From sugar highs to lethal allergies, you've braved it all
If you care about your sanity or the structural integrity of your house, you need to ration the gummy sweets
Remember the bit in Independence Day when the aliens destroy Washington DC? That’s what your house will look like after the first half an hour if you immediately pump the kids with sweets.
There will be crying. Lots of crying
If not yours, then someone's child will be bawling because they didn’t get the right colour lollipop in-between the layers of some 'pass the parcel' gift wrap. And there's no sound quite like that of 10 screaming kids dressed up as Frozen's Elsa, because no matter how many you buy, you will never have enough Peppa Pig cupcakes for sharing nicely.
Entrapment is the key to survival
Don’t let the adults get away with dropping off their kids and running away. Instead, send them to the off-licence. Half a box of wine later, and you won’t even care that 15 toddlers have all simultaneously wet themselves on your carpet …
Your retro creations might not impress
Remember those fiddly cheese and pineapple hedgehogs you used to love? Kids these days have iPhones and Xboxes. They couldn’t care less about half a grapefruit covered in foil with some sticks poking out of it.
Bucket crisps will save the day
All you need is 10 bags of salt and vinegar cartwheels and a large bucket. If you're short on time and thin on ideas for party games, then they can always pick from the 'lucky dip'. Last year you might have naively tried to sneak vegetables into things. What fun you had finding soggy cucumber slices in your laundry basket three weeks later.
You will be staring into the baking abyss
The cake your child will request will be completely beyond your skill level and will either involve an ice castle from Frozen, or a Lego Iron Man having a fight with the Green Lantern in space.
And possibly even dicing with death
Because there will always be at least one child who is allergic to cow’s milk, nuts, eggs or joy. This means you're going to need those well-trained hawk eyes, even if it means wrestling a fun-size snickers off a screaming five year old. No good kids party ended in an ambulance.