An immensely likable accounting of domestic encampments and battle strategy, Jean Kerr style, by a Washington columnist and man-about-politics, who is also the father of eight ranging in age from nine to twenty-three. It was President Kennedy who suggested to Mrs. Joan Braden, again enceinte, ""Why don't you get Tom tied?"" But Braden drops names pleasantly, like party balloons: Mrs. Alice Longworth demonstrating to the Braden children how a cobra is ""warmed"" by wrapping it around one's waist; Justice Douglas commenting later that the unchallenged presence of the Braden family's sheep ""Worthy"" beneath the dining room table was ""strange""; daughter Mary protesting the entertainment of family friend Henry Kissinger (""You're having a murderer to dinner, Mom?""). Braden affectionately profiles the group, through minor peccadilloes and familiar parental teeth-grinders: the bright kid who refuses to go to college; a daughter's resident ""Love Affair,"" unkempt and hostile; the SAT heartburn and heartbreak; militant politics, etc. Braden has learned through doing. Shouting, for example, is important: ""My shouts. . . have prevented broken necks. . . summoned help and brought home stragglers. . . summoned the guilty to justice. . ."" and the moment children threatened to become animals: ""Cut off the money supply."" Humor, a seasoned journalist's onstage bravura and a dash of serious concern. A pleasure.