Home alone with a 4 and 2 year old for a week!

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  • Home alone with a 4 and 2 year old for a week!
  • Travis

    So, I have the children all by myself, and as sad as it sounds.
    This is my first time ever alone with them for more than 6 hours.

    I am so excited to be spending so much time with them (my job doesn’t allow me too)
    Saying that, I have no experience at all, so what can I do, which is just quality time with them?

    Premier Icon funkrodent

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way

    With apologies to Charles Dickens!

    You’ll love it, one of the best weeks ever, it’ll create an even more meaningful bond with your kids!!

    But…It’s going to be challenging for sure. Be prepared to take lots of deep breaths and count to 10. Sleep deprivation may be a factor.

    Plan in loads of activity is my advice, try to knacker them out more than they knacker you out 😉

    From a context perspective, I’ve got a 7yr old and a 6yr old


    You’ll have a ball, and be exhausted.
    Let them play and then join in, rather than always being the boss. My daughter is now 15 and I really miss running about like an idiot with her.

    <wild stereotyping alert>Do all the fun but ever so slightly risky things that they don’t do with Mum</wild stereotyping alert>

    Premier Icon kimbers

    get a daily routine going from the start, dressed, mealtimes etc same time each day

    and yeah wear them out!


    yes, aim for lots of fresh air and if the air is a little damp, do the swimming, soft play, climbing things, do all the things you can to have fun WITH them, get your hands dirty. even walks in woods and parks with kids is fun as they see the world with new eyes. enjoy.


    Get planning! Know what you are going to be doing (activities, meals, etc.) and have it all planned out.

    What sort of things to they like? What’s your location?


    even walks in woods and parks with kids is fun as they see the world with new eyes.

    This is very true. Hated taking my dog for a walk when it was wet and muddy but my boy loves it, thinks big puddles and mud are brilliant!


    Would you like to take my two too? (1.5 & 3.5) I’ve got them all the time, and they drive me up the wall…

    Premier Icon franksinatra

    the best days with kids are always when they get muddy. Get outdoors and go exploring. Sausages on a camping stove in the woods, build dens, climb trees, stick sword fights, rope swings, explorers, hide and seek, list goes on and on!


    Always have a back up plan 😉


    Davy – how are the current versions performing? Any more planned upgrades?


    Simple things like a really long bath time with lots of new things to play with (kitchen bowls, spoons, cups, jugs) etc. can be really fun. Try to think of one thing to go out and do each day even if it is just walking to a shop to buy milk. It really helps to break up the day.

    I always end up building dens in the living room with chairs / clothes dryer and bedding sheets. They love it and will play in their for hours.


    Planning and Back Up plan. (edit, yes, this I need)
    Today was my first day… everything I had planned in my head, was finished in about 2 hours….
    Best part though, flopped out on the mat, with them sprawled on me, reading to them.
    Awesome. Just Awesome.

    Looking forward to day #7 report.

    “My walk is slow, I am the dead weary, as you can tell even when looking at me from behind. Every line and sag of my body speaks of my inhuman exhaustion.”



    get local causality depts programed in to sat nav bulk buy calpol . you can get security bells designed to go on old ladies purses that gingle when moved fit them to coats . When given sole charge of a 30 month old he has run off and hid in neighbours gardens in the dark and head dived down concrete steps. He so enjoyed his trip to causality he keeps claiming he wants to bump his head again.

    My son actually likes art galleries the Hepworth and YSP being top . We also have tropical world an indoor jungle featuring birds butterflies and crocs and Meer cats (the latter two fenced off). He gets as much fun just playing out in the street with me hovering nearby . He loves bus rides to town too. Any activity really is fun at that age.

    Premier Icon sandwicheater

    Blooming heck, think that would kill me. Longest I’ve spent with SE Jnr is a weekend (he’s 10 months) and I was plum knackered. I guess the classics never go out of fashion;

    Fireworks, sugar and fighting games on the xbox

    You’re screwed.

    Tramadol, barbitol and night nurse.

    Just kidding, line up loads of stuff, grandparents close to hand? you’re gonna need ’em.


    Davy – if only I had the time.

    When my daughter was born, I was there for the delivery. Then at home for 10 days, the next time I saw her, was her 7 month birthday.

    I yearn to spend more time with them, and part of my effort this year, is to bring me closer to home.


    Get a massive box or two (like white goods comes in) and some spare emulsion/marker pens and build and paint a castle or other hideout.

    Go to the cinema or get some DVDs and popcorn in and have a film afternoon.

    Have a day out and early tea at whatever your local big-stuff attraction is (planes, trains etc)

    Totally agree on the routine thing, especially early/prompt bed times.

    Also plan your meals so you can whip something up rather than having to start foraging when they’re already hungry.

    Know what you need from the shops before you leave the house and get stuff when you’re out as it’s unfeasible/irresponsible/everyone-will-die to pop out later. Most importantly this includes milk/beer/wine.

    Good luck …….


    Enjoy it, but do allow some time to yourself – even if it is just a couple of hours in soft play so you can sit down.

    Go with the flow as best as you can – don’t get stressed if they don’t do as you ask them first time.

    Get them to help you do things like making their meals rather than stress about doing them as they vie for your attention.

    Make them ‘responsible’ for doing stuff, even if it is just taking the bins out – the 4yr old especially will like that.

    Make cakes and buns.

    Make homemade pizza.

    And leave the tidying until about 2 hours before your partner gets home.

    Ohh, and you may run out of clean clothes but don’t despair…

    Gruffalo hunting in the woods. Handy if you know an area that has bivvies, signs of camp fires etc. Get them looking for tracks and sightings.

