies and gents.

8. Bizarre Fighting Methods

I have seen children pummel each other and then move on like it was no big deal. I actually kind of like this approach. *Begin scene* Katie gets mad at Ella. Katie says, “Ella took the cupcake I wanted!” Ella sticks her tongue out. Katie cries, then pushes Ella. Ella cries, pushes her back. Ella says, “Stop it, stupid face.” Katie laughs. Ella cries more. They do not speak for 10 minutes. And then go play together. Everything is fine. *End scene*

9. Alcohol

Okay, it’s not weird that the adults were sipping some vino, but you know what was insane? The times I was offered alcohol…as a performer hired to entertain kids. I had barely walked in the door to this one house when the mom immediately said, “Hi, hi, come in. Can I get you anything? Beer? Whisky? Margarita?” Ask me again Friday night when I’m not working, but right now, I will have to decline because…duh.

10. Undying Declaration Of Love

This is another thing I saw all the time that I kind of wish carried over into adulthood more. Birthday girl would deem me her new best friend and tell me how much she loved me. See? Would that really have been that difficult to do, bro?! Kids are free-flowing with love and emotion, and it’s pretty fucking awesome. We should follow suit and tell the people we love how much we love them, without worrying that it makes us seem clingy or cheesy. Life’s too short. Embrace your inner 6 year old. TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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