Sun Tzu in The Art of War suggests: "To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence: supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting".
In layman's terms, the ultimate solution is to end the problem before it starts. With that in mind here are some suggestions:
- Try to pick your kids up from school quite regularly. This will allow you to intercept and 'lose' any party invitations.
- Never have parties for your own children. This will ensure they become a social pariah.
- Demand something completely unachievable from your offspring using the party as a threat. Examples could include, "If those roof tiles are not replaced by 11 you can forget soft-play"
- Prior to the event, arrange for your child to have regular play dates with the birthday girl or boy. This will give them ample chances to fall out.
- If this doesn't work try to fall out with the parents. A drunken pass at the wife can work but this does carry a risk, however small, of reciprocation, so always go for the dad. The chances of him fancying you are much lower so there is a good chance of making relations uncomfortable enough for them to think twice before writing the invitation.
- Buy a caravan. A rather expensive option but this will guarantee that weekends are tricky.
- Divorce. This is the ultimate defence. However there is an element of risk v reward. If you can guarantee custody during the week you are home and dry. If you get weekends then your ex will spend her Saturdays and Sundays enjoying 'afternoon delight' with her pilates instructor while you spend your weekends at playzone.
- Arrive late: Try to get there just as food is being served.
- Always take a book, kindle, ipod or some flat pack furniture you've been meaning to assemble.
- Experiment with disguises to avoid polite conversation.
- Never sit with the parents group. As dad they won't know who you are anyway so you've a good chance of some peace and quiet.
- Attend all parties in working men's clubs. They will have a bar.
- Text all 'tidy' parents before hand to make sure they are attending as well.
- Make regular trips to the toilet. This will ensure you miss many of your child's transgressions. Plus if your child is upset it will be dealt with by well meaning mums.
- Ask someone who knows your child to keep an eye for '2 seconds'. Disappear for half an hour.
- Silently give all the children at the party really insulting nicknames.
- Leave early. Always apologise profusely and pretend you have another party to go to. This will give the illusion of your child's popularity.
- Fuss round all the children making sure they have enough food.
- Talk only to your child and steal their mini pizzas when they are not looking.
- Stare blankly at the table with your arms folded.
Anyway, I hope that's been of help. Enjoy the party, if you haven't found a way to get out of it yet!