Shenanigans (Or What Goes On When The Husband Is Away)

posted in: Humor, IPPP, Kids 110 comments

I posted this on Facebook a couple of days ago.




Why do shenanigans only ensue when my husband is away for business? 

However, it wasn’t all terrible behavior.


It’s not too early to give them cleaning chores, is it? 



Instead of napping one afternoon, the rascals dug through the closet and decided to dress themselves. At least my preschooler has a sharp sense of style.



This is not the first time I’ve hurt myself when my husband is away. The last time he went away, I dropped my laptop onto my foot. Of course I did. Yes, that is my plaid pajama bottoms.



Then this morning at 5.45 am, I woke up to find this scene. Why are they sleeping on the couch? Where is my oldest son’s shirt? 

Shenanigans, I tell you.

Oh, and there was this.


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Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • December 11, 2013 Michelle

    What cuties they are! We had a snow day here today! We didn’t do anything productive. But we did get into the chocolate! πŸ™‚
    Michelle recently wrote…Fitmark #NiceBag Perfect for a Sports Mom on the GoMy Profile

    • December 11, 2013 Alison

      Naturally! #ChocolateFTW

  • December 11, 2013 Kerstin

    OMG the cuteness!
    And waking up to find your kids crashed on the couch? SNORT. I love it!
    (boo to your finger, but yay for plaid pyjamas!)
    Kerstin recently wrote…Office ChairMy Profile

    • December 11, 2013 Alison

      Right? I totally laughed when I saw them. The thing is – they didn’t come looking for me in my room, they sorted themselves out!

  • December 11, 2013 Tamara

    Well, thank you for the cuteness! It’s adorable!! Des has this, “Byyyeeee” with an extra emphasis on drawing it out into two syllables. It’s hilarious.
    I’m intrigued by your photos of warm tropics and non winter coats..
    Both of your kids are wickedly handsome. Today I’m especially taken by the photo of your older son in his spiffy outfit.
    Tamara recently wrote…Three Truths, Two Lies: The Raging College Edition.My Profile

    • December 11, 2013 Alison

      I just love toddler speak, it’s so cute!!
      Funnily, yesterday night (your morning), I went to Instagram and the first 6 pictures I saw were of snow. My first instinct was to post pictures of my sunny and hot locale, haha!
      And thank you!

  • December 11, 2013 Living Serenely

    hehehehe… as they say, when the cat goes away, the little mice can party! I love the look of toddler boys in oversized clothing… toooo cuuuute!
    Living Serenely recently wrote…Blue ocean water playMy Profile

    • December 11, 2013 Alison

      I like that quote!
      The little one REALLY loves wearing his brother’s clothes!

  • December 11, 2013 Barbara

    Oh they are sneaky. My two are the same way when my husband goes away. And it never fails that the minute he comes back they turn into perfect angels.
    Barbara recently wrote…Oh Christmas Tree….My Profile

    • December 11, 2013 Alison

      YES! What is up with that???

  • December 11, 2013 Cristina

    Great post – my theory is that these two culprits realize you are outmanned and at that point they jump into action. Smart. Watch your back, sister.

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      I believe you’re right, Cristina. πŸ™‚

  • December 11, 2013 Laura

    Oh my GOODNESS, your boys! What is with toddler and preschooler brothers getting into shenanigans? (It happens when both parents are at home in my house). Thanks for ALL the cuteness this morning!
    Laura recently wrote…How to Bring Home a Real Christmas Tree When You’ve Never Had One BeforeMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      They’re troublemakers! Help me. πŸ™‚
      And, you’re welcome.

  • December 11, 2013 Nicole

    Wow, thank you for the cuteness. That was adorable! Shenanigans are absolutely the norm in my house when either my husband or myself is away on business. I usually try to fill every waking moment I’m with the girls with something so we all stay sane and the house remains standing!
    Nicole recently wrote…Year of Running 2013My Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      I try too. Except it’s hard to get up earlier than they do to make sure there are no shenanigans πŸ™‚

  • December 11, 2013 Ilene

    I love giving my kids chores. Even if they don’t execute the way I would πŸ™‚ And where *was* your son’s shirt?
    Ilene recently wrote…The BridgeMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      It was in their room!

