Mom ‘Shocked’ After Toddler’s Cake Says ‘Happy Birthday Loser’: ‘I Couldn’t Stop Laughing’

A Missouri mother was in for a surprise when she picked up her 2-year-old daughter’s birthday cake and found a peculiar typo. Melin Jones, of Bonne Terre, Missouri, says she rushed to pick up the celebratory creation for her daughter Elizabeth from a local Walmart last September. There, she asked the employee to use the little girl’s nickname, “Lizard.” Jones quickly paid for the cake, and it wasn’t until she got home that the doting mom realized the icing read “Happy Birthday Loser.”

“I was a little shocked, but after a few seconds, I couldn’t stop laughing,” Jones, 27, tells PEOPLE. “I had no clue they got it wrong. I was in a hurry and it seemed like a simple enough request. I wasn’t really expecting anything to be wrong with it.” Jones wanted to tell her husband, James Jones, what happened. Soon she snapped a photo of Elizabeth — who cannot yet read and wasn’t told what the message said — looking at the red, white and blue confection.

Melin says she initially shared the photo on Facebook last year but deleted the post because she did not want the Walmart employee to get in trouble. After a few months, though, she decided to share it again, posting the photo in a Facebook group called Sad Sales and then on her own profile last month. The post has since been shared hundreds of times. Walmart did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Although she found the mishap funny, Melin says she couldn’t help but jump into mommy mode. “[My husband and I] proudly ate that ‘loser’ cake, then [I] marched right back to Walmart a few hours later and got another one,” Melin says. “I didn’t mention the misunderstanding because I didn’t want the worker to get in any trouble, so I just picked out a new cake and asked for ‘Happy Birthday Elizabeth’ on it.”

The family held Elizabeth’s birthday party with the new and improved cake the next day. Melin — who plans to tell Elizabeth about the mistake when she’s older — says she never expected the mix-up to get so much attention. “It’s just interesting to see it go viral,” she tells PEOPLE. “It’s funny to us, but we didn’t think it would be so funny to so many others.” “A lot of people have reached out to me to tell me it made them laugh harder than they have in a long time, or that they were having a bad day at work until reading it and so on,” she adds. “That’s been the best part of it all, just knowing that people are finding the same type of humor in it that we did.”

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