    Men weren’t built for this…

    Premier Icon Lucas

    This happened to me last March, the boys were 1.75 and 3.75 years old.

    Fortunately they were in nursery for 4 of the 8 days. I agree with things said above:

    Plan and prepare meals so you can just cook pasta and put the sauce you made last night on, heat something up, make an omelette. Ours get hungry all of a sudden and if you can’t get them something quick then they drive you mad asking for bread, biscuits etc.

    Walk in woods
    Bus ride into town/to a new park
    go to park
    Picnic – kids don’t care if its cold and muddy
    Painting (proper messy painting)
    make things – space ship is good, then paint it. Make masks
    birthday list – get a catalogue (Argos etc) and get them to cut out what they want and stick it to a piece of paper
    Don’t feel guilty about sticking a DVD on especially in the late afternoon if you’ve been out
    Bike rides
    Scooter rides
    Dressing up, face painting
    Read books

    You’ll be knackered but you’ll all love it, it really helps with bonding!

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    Sitting and being is as important as running and doing with your children.
    Dog walks and mud were a big plus one here.

    Premier Icon ransos

    I don’t think my daughter cares what activity we’re doing, so long as I’m spending time with her.

    I don’t think my daughter cares what activity we’re doing, so long as I’m spending time with her

    This, times lots.

    Mind you, it doesn’t half help to have a bunch of different things to do lined up. Some great ideas on this thread.

    Play park, walking the dog, making hats from paper, scootering/tricycling around, bike ride on the kiddie seat on your bike, playing with the trains / lego / favourite toys, jumping onto cushions, doing the cleaning (bizarrely), playing with the sand table, pointing at stuff in books, learning numbers, sticking stickers on things, drawing, colouring, potato printing, doing drums with the saucepans…

    This book is brilliant – loads of stuff to do. You need to spend a few quid on arty/crafty bits n bobs but it’s well worth it.


    Today was great, but I’m shattered.

    The hardest thing I’m finding is feeding them.
    It’s difficult for me to cook for them.

    What’s the difficult bit?

    Premier Icon stilltortoise

    I like this thread. It makes me want to do fun stuff with my kids.

    You should write a blog about it 🙂

    Baking cakes and deserts together can be great fun too, eg banana muffins, chocolate cheesecake. Kids love getting involved and ‘helping’ so let them get stuck in and see/taste the rewards.

    Premier Icon Ben_H

    I love being with my kids (18-month-old boy, 4-year-old girl) and do a lot with them on both on my own and with my wife whenever I can.

    That said, I rarely have days on my own with them and so I look forward to my coming 1-day per week for 6 weeks (when wife starts work, but we won’t have childcare for one day). The best things I’ve found are:

    – Museums (almost all are very well-tuned to kids);
    – Cafes;
    – Parks;
    – National Trust attractions (again, very kid-friendly);
    – Any random trip on a train or bus.

    Cycling with two at this age is harder though.

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    Planning, planning, planning, coupled with enthusiasm and patience. This is a fab opportunity to do all that fun stuff, and set the tone for ‘daddy days’ from now on.


    yeah the food thing can be a curve ball.

    I found giving them options/choices a really bad idea as whatever they ask for, you wont have, so always know what you’ve got in the fridge.

    planning is important with this one, when you shop make sure you have a number of options in the shopping cart and some hidden rescue meals in the freezer. the guilt I used to feel was giving them junk, clearly try to avoid junk and snacks except in emergency or as a treat.

    A little older than your two, my girl loves making the sandwiches for me, she loves that she has the ‘adult’ task to do. But we also love ordering dominos and snuggling up with a DVD. plus while the cats away!! oooh and the treat over xmas was squirty cream on top of hot chocoloate with white chocolate buttons, after the muddy bike ride it worked a treat.


    The wife is from China, so mainly it’s Asian food.
    This week though, no Asian food, I did try and get their favourite dumplings today (had to message to wife for the shops name) but when we got there, it was closed, but that was okay, as going there was fun.
    Little lad on his bike, daughter on her balance bike, and me on mine.
    Loved it.
    Anyway, we’ve had a few issues with the food, and I’ve done well in not resorting to junk, even though the eldest has some of the largest pair of lungs I’ve ever heard (sorry if it woke you guys up)
    I’ve had an amazing time with them, and it’s really put it into perspective;
    1) How much work my wife does
    2) I really need to spend more time with them.

    I’ve avoided TV all week (the wife doesn’t let them watch much either) but I think tomorrow is a DVD and Pizza moment (I need a rest)


    If they eat Asian food, this one is so simple it almost cooks itself – egg noodles boiled then tossed in a little honey and soy. Our kids love it – and you can add to it to make it more of a meal (finely chopped veg, ham etc).


    I’ve managed to get away with Noodles in Peanut butter, but only the once.
    The wife cooks really well, my attempt at cooking Chinese food is way off the mark.


    is it too early for an XBox?


    I guess you could also do fried rice – almost as easy.

    egg noodles boiled then tossed in a little honey and soy.

    Ooh I’m gonna try that on the chimp. Maybe add some chicken or ham.


    Yeah our two often have it with ham too but they love it just as it is. Dead simple stress-free lunch.

    Almost as stress-free as taking them to the curry buffet on a Sunday evening 🙂


    Well, the wife is back.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this week, although I am really tired.

    I can’t wait until next time, but I am also looking forward to my time.

    The children and I have bonded really well, and their is a huge improvement in the way we are towards each other.

    Thanks for the advice from everyone.

    For next time though, I need to learn to cook more child friendly food.

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