Happy to host :)
Let's just run through a quick little checklist:
1. House rules
You have some of those right?
Well so do I, and teaching them all to your child when he comes over would be exhausting and incredibly unfun so... maybe you could talk to him?
It's pretty basic stuff really. Ask my kids if it's okay before you drag their entire train set out and play with it for 2 seconds, get bored, and move on to the next mess...I mean toy. Ask my kids if it's okay to play Frisbee in the house. You're obviously a creative kid, my kids like that, but they have to deal with me when you break the lamp during indoor frisbee. You get to go home. So, ask them before you do anything, they'll be happy to tell you if it's okay or not. You could also try playing what they want to play since it's pretty much guaranteed that they already ran it by me and got the thumbs up.
Please and thanks are truly music to my ears. Pretty much any adults ears really. Compliments are also welcome. Telling me my baby is funny looking or that my cat smells bad is not welcome.
Nothing makes me happier than being able to report to your mom that you were polite. Yes, I will be reporting to your mom.
Bonus points go to the kid that cleans up whatever he messes up and the one that offers to help me when I'm making him food. Kudos to you kid.
I realize I may be asking too much with this, so let's get down to brass tacks here.
Bare minimum in the manners department?
Must be able and willing to flush the toilet after use.
If only you knew how few kids can manage this feat.... Can I get an ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!
3. Personal electronics
These things are personal for a reason. They are for you only. You said you wanted to play with my kid right? Then the cellphone stays in your bag and the ds, ipod, kindle, iPad etc... stays home. I don't have the time or patience to monitor your electronic use and the whole point of this playing thing was a real world face to face experience right? Well your personal electronic device means my kid is now hanging his face over your shoulder and shoulder to face time just isn't the quality friend time we were looking for.
Since we've broached the subject of bringing your own stuff over, could we add leave your toys at home to the list?
If you really can't get your kid to come to my house without promising them they can bring their own toys, then maybe they didn't really want to come to my house.
And that's okay with me.
What's not okay is your child's favorite toy being swallowed by the black hole that is the entire downstairs portion of my house. You feel bad, I feel bad, your kids cry.
Could we just skip this whole drama? Either my kids and their toys are good enough for your kid or they're not. If they're not, invite my kid to your house instead, I promise he won't bring his own toys and he'll love your kids toys.
So we're good? You'll drop him off at 4? And you'll bring me a latte when you pick him up?
You gave him an extra reminder to flush too?
I knew we were friends for a reason! :)
DISCLAIMER: To my actual friends and their kids: this is not about you. If it is about you, either we've already talked about it or I'm not telling.
DISCLAIMER 2: I used the pronoun He because I have 3 boys, girls are just as guilty of the list above.
DISCLAIMER 3: This list mostly pertains to elementary age kids because that's my kids age and that's where I was drawing memories from of my own play times growing up. I'll write a list for middle school and high school when we get there. If your kid is still not flushing at that point then we seriously have a problem.
DISCLAIMER 4: I'm not saying my kids are perfect and do all these things. They have to work on almost all of them. However they practically never get invited to other kids houses so they'll probably be awful when it does happen. Everyone comes to our house, that's why I had to use your kids as examples.
FINA DISCLAIMER: Yes, your kid can still come play even if they can't complete the checklist. But will you promise me that you're working on it?