With Alyce being 4 years old and potty trained she was pretty easy. Luke at 2 wasn't even all that hard. The majority of my time was spent trying to get them to eat something (anything). The downside to them getting older was that rather than being caregiver you get the role of referee. We have a house full of toys and it is way too much to ask that they don't play with same one at the same time. The hilarious part of the toy fighting is that after Alyce has been playing with a toy for 5 minutes, Luke will come over, rip it out of her hands, and Alyce will say "Luke is not sharing!". Maybe she hasn't quite figured the finer points of sharing.
Saturday, the first day I was running solo I had to run out to my Mom's house to do a few maintenance items. I was going to be all alone so I had to keep one eye on the kids and one on the task at hand. Luckily they were very cooperative. It helped that I wasn't in any big hurry so I didn't have to rush and was able to take things as they came. For lunch I took them out to McDonald's and their playground. Some chicken nuggets, milk, and 20 minutes on a slide was enough to keep them happy and drain away any stress I had.
That evening after naps I packed up the kids and went to my friend Ted's house. His daughter Izzy turned one and they were throwing a small party for her. We were late getting there due to Luke taking an extended nap and most of the food was gone. Ted offered to fire up the grill to make some more. But I told him it wasn't worth the effort as they probably wouldn't eat and I was right. I was able to get a single bite of chicken and garlic bread in the both of them before they tore off for the slide and swings.
During the party I only lost Luke once. I was busy pushing Alyce on a swing and after a few minutes I noticed that I hadn't seen Luke in a bit. I disengaged myself from Alyce and started to go look for Luke. There were a ton of parents around so I was confident he hadn't walked off I just wanted to check in. As I walked around back and around the screened in porch I hear a "hi daddy". The kicker is that I heard it coming from above me. Looking up Luke had managed to go up the stairs and through the door to the screened in porch. He was playing on a slide inside and having a great time. You could say that Luke found me.
Towards the end of the party after the piñata and cupcakes Luke made a friend, another kid in attendance, and just two days younger than Luke. The two of them just started running around a tree and having a great time of it. I think that each of them thought the other was chasing them. It was pretty cute and I managed to grab a bit of video. Of course Luke fell a few times and when finished was covered in mud. I wasn't planning on giving the kids a bath that night but Luke left me with little choice. Once home I tossed the kids in the tub, cleaned them up, put them to bed, and collapsed.
Sunday was a pretty easy day. We hung out all day at the house with no where to go. While Luke was playing with some trains Alyce and I played a few rounds of Pretty Princess. Once Mom was back in town we met her at Gram's and Papa's house. The strangest thing happened when we pulled up. Luke didn't immediately go see Mom. Instead he went and said hi to everyone else. Perhaps he was angry she left and withheld his affection as a way of showing his displeasure? His withholding lasted only a few minutes and then he and she were back to normal. I'm glad he doesn't hold a grudge.
Mom really needed that weekend off. I'm glad she was able to disengage from family life for a little while and decompress. Luke's screaming and Alyce's whining day after day can really up your stress level. If you don't get an extended break every once in a while you'll go mad.