I’m a bit worried about my daughter. I realise that’s my default dad setting, but I’m particularly keen to give her a hand in this case because I reckon there should be a simple solution. The twins’ birthday is approaching, and Kasey seems to be getting unusually would up about putting on a party. It’s the norm among their friends from school, so she wants to reciprocate. But it’s not really practical to give twenty kids the run of their house at the moment, what with the renovations and all.

In my opinion, she should ditch the idea altogether – I asked the kids what they thought about having a birthday party, and they didn’t seem to feel strongly one way or the other. Honestly, they’re happiest when they’re plugged into their games, those two. There is one context in which I’ve noticed they’ll happily unplug and get moving, though – at that big indoor play centre in Sydney. Kids’ party venue, anyone?

Yep – there’s the solution right there. Set the kids and their friends loose on that giant playground equipment, let them run around and climb on things like crazy, and keep them securely contained in a safe environment boot. No need for Kasey to get the house into kid-friendly order, no need to organise games, no cleaning up. It’s spot on. A brilliant idea, if I do say so myself.

Back in my day, the best venue for a kids birthday party in Sydney you were likely to come across was a table next to the barbeques at the beach. These days, there are loads of these hi-tech play venues, where you can take a bunch of tykes and let them do their noisy, messy thing without being glowered at by fellow grown-ups trying to have a quiet day out. Heck, at some of these indoor playgrounds, you can even have a cuppa while you’re at it. Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would host their kid’s birthday party at their home when there are these purpose-built venues for that kind of shenanigan.