June 27, 2016 MY CRAZY MAXWELL COUSINS ARE COMING!!! School’s out for the summer, which is amazing. BUT, summer also means the arrival of CRAZY MAXWELL COUSINS!!! In the madness of final exams and year-end parties, somehow I forgot!! Every summer my Aunt Janet takes a road trip with her FIVE KIDS up and down the east coast. They live in Florida, so by the time they get to New York, they have LOST THEIR MINDS. (If you live in FLORIDA, why would you spend your summer cooped up inside a van? Why wouldn’t you just, like, go to the beach?!?!?) Mom just told us at breakfast that they’re coming sometime today. Like…they could be pulling in the driveway right now! Or they might not come until after Brianna’s in bed. There’s no way to know!! (I mean…you’d THINK they could call us to give us a heads up…but that wouldn’t be any fun, WOULD IT??) THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME!! Visiting cousins might not seem like that big a deal. But let’s play a little game. It’s called What Did Maxwell Cousins Do Last Time They Visited??? Broke every mirror in the house, while playing their game “Mirror Boxing.” I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING!! Reprogrammed the radio stations in my mom’s car so that every single button plays only those soccer commentators screaming “GOOOOOAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!” We haven’t listened to anything else in there all year! Spilled not one, not two, but ALL FIVE of their Slurpees ON MY BED!! And didn’t even tell me! So I went to climb in bed after an exhausting day of their shenanigans and found a gross, sticky, rainbow swamp where my mattress should be!!! Exploded the giant hippo-shaped beanbag chair in Brianna’s room so that it looked like there’d been a horrible wildlife massacre, and worst of all, those little white foam beads inside went EVERYWHERE! We just stopped digging them out of the carpet last month. Answer? ALL OF THE ABOVE!!! After the last visit, Mom suggested we tell them we’d moved. To Alaska. Or Peru. But, Dad said family is family and it could be worse. How, Dad? HOW?? This is who I’m dealing with: 12-year-old Sophia – She’s younger than me, only she acts like she’s about 17 (except when she’s punching mirrors and dumping Slurpees in my bed!). She’s like a mini-MacKenzie, if MacKenzie were the leader of a biker gang. 9 year-old Ethan – Ethan is SORT OF okay…when he’s sleeping. When he’s awake, though, he acts like a puppy who’s had a breakfast of chocolate bars, caffeine pills, and soda. 7-year-old Lucifer – Okay, his name’s really Luke. He makes Brianna look like the sweetest, politest, quietest little angel you ever saw. He’s the kind of kid who stomps on ants for fun. 4-year-old twins, Sam and Sam – The twins are seriously named Samuel and Samantha, and they CALL THEM BOTH SAM!!! One of them is ALWAYS screaming and the other one is ALWAYS crying. But they mix it up, just to keep you guessing. And then there’s Aunt Janet. She floats through the house, oblivious to the crazy, and once I heard her ask my mom if she’s at all concerned about MY social development. I had just run through the room carrying all the underwear I own, but I HAD MY REASONS! So, now I’m brainstorming everything I can do to protect my stuff/my house/my family before they get here. Mom says I’m not allowed to run away and hide at Chloe’s or Zoey’s, AND I’m not allowed to barricade my door shut. But she didn’t say anything about BRIANNA’s door, so right now my plan is to stuff all my valuables under Brianna’s bed and make she’s not in the room when I barricade her door! If you were me and had scary, crazy cousins coming to visit, what would you do?