This is what we did wrong in holding L's 6th birthday party at our house:
1. We had it at our house.
2. It went on for two hours. Next time it'll be an hour and a half shorter.
3. We only invited girls. Now I used to be a boy so I know what they're like. It's why I'm never entirely at ease with them. But sometimes girls need to be diluted. 14 girls and no boys is too intense.
4. I had too much dignity. Next year I'm begging some other parents to stay. When L was at nursery her parties were, in part, a chance for all the parents to have a get together. Not so in P1. The minute the hapless parent issues the invitation evil laughter breaks out amongst the parents of the guests as they plan what to do with two whole hours of free childcare.
5. We failed to anticipate the refusal on the part of some guests to participate in party games on the grounds that, "it might mess up my hair."
6. We failed to anticipate the impact this assertion might have on the rest of the guests. Full scale rebellion was only headed off with a liberal sweetie-based bribe.
7. NEVER wrap the pass-the-parcel in as many layers as you have guests. It's a really boring game. Quite incredibly dull in fact.
8. Invite less guests than you think you should. We had 14. One mother, on coming to collect her daughter told us that she was having a party the following day (to which L was not invited...) with only 2 guests. Is that a party? I think not. That's just having some kids round to play. However, semantics aside, she's MUCH cleverer than me.
9. Buy booze. Not for the kids (although that could be entertaining). No. For you. For later. Don't for the love of all that's holy leave yourself in the position of having to leave the house to go and buy drink after they've all gone. Have you any idea how much of a lush that makes you look?
10. Test all blindfolds. A scarf tied round the head like when we were kids works really well. The blindfold that comes with the stick-the-tail-on-the-donkey set you bought in Sainsburys because it was only 50p? That blindfold is shit.
11. REMEMBER! I'm writing this in the vain hope that I'll recall all of the above but it's already beginning to fade. That horrible parenty thing is starting to happen when I forget the unutterable ghastliness and instead a sort of golden syrup is poured into my brain infusing the memories with golden sweetness.
What was I saying? Umm. Oh, never mind it probably wasn't important.