  • December 11, 2013 vanita

    your boys are gorgeous! damian and tash get into mischief as soon as hubby walks out the door and then they’re perfect angels when he’s home. he says he doesn’t know what i nag about. i do need to start recording what they do, at least to have proof.
    vanita recently wrote…Affiliate Marketing For BloggersMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      This is why I film and photograph all their shenanigans. πŸ™‚

  • December 11, 2013 Kim

    Oh the cuteness! They are adorable – and so are the shenanigans. πŸ™‚
    My youngest LOVES cleaning. He loves wiping the table and will usually move on to windows from there. My oldest used to to love to do that too, until he realized that it is often more of a chore as you get older and actual results are expected.
    Kim recently wrote…Blogging Advice: Don’t Do What I DidMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Both the boys love wiping allthesurfaces too! And I let them. πŸ™‚

  • December 11, 2013 Natalie

    Oh my I love so much about this post…and the older one??? When did he become such a little man???
    Natalie recently wrote…A Tree Hunting We Will GoMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      I know, I can’t get over it!

  • December 11, 2013 Lisa

    Never too early to give them chores!! πŸ™‚ Stuff always goes wrong when my hubby is gone, too. Flat tire, dead car battery, prolonged power outage, I get sick, computer crashes . . . These are just a few of the things that have happened over the years when he was gone.
    Lisa recently wrote…Tuesday Ten and Happy Birthday Megan!My Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Before kids, it was the same for me – once when he was away, the washer/ dryer conked out and flooded the laundry area – of course.

  • December 11, 2013 Katie

    This is so darn cute!! When Cort was still in school, it seemed like all the shenanagins (I know that’s spelled wrong, but I am too lazy to fix it and I can’t right click to have spell check fix it, so…) happened when he was gone too. If someone was going to get sick? It was when Daddy was gone! They KNOW.
    Katie recently wrote…Thirty-FiveMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      YES! They DO KNOW, OMG.

  • December 11, 2013 Jennifer

    Oh my gosh… When did your big get so, well, big. He looks like a little man in that photo. I’m dying. STOP GROWING KIDS!!!!
    Jennifer recently wrote…Decorate Your Holiday Table with the Walgreens Holiday Gift GuideMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Right?? I say that often. Sigh.

  • December 11, 2013 Sarah

    Shenanigans indeed! My husband travels a bit and works a lot of evenings, so I am well aware of this phenomenon!
    Sarah recently wrote…Humpday ConfessionsMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison


  • December 11, 2013 Rebeccafaith

    Your son dressed himself so cute! When the cat is away the mice will play, and I know when my dad went for business trips my four sisters and I would run amok. My poor And it’s never too early to assign chores…right? I might be a little bias since I have Dylan making me coffee every morning.
    Rebeccafaith recently wrote…Mommies Behaving BadlyMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Never too early, indeed!

  • December 12, 2013 Elaine A.

    PLEASE give those cuties a smooch from Auntie Elaine!! So darn cute!!!

    oh and sorry ’bout your poor finger… πŸ™
    Elaine A. recently wrote…Having a Moment While in Big LotsMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Gladly! And thank you.

  • December 12, 2013 Amy Powell

    Schenanigans or not, they are adorable! and your son does have great fashion sense.

    xoxo, Amy @ Interpret As You May
    Amy Powell recently wrote…Fueled by Cocktails // Vol. 2My Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Thanks, Amy!

  • December 12, 2013 Leslie

    Haha! What fun! They’re so cute. I love how the little{est} one is laying. I wish I could pass out like that. I hope you guys are having a great day & that dad returns safe.

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Dad came home safe, thank goodness! (and I promptly passed childcare duties to him)

  • December 12, 2013 KalleyC

    This was just too cute. I think the preschooler has some serious sharp skills in clothing. The last picture did me in though. It must have been a sight to see to both kids on the couch knocked out. Glad that nothing gets boring–especially when the hubby is away.
    KalleyC recently wrote…What is Advent and How We Celebrate ItMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      It was a sight, and I totally laughed out loud. πŸ™‚

  • December 12, 2013 Greta

    ACK, the CUTE! That video! And oh my goodness, I know ALL about the shenanigans when daddy’s away. Ha (and sob)!
    Greta recently wrote…There’s (another) Short Person In My House. #iPPPMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Oh, commiserations! (and you have twice as many rascals as I do too)

  • We don’t usually get the couch scene, but I have already woken up a few times sleeping next to a child or two without any rememberance of how that child got into my bed.
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…Bring it on Christmas!My Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Hee! Me too.

