For seventh birthday parties held in bowling alleys:
Do invite really nice kids - in this case, nine kids from Cass's combined primary-first grade class. (Plus a hyper-excited-to-play-with-the-big-kids Rosey. And a third-grader big sister of his buddy B, which thrilled C to no end. Big kids? Verah cool.)
Don't show up with the birthday boy covered in bruises.
People look at you funny.
(yeaaaah. C's left cheek? Total dark bruise. Right where...well, right where someone would have punched him. Champ took a header on the slide the other day. This is, of course, nicely balanced out by his red and puffy-ish right eye - the perils of blowing up balloons and having one burst in your face.)
Do coerce your in-laws into helping, then discover (again, why do you keep forgetting this??) they are totally cool and great with kids. Even groups of kids, which is no mean feat.
Don't freak out that the bowling alley won't have napkins, or straws (although not the cool bendy kind you packed) or plates or cups or scotch tape, for pete's sakes, necessitating a huge bag of supplies being shlepped back and forth.
Do buy balloons in bulk. They make great toys when kids are just starting to come or getting bored waiting for the food to come.
Bonus: you got to watch your husband puff himself silly, and then your kids will say things like 'Daddy's a really good blower, isn't he, Mom?' and then you will have to maintain composure.
Because you're an adult. Sorta.
Don't make the kids (little, weenie kids!) play an entire game of bowling without offering drinks. (truly a d'oh! moment.)
Do save the cake for last. The sugar highs? Can be had by the smaller set in the privacy of their own homes. *evil grin*
Don't buy a cake with blue frosting, even as only trim. Not good. Not ever. I knew it was bad when I couldn't get it off my fingertips, and then I looked around the table and panicked at all the happy blue smiles.
This lovely mug (belonging to Cass's good friend E) is stained with the evidence. I think she was even going to another birthday party after Cass's. To E's Mom...I am SO SORRY.
He had a great time. I think I'll go sleep for a week.