Most 7-year-olds want a party with a theme around their favorite cartoon character or movie. Kiyoko Merolli wanted an impeachment-themed party.
She didn't just want an impeachment-themed birthday –– she wanted one with a cake shaped like the Donald Trump baby balloon used by protesters around the world.
Kiyoko's mother is a federal worker and worried it would jeopardize her job, she told the Washington Post. She and her husband, Aric Merolli, compromised with their daughter to have a protest party instead.
The 7-year-old's grandmother, Saundra Plett, took care of getting the necessary permits for the protest to take place. The D.C. police and the National Park Service dubbed the rally "Children’s First Amendment Demonstration to promote kindness and care."
On Saturday, about 100 kids and adults joined Kiyoko in marching around the White House to celebrate her seventh birthday, the Washington Post reported.
The first-grader carried a sign that said, "Time’s up for the bad stuff." Other kids held signs that said "Homework kills trees," "Batman 2020" and "I love cats."
Several marchers had attended a rally or two in the past. Malawi Welles, 51, who attended the rally with her sons, praised the march as a "great way to teach kids about the First Amendment, and how to protest safely."
"Our kids aren’t just the future. They have a voice today. I think coming to something like this teaches them that," she added.
Mayor Kate Stewart attended the march and told the Washington Post she hopes Kiyoko takes away a message of: "Keep doing what you’re doing."
I got to go to the best birthday party today! Thank you to Kiyoko for inviting me to your 7th Birthday Protest Party. pic.twitter.com/kWaRDu4iFa
— Kate Stewart (she/her) (@KateforTakoma) November 9, 2019
It was 8-year-old Maddie's first time marching. She stayed at the front of the line holding a sign that just said, "Peace."
"I think it’s really kind and generous of Kiyoko to devote her birthday time to this," Maddie told the Washington Post. "You know, trying to make the world a better place."