  • December 12, 2013 Gracielle

    These pictures are so cute! Can you send your kids over to my house to mop the floors? There’s plenty of room on my couch for them to pass out on afterwards. πŸ™‚ Happy Wednesday!
    Gracielle recently wrote…{Wordless Wednesdays} Waiting for SantaMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Haha!! That made me laugh, thank you. πŸ™‚

  • December 12, 2013 AwesomelyOZ

    That’s so cute.. I wonder how they did get on the sofa so early in the am.. Hmmm O_o Your kids are super adorable! Have fun πŸ™‚ -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently wrote…The Turtle-esque ReaderMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      They wandered out of their room (the oldest knows how to open the door) probably really early in the morning, then got tired. πŸ™‚

  • December 12, 2013 Cheryl

    *Giggling* Love the shenanigans – if only the walls could talk! And thank you for the extra dose of cuteness.
    Cheryl recently wrote…Paw prints on my heartMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      I know! We should install a video camera in the living room. πŸ™‚

  • December 12, 2013 Katie E

    That sleeping picture seriously cracks me up. They don’t even look comfortable!
    Katie E recently wrote…Year In Review Part 1 – January through MarchMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      LOL. They were quite comfortable. They woke up about 45 minutes after the picture was taken.

  • December 12, 2013 Jeanne

    LOL. My kids did the opposite… they acted up when I was away. It’s never too early to start giving them chores! πŸ˜‰ I love how you found them flopped out on the couch sleeping!!
    Jeanne recently wrote…The Quilt ProjectsMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Never too early indeed! Especially since they are the ones making messes πŸ™‚

  • December 12, 2013 Leigh Ann

    I love that they are together, even when they snuck out of bed to go to the couch. Sweet brothers.
    Leigh Ann recently wrote…In which I freeze and sweat at the same timeMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      They are always together πŸ™‚

  • December 12, 2013 Kimberly

    It is never too early to have them start chores!
    Kimberly recently wrote…Essence of Now: Deep BreathsMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      YES! Especially since they are the ones who make the messes in the first place. πŸ™‚

  • December 12, 2013 Allie

    Oh the dreaded works from my hubby, “I have to go out of town…” It’s not so much the shenanigans it’s trying to juggle the schedule on my own. One plus – the kids get to eat kid food and I zap a lean cuisine. Dinner time is so much easier!
    Allie recently wrote…CLP: December BooksMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, the doing it all. But we always manage somehow. πŸ™‚

  • December 12, 2013 Amanda

    Love this. I think sometimes the weight of knowing I don’t have back up makes the periods of solo-parenting feel that much harder. Luckily, like your mysterious couch crashers, there are bits that come to the fore that make me realize just how lucky I am to be with my littles. xo
    Amanda recently wrote…Do you see me?My Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, the lack of backup is hard. On the other hand, I do like knowing that at the end of it, we manage somehow, and I always feel so much closer to my boys because we are together all.the.time. πŸ™‚

  • December 13, 2013 Keely

    Ouch the cute!! That vid is precious. PRECIOUS. And can you send them here to mop around my house?
    Keely recently wrote…December Date: Christmas Ambiance & Jammies.My Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison


  • December 13, 2013 Alexa

    I cannot believe how big they are getting! Shenanigans or not, they are adorable! Cuts on the finger are the worst. Worst.
    Alexa recently wrote…Happy 2nd Birthday to my #TTTS SurvivorMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Luckily they ARE adorable, lol.

  • December 13, 2013 Kir

    They are seriously cute, like OMG cute. I love it.
    See, left alone to our own devices, never a good idea. HA.

    thank you for sharing them with us…always, sharing them. It makes me feel like we’re neighbors in this big ole world.

