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Wish us luck. Lots of it.

We're having Quinn's birthday party today. I only invited family, but that means my sister in law and her kids will be here. They say invite one kid per year of the birthday kid's age. There are three cousins, Quinn's turning 3, so clearly I'm not obligated to invite other young children. Besides, my sister-in-law is notorious for bringing along other random kids without notice, so we may end up with 10 or 12 extras.

Yesterday she was coming by to pick up Hannah to babysit. When she got here an hour and a half late, as we were trying to get Quinn to eat so we could bathe him and put him to bed, thus ending the cacophony of pre-school fighting John had endured for the past four hours (I was at work for most of it, lucky me) and preserving some semblance of our sanity, she came into the house with a lot more kids than I was expecting. Five, to be exact. That's right. Five. One, two, three, four, five. Plus our two. All under the age of 7. So much for Quinn eating his dinner. They all clamored upstairs as my sister-in-law sat down calmly at our kitchen table, as if it were tea time and the nanny we keep upstairs for such occasions would obviously be taking over with all SEVEN children. By the time we got all seven kids outside, the two youngest ones refused to get into the van, then Bryce and Quinn made a game out of it and tried to sneak past us to go along for the ride - they probably figured with all those kids, their aunt wouldn't notice an extra head or two. (They're right. She wouldn't.) By the time she finally pulled away, it was time for Quinn to go to bed, but wait! He hadn't eaten dinner yet! Or had a bath! Or thrown three more tantrums from sheer fatigue and over-stimulation!

This morning the kids both woke up early. I managed to get the house clean despite their coming behind me and jumping on the beds I made and dumping out the toy bins I'd filled, but now I'm thinking, why? She's probably going to show up here with another chaotic flock of strange children running through my house and picking everything up and throwing it across the room for pleasure (not that my kids don't do this...I'm just saying it might be harder to keep up with seven of them doing it at once, as opposed to the two I so efficiently control). Bryce and Quinn are napping now, storing up their energy for the onslaught of noise, running, throwing, and growling that will undoubtedly make up their afternoon. All this will be fueled by cake provided by yours truly. So, I'm just asking for it.

Well, at least Quinn's party will live up to his months-long expectations. He's been imagining a circus, an entertainment extravaganza. It'll be a circus, alright. I'll be playing the part of the Crazy Lady in a Cage, complete with involuntary facial twitches and unkempt hair. I'm not kidding.