I called Thomas upstairs and asked him to sit down next to me while I quietly explained that I really needed to not hear his voice so clearly and reminded him that he's got some big birthday plans brewing - in his own mind anyway - and that if he wanted me to put any of those into action I needed him to lower his perpetually broken volume button and prove he could have a group of boys around and not be out of control. He nodded solemnly, indicating he understood, and disappeared.
A second later I hear him YELL, "Oh, it was just the 'bring it down talk' again! No big deal!"
I'm so good at this parenting thing.