    Kir recently wrote…See Christmas Through Your Eyes {Old School Blogging: #OSBLOGGING Holiday Edition}My Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      I love sharing my boys with you, my friend! You know where to go when you need cheering up. xoxo

  • December 13, 2013 Amanda Jillian

    I remember that, as soon as my ex would leave for work the two mischievous faeries would go wild! Good luck and never too soon for cleaning chores in my book as long as you don’t expect them to be clean just to get the habit building down.
    Amanda Jillian recently wrote…Bokeh Obsessed {41/365}My Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      They just love the learning, it’s not really a chore πŸ™‚

  • December 13, 2013 Shannon

    My husband went out of town this summer for a week on an Alaskan fishing trip. This is the week my baby decides to wake up every hour and a half which made for exhausting days. With a toddler also running around, it just wasn’t working for me, so I had to begin sleep training the baby in order to survive. WHY do they pick the times when we are alone?! I will never know…..

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      It’s like THEY KNOW.

  • December 13, 2013 Stacey

    My two seem to get in more trouble when their dad is away too…especially the youngest! Wonder why that is?
    Stacey recently wrote…The Year in Review: April – JuneMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      They know, the sneaky rascals!

  • December 13, 2013 Susi

    I think, it’s the same where ever you look – daddy goes away on business and the “fun” begins!!! Your boys sure are cute – bet that helps them get away with a lot!!! πŸ˜‰
    Susi recently wrote…By day and by night – Disney World’s Cinderella Castle {Wordless Wednesday}My Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Oh it DOES!

  • December 13, 2013 Christine

    Oh Alison, I can’t stand the cuteness. Seriously, they are adorable! And the sleeping on the couch? hahaha. But it’s absolutely true that the shenanigans commence once the husband heads out the door.
    Christine recently wrote…2013 Year of RunningMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      You’re welcome, for the cuteness πŸ™‚

  • December 13, 2013 Stasha

    Hurray for plaid!!! Every time my husband is away our garage door stops working. Every. Single. Time!!!
    Stasha recently wrote…This weekMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      He must do shenanigans on the door!

  • December 13, 2013 iceprinxess

    They are adorable and looks like you never have a dull moment in your life πŸ™‚
    iceprinxess recently wrote…Dinner at J’s Restaurant [Guest Post]My Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      There are definitely NO dull moments around here!

  • December 14, 2013 Ashlee

    I think sensing daddy is gone just triggers something in a child’s brain. I don’t know what it is, but it’s there. It happens to all of us moms. But I usually take advantage of the situation and run wild with my son. Messes can always be cleaned up later : )

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      I’m 37, I don’t do wild anymore πŸ™‚

  • December 14, 2013 Stevie

    I loved the message at the end of the video. Thank you for a little dose of cuteness. So I am guessing your boys get of bed and find their way to the couch? How cute is that. I actually really like sleeping on the couch. I have a favorite picture somewhere of me sleeping on the couch cuddled up with my little sister.
    Stevie recently wrote…Ask Away Friday with Tamara of Tamara (Like) CameraMy Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Yes, they older one knows how to open their room door and the refrigerator. Our couch is pretty comfortable, so I’m not surprised they found their way there. πŸ™‚

  • December 14, 2013 runnermom-jen

    Bwaaaahaaahaaa!! Oh, Alison, I think kids have a sixth sense for being naughty when parenting solo. And your son IS a sharp dresser!!
    runnermom-jen recently wrote…Sunset Running…My Profile

    • December 14, 2013 Alison

      Yes they do, and yes, he is!

  • December 15, 2013 tracy

    Oh my word – their little voices!!! xoxo
    tracy recently wrote…FateMy Profile

    • December 16, 2013 Alison

      I can’t get enough!

  • December 15, 2013 erin margolin

    the thing is? if you WOKE up to find them that way? that means they didn’t wake you doing whatever shenanigans they were doing… LOL! so be grateful for that?

    at least husband is back now. i love you. you survived!!
    (and they CLEANED! chores are awesome!)


    • December 16, 2013 Alison

      Yes, I am actually quite grateful they decided to pass out on the couch instead of my bed!

      I did survive, thank goodness! Love you too! xo

  • December 15, 2013 Eli

    I thought that first picture was a J Crew ad.

    A little insight: We fellas sometimes wake up in the wee hours, hungry or itchy. Sometimes, both. So, we get up and wander, and itch, and have a snack, and probably itch some more. Then, we pass back out. It’s happened since the cavemen days, and is also common among bears, wolverines and at least six species of beetle.
    Eli recently wrote…Go Ask Daddy About Age Limits, Pricey