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I'll be an army of one...

Well, this time next week I'll be knee-deep in the land of no reinforcements. Kelly will be in Atlanta--or, rather, a nondescript office park somewhere near Atlanta. It will be a brief 48 hours. Two nights. But the first time I've handled a long stretch alone with the kids.

No handoffs, timeouts (for me anyway), or backup. Just dad on duty. All the time.

I really don't think it will be that bad. If it weren't for the dog I'd say it will be pretty much business as usual. Some modification to routine may be necessary to accommodate walks though. No leisurely cartoons, cereal, out of bed whenever for a couple days. Get dressed and let's go, the dog's gotta pee. We do have the side yard I can always let the hound into in a pinch. At the very least, the kids are going to have to go outside twice.

But I don't think some people appreciate how nice it is for the parent coming home from work to get some time with the kids for the now-off-duty parent to unwind a bit. Or, at least, that's what happens in our house. Take a shower. Do the dishes. Blah, blah, you were at work all day...but Kelly and I both have an appreciation for being the one waiting for the other to come home. Walking in the door and just wanting a glass of wine or a beer is not uncommon. In our experience, however, it's also easier for the one coming home to do the heavy lifting for awhile. No cigar and newspaper in our house. Because once you've been on the home-end of watching the kids AND trying to keep the place clean...well, if toys are picked up we declare victory. Crumbs everywhere? Expected. Mysterious stains on the furniture? Common.

If Kelly arrives home next week to find me wearing animal skins, eating raw meat, and fashioning tools out of rocks in the's not that I've joined the paleo diet cult. No, the kids may have taken me back into some primitive survival mode where she'll find hand prints on the walls and paintings of some of the "wild game" we've tracked.

I'm not sure I can draw squirrels very well though.