"Have you gone mad?" asked my parents, as I told them the plan.
"We all think you're mad", said one mum, as she dropped off.
"You must be mad", said a dad, as he picked up.
My son's 7th birthday party was at our (fairly small) house on Sunday: 16 children, mostly boys, mostly aged 6-7.
We played games like Pin the Trunk on the Elephant, Pass the Parcel and Treasure Hunt in teams.
We caused a riot between the sofas with a candy-spraying pinata.
We settled disputes over prizes.
We fed them junk food.
We let them trash the boy bedroom and run about in police clothes and helmets, shooting and sword-fighting with anything that might resemble a weapon (with a little imagination).
We freed the boy who got stuck in the loo.
We gleefully accepted sister-in-law's offer of help.
We marvelled at how boys won't walk if they can run, won't run if they can roly-poly, and always SHOUT FOR NO REASON!!!
We declared our bedroom strictly off-limits. Strictly. Off. Limits.
We hid the hamster.
We threw punch balloons (big ones on elastic) down the stairs, turned the music up and got out of the way as our guests almost combusted with excitement.
We shouted a lot and hardly anyone listened.
We turned off the lights for the candles on the Spongebob Squarepants cake ... how I love watching kids' faces when everyone sings 'Happy Birthday to You' (and just for once nobody bellowed out a rude version).
Have I gone completely ding-dong-doo-lally-stark-staring-bonkers-checking-into-cloud-cuckooland MAD? Probably. But it won't be long before the kids want to do something more sedate on their birthdays like bowling, cinema, or pizza, with just a few close friends. And then they won't want me at their birthday parties at all. So I reckon I might as well make the most of this short time and keep their parties as insane as possible.