So Chris went to Dallas last weekend for the Alabama/Michigan game.

(I know, right?? Why do Alabama and Michigan need to meet in TEXAS??  And men say that women are the illogical ones…)

He was gone the entire long weekend – from Friday morning to Monday afternoon.

Which, if anyone’s counting, is four days and three nights.

And no – I didn’t mention that fact here, on Twitter, or on Facebook while it was happening, because I was having to fight off enough imaginary masked murderers without worrying about the ones staked out on Twitter waiting for someone to announce that they’re home alone.

(And, as I laid in bed and plotted my overthrowing of Evil Intruders, I realized all that I had available to knock them down the stairs with a fabulously fatal blow was a plunger.  And try as I might, I couldn’t convince myself that I could get the right angle to do what I needed to do with that particular tool.  And plus, what if their face got stuck in the plunge-end and they didn’t fall as they needed to?  So I told Chris it was time to advance our household weaponry – if for no other reason than for the quelling of my violent imaginations.  He jumped at the idea.)

So.  Home Alone.  This is not something I do often (ever).  In fact, before last weekend, I don’t think I’ve been home alone for more than two nights total since I had Ali, and zero nights since I had Noah.

I know, I know – some of you have husbands that travel all the time.  Or you are single Moms.  Let me just say: You are superwomen.  And I am not.

Chris knows that I am not a superwoman, so he unfortunately felt a lot of guilt – over leaving the kids with such an ill-prepared Woman Of The House.



So he did what any guilt-ridden Dad does before departing:  he made them cinnamon rolls.  With sprinkles.


And purple icing.


An hour after he left, Noah was running in circles, completely unable to stop, cheering at the top of his lungs for Daddy, The Valiant Provider of Sweetened Pastries Out Of A Can.

The Side Effects of Guilt are quite severe for those left behind.

But overall, I did much better than I thought, and learned a few things about how I do life differently when Chris is not around.

For one, I drive aimlessly.  Often.

Much like Abby and Brittany (which we’re totally obsessed with, by the way), when there’s two of us, we have to discuss where we’re going before we leave (or at least before we’re out of the neighborhood).  But when it was just me, I found myself not deciding where we were headed until a good half hour into our journey.

(But let’s go back to Abby and Brittany for a minute.  Are you watching this show??  There are so many questions posed by the concept of having two heads with one body! Like, shouldn’t they get two salaries?  But should they have to pay for two plane tickets?  Speaking of tickets, if they get a speeding ticket, onto whose driving record would it go?  And THEN there’s vast quantity of marriage questions.  Chris and I have spent many a night of extended pillow talk pondering these difficult and disquieting issues.)

Back to driving endlessly.  Despite the slightly increased fuel costs, it did turn into a few unexpected beautiful moments.  Such as this one, where we got Mommy a frozen coffee, the kids dinner, and then happened to take a walk down this delightful trail:


I found a park bench and sat, while the kids ran laps around me, getting bites of dinner as they passed by.  Noah eventually managed to swipe my frozen coffee, which made the laps even more ferocious.


(Speaking of coffee – if you ever want to feel discriminated against as a mother, walk into a quiet coffee shop with two small children.  And take special note of all of the patron’s swiftly falling countenances.  You will feel the chill of  The White Witch come over the place immediately, and will experience uncontrollable urges to shout, “I’m getting it TO GO, people.  I promise to only ruin your child-free ambiance for a few small moments.  Take a sip of coffee and CALM DOWN.”)

Except for the excess coffee purchases, we also tend to eat out a lot less when Daddy’s out of town.

But lucky for them, Mommy shares the win-them-over-with-sweets mentality of Daddy, and when they look a bit grumpy…


They get cupcakes for breakfast.


(I think we might need an in-home visit from a nutritionist.  Any volunteers?)


But in the end, I didn’t have to plunge a single Evil Person, and enjoyed reading excessively instead of watching the first football game of the year.

Oh – and one more thing that happens when Daddy’s not around?  Kid Bedtime happens ON.  THE.  DOT.

Seriously – you’ve never truly witnessed promptness until you’ve seen a Home Alone Mommy curate bedtime.

42 thoughts on “Home Alone: The Review.

  1. Oh yeah. I’m with you. Tim has gone out of town twice this summer and I essentially acted like an under-paid teenage sitter both times. We watched way too much TV, played hours on the computer, ate cookies, frozen pizza and scrambled eggs for nearly every meal and when Tim called at 7:00 to tell the kids good night, he was shocked when I told him I’d already put them to bed. Of course, I paid dearly for this early bedtime madness when they woke up before 6 the next morning. But I just sleepwalked to the couch and dozed while they watched yet MORE TV. And when Daddy finally got home, I reminded him that he has morning duty with them for the next two years of weekends.

  2. My husband travels a couple of days a week, plus I lived alone for over ten years before we married so I’m used to nights alone. Sometimes you even begin to look forward to them because I actually get so much more done around the house when he is not there. It’s a little tougher this year since my son started kindergarten and actually has to be there on time, and I work full-time too.

    I do set the house alarm at night, and we have two Labradors who would let me know if something happened. Most likely because they would trip the intruder and/or lick them to death! At least the 120 pound one has a ferocious bark.

  3. Wait, you missed the first Alabama game?? We were at the beach with friends and while the four little girls holed up to watch a movie, my five year old was running around high-fiving everyone when Bama scored! We’ve even watched a replay of it since then too.

  4. I, too, am OBSESSED with Abby and Brittany! I have so many questions. I need to have a good convo with them and get it all out but I think they may think I was a bit weird. I actually got sad and misty-eyed for them the other night when I realized that they would probably not get married. Because they are totally adorable, really sweet girls who I think would want to get married. Then my husband rolled his eyes at me and considered therapy.

    1. Yes, I would love to interview them and ask “all the questions”. However, I have a feeling they’re saving those questions for teasers for the rest of the season.

  5. HH works nights most of the time so I understand the fear thing. I do have more defensive resources than a plunger but I’m not confident in my ability to use them. And why do dads insist on feeding the kids tons of sugar before they leave the kids with us?! Bedtime is ubber punctual when daddy isn’t home. I always think he’s gotta be as excited to get them to bed so he can have time with mommy but some how he draws it out. Of course we tend to be on time more when Daddy is gone then when he’s home…hmmm…

  6. You mean the local thugs in your area follow you on Twitter and Facebook too?!?! Gosh I thought I was the only one who had such loyal tweeps. HAHAH. But in all seriousness I’m totally with you on the hating to have the hubs out of town, however I’m a total redneck which means I get prepared in ways most people would question. We also don’t have kids, just fuzzy animals so at least dinner is easy each night.

  7. You make me laugh! I too am obsessed with Abby & Brittany and have had the same convo with Clint about “marriage”.
    Clint is gone a lot, so I’m very used to being alone and I actually sleep much better! ;D Our Shepherd gets WAY protective when he’s gone and I always wonder why, guess he doesn’t understand that even if Clint were home, I’d be the one “taking care of business” whilst Clint tried to sleep right through the disruption. I also have an arsenal of weaponry that doesn’t include a plunger and I know how to use them. :D Bedtime is the opposite direction because I get so busy doing household “stuff” and meals look relatively similar to yours.
    I’m proud of you for holding down the fort so well, especially with only a plunger for defense!

  8. As you know, we had many nights with Daddy gone last year. I found I just had to make my mind be quiet if I started getting creeped out (helped that a former Army friend of my husband’s lived next door and was watching out for us and probably had a pretty big arsenal). As far as bedtime, kids were ALWAYS in bed before 8 pm when he was gone. Now, 9:30 rolls around and he’s either laying in bed with one telling stories or falling asleep in the toddler bed. And…I actually cook dinner again. I ate a lot of sandwiches and cereal for dinner while he was gone. Meals without meat are a thing of the past. :) Good job holding down the fort!

    1. Yes, there are many more options for dinners when a man doesn’t have to be pleased, aren’t there? I’m not sure I even ate a proper meal while he was gone…

  9. I’m with ya! My hubby was gone last night n I joked that when he’s gone kid bedtime is a little early and goes real quick!! N was thrilled the only dinner I had to make was drive thru!!

  10. I’m impressed that you get out and about by yourself w/the kids! I’d be home watching them run around in circles. I rarely go anywhere by myself w/the kids. Oh and have you seen the email about putting a can of wasp spray by your bed? It’s like mace but shoots 25+ feet. That and your car keys so you can hit the panic button and make a lot of noise. That’s what I would use if my husband was gone. But of course I’d have already hightailed it to my parents so I wouldn’t have to be alone. Haha :)

  11. I’m the same way when Michael goes out of town! I don’t tell very many people at all…and I certainly don’t post it on Facebook or my blog. I’m too terrified that some crazy will come attack me!

  12. You have more weapons than you think! Hairspray, perfume, even Windex would be enough to at least slow them down if you sprayed them in the eyes. Although pepper spray or a Louisville Slugger would also not be a bad idea. Or a MagLite flashlight. They’re like police night sticks but also work when the power goes out (not that you ever have that….) Now you’ve got me mentally inventorying all my “weapons”. I have heard leaving Legos on the floor slows them down! =)

    1. Yes! Mine definitely does. I’m always like, “Aren’t you ready for them to be in BED??” …but I understand – he just hasn’t been with them all day.

      1. My hubby’s problem is that he has no concept of a “bedtime.” He never had one as a kid and doesn’t know how to enforce one on himself now. He stays awake until he absolutely can’t hold his eyelids up anymore, and then he goes to bed. lol If I say, “It’s the kids’ bedtime,” he says, “But they don’t look sleepy to me!” I always tell him that’s not the point, bedtime comes at the same time every day! lol

  13. i feel your pain. for i know you were in pain. i *hate* it when terry leaves town and i have to be home alone with the kids. hate it completely. i agree with each of the things you said, especially the one about the kids going to bed right on time. i am all about that. i have to take deep breaths when he IS home and he keeps them up 15 minutes late. and just this afternoon when terry was out of the car in the grocery store i started taking inventory of my in-car-weapons – none. i wanted a heavy wrench or something. glad you made it through.

  14. I’m totally with you on the Home Alone madness. My BF goes away on business one week a month and I spend the first two nights looking in all hiding places before bed and listening for strange noises, even though I know from having locked myself out that it takes a locksmith nearly an hour with (extremely loud) power tools to get through my door and no one is likely to scale up the wall to my fourth floor apartment.

  15. I saw Abby and Brittany at an Old Navy in Minnesota. It was around Halloween and I wondered why the person was wearing their costume in the mall. I had heard about them and suddenly realized who it was. It was hard not to look. Still – what a story of co-operation.

  16. I haven’t had to spend very many nights without my husband, and the first time I was suuuuuuper anxious. But it got better over time. Last fall when he went away for two nights, leaving my then-pregnant self to manage the then almost-2-year-old, I was all “Whatever, I got this!”. I was actually barely home the whole weekend! I spent time with my parents, my brother and his kids (his wife was out of town too), and my mother-in-law and was pretty much only home to sleep. We have two kids now and I haven’t stayed alone with them yet but if that time comes I’m sure it’ll be fine. We also have, er, home defensive implements that I know how to use. So that helps. ;-)

  17. The last time I was home alone for 4 days with my little guy it was not pretty! He was still nursing at lest 6 times a night and the sleep deprivation on top of being the one on call constantly …. Let’s just say, not my proudest pioneer woman self-sufficient “I can do anything!” type of scene by the end. I’ll be doing it again soon, but as Eli doesn’t nurse anymore it should be much smoother (I hope!) The only thing I worry about is it will be my first time home alone without cats. I know that sounds weird but I am hearing impaired so I often wonder if I’m not hearing something I should which is really magnified when home alone and imagining intruders and whatnot. When there were cats I’d just have to glance at whichever one was closest to know if there was anything worth listening to. There never was. Unfortunately the last one passed away earlier this year. This time I’ll probably be getting up to skulk about the dark house with a weapon in my hands far too often, LOL.

  18. Amen, amen, and AMEN! LOL. So funny, because I have the same paranoia of not announcing online when the hubby is away…hahaha…only, my weapon of choice is a steel baseball bat. But bedtime…ON THE DOT….you are not kidding sista! Glad you survived. =)

  19. I think I am in love with you, er…your blog ;) I just found it last night and have read 20 posts since then, I even sacrificed sleep and stayed up 30 minutes after the last kiddo did just to enjoy more! I love your style of parenting, it’s night to know there are other mothers out there who feed their kids cupcakes for breakfast when their fathers out of town. Usually I get horrified gasps when I mention those types of things to people lol. If you ever come to MI let me know because I think we’d get along just fine :)
    your Gap and ON jeans post was awesome!

  20. Get a cat, get a cat! Then post lots of pics of it… I miss my cat (we left her in NZ with my mother-in-law) so I need some vicarious cat-ness. Please?

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