When my children were tiny, I used to play a game with myself when the day came to a close. I would carry them around the living room and sing to them or we would dance to fast mucic while counting cars. SURELY Daddy would be home within 100 cars! If he wasn't home within 100 cars, he'd SURELY be home within the next 100 cars! As soon as he came in, I'd either hand the babies off to him and go paint or draw, or I would talk his ear off. How we had nine kids, I do not know.
Now we have teenagers. When he is late, I have no baby to swing and dance with, but I have teens fighting with each other and evading chores and nothing getting done without threats to take things away.
I still play the car game.