Rewind to the beginning of the day. Which I spent as the crazy mom following my boys around getting them to clean up the last bit of toys and stuff so the house would be clean for the party.
I did this around taking my youngest to an OT appointment in the morning, Cub Scouts in the afternoon, and cleaning the rest of the house. Several times I almost cancelled the party because my 12 year old was giving me attitude. I not so calmly told him, "This party is for you. So if you want to have friends over then you need to do the work or I'll just call them all and cancel the whole thing." Not one of my finer moments, but it did get the point across. My husband was very helpful and did the dishes too. Which helped to calm me a little bit. I do realize that the 12 year old boys probably don't care if my house or my dishes are clean, but it matters to me.
At around 3:30 my son tells me I need to call his friend's mom, because she wants to talk to me. When I call her, she wants to know if the party is "really happening". Turns out her son makes plans with friends that parents didn't say ok too. This year I let my son invite friends through text and phone calls on his own instead of sending out invitations. My older daughter has been doing this for years and there has never been a problem. Back to the friend, I told his mom that the party was on, then explained the invite situation, gave her all the details, and apologized to make her feel better. Around 6pm boys start showing up to my house. Only one parent came to the door with their son. I just don't get how parents can just drop and run and not ever check in with the hosting parent. (I did text with one mom before she dropped off and made sure she had the pick up info) My oldest is in high school and I still walk her up to her friends' door and chat with the parents. It's call common courtesy, people. The one mom who came in with her son also had a miscommunication problem. Apparently he told his mom he had a ride home in the morning. Even though I knew nothing about it, I told the mom I didn't mind bringing him home. She was very appreciative and apologetic. So I made her feel better by telling her the story about the other boy.
The lesson I have learned from this is: Boys are not as responsible as girls.
Once all the boys had arrived it was party on. Most of the boys brought Nerf guns with them. And of course my boys have more Nerf guns than they know what to do with, so they shared. Who doesn't love a good old Nerf gun war, complete with running through the house.
When my oldest son was born I wasn't going to allow gun play. Then when he was around two, my son started turning Everything into a gun. So I gave in. I do have gun rules set in place. 1. You don't shoot a Nerf gun at someone who doesn't have one. Because if they don't have a Nerf gun, then they probably aren't playing and won't like being shot at. 2. Never shoot Nerf guns at animals. They can't play back and you can hurt them. 3. Never touch a real gun, Ever. Real guns can kill people and only adults who know how to use them may touch them.
I always have to go over the ground rules when I have other kids at the house.
I will admit as loud as the boys get with their Nerf war, it is always alot of fun. Sometimes my husband and I will even join in the fun. Then it becomes let's all gang up on the parents. But that's ok.
We also did the standard cake and ice cream bit of a birthday party. Because nothing says fun like giving a bunch of boys some sugar. Usually though after the cake and presents, the boys are ready to wind down and play some Wii games.
At around 10pm I had to put my youngest to bed in my room. He was starting to get left out of the play with the older boys and it was making him very weepy. Around 11:30 the boys pulled out their sleeping bags and all started to lay down and really quiet down for the night. My husband and I also headed to bed at 11:30ish.
6am rolls around really fast. And that is when the boys woke me up, because they were running around the house having a Nerf war again. 6am is Too early for Nerf wars. For me 6am on a weekend is Too early for anything. This was the only time during the whole party that I raised my voice to the boys. I get super cranky, when I'm woken up by running and yelling.
The boys did settle down for a couple hours and played Bey blades and Wii. Mom's and Dad's started showing up at 9am to pick up the party goers. After all the festivities, I headed back to bed for a nap.