When my daughter asked me this past Shabbat to have friends over, I said yes right away. I love her little friends, and truly think of them as my own daughters. I rarely venture out after the shul's kiddish because I read the entire book of Tehillim on Shabbat in the merit of my brother who is ill.
But I didn't realize how long the day really is. We got home at 1:45 pm and Shabbat ended at 8:50 pm. That's seven hours of play time, and my daughter was crumbling. It was too much for her to run around and entertain her two girlfriends.
So I took her aside and offered to take the girls home early, at about 7:00 pm. She didn't want to, and I understand, even if she was miserable. So we stuck it out, with one girl going home early and the other being picked up right after Shabbat.
I talked to my daughter afterwards, and she said next time, she would only bring home one girl. Well, that's doesn't work for me. I don't believe in excluding anyone, and I would feel bad for the girl who didn't have a play date. So I said no, we will restrict the play time, and arrange it in advance that I will walk the girls home.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if all life's problems were so easily solved. . .?