Almost didn't go. Almost didn't find the house even when I did go. Brought Tam along for moral support. Came home exhausted after two and a half hours and simply crashed, out like a light, entirely wrung out. Woke three hours later with a blinding headache, took Vitamin I and slept deeply again until morning.
This level of emotional reaction, unconscious though it is, is in some ways unfair of me. There usually aren't any majorly dreadful scenes at these events (just repercussions after, sometimes months after, over innocent remarks or who one did or did not speak to). On the other hand, I was once again reminded that even one two-year-old is a crowd. (And my sister's poor tomcat feels the same way only more so, and will complain about it to anyone who will listen. He's a good cat and has been around children before, so he simply evades -- and registers his objections with the grown-ups. For his part, the two-year-old loves, loves, loves the kitty, and would happily express his affection by hauling the critter around like a dishrag.)
Anyway, survived. General, if cautious, goodwill all 'round. One can scarcely ask for more.
5 months ago