I noticed this week that I seem to have arrived at a new parenting stage, one where the emotional work of parenting is often harder than the physical. My boys can dress themselves (most of the time), use the bathroom without assistance (most of the time), get themselves a glass of water. D can entertain himself for hours between reading and playing with his DS. N isn't quite so self-maintaining, but on a weekend morning, the boys generally can play together for a good hour before the arguing gets loud enough that we can't pretend not to notice any more.
But the emotional work is challenging. N gave me huge hugs and kisses before I went away on a 36 hour trip for work, but then ignored me on my return. D says "sorry" for hurting his brother without thinking or meaning it, but bursts into tears when we press him. Both of them are constantly complaining about headaches or stomachaches, but it doesn't seem to stop them from running around like lunatics.