This 3-Year-Old Had His Birthday Party at a Waffle House, aka Leslie Knope’s Dream

Lawson Cooper's obsession with the Waffle House is so real, his mom Natalie planned his third birthday to not only have a Waffle House theme, but to take place right inside the family's local restaurant. Although Lawson would definitely be great friends with fellow waffle-lover Leslie Knope, the toddler enjoys going to Waffle House for reasons other than its fluffy waffles: to watch the cooks make his food and to "ogle all the waitresses' pins" on their aprons. So to channel all of Lawson's loves, his mom made sure the toddler's party had waffles, a cook uniform, and — you guessed it — pins.

Ashley Donahue of Emerald Creek Photography told POPSUGAR that she's always wanted to shoot at a Waffle House because it's such a big part of the South, and that "the staff was so, so sweet and accommodating," while Lawson posed for his photos in his mini uniform.

"He loved getting to dress up like a cook," Natalie told POPSUGAR. "He had the the gray button-down shirt, the black pants, the embroidered apron, and hat. He loved that his name tag said his name. You could tell he felt he was as big as the people that worked there. Our server that day was so nice to us, and made Lawson feel so special. He loved getting his picture taken with her. Since his party he's worn his pins (three of them, plus a name tag) every day. Today the Waffle House sent us a goody bag in the mail with a whole bunch of Waffle House swag, and his pin collection has gone from three to eight — he is in heaven! . . . I have no doubt he'll be a Waffle House fan for life!"

Ashley Donahue | Emerald Creek Photography

Lawson surveying his cake and waffle spread.

Ashley Donahue | Emerald Creek Photography

A close-up of Lawson's themed cake.

Ashley Donahue | Emerald Creek Photography

Lawson's apron pins and name tag.

Ashley Donahue | Emerald Creek Photography

Lawson, taking his amazing party in.

Ashley Donahue | Emerald Creek Photography

Lawson posing with his favorite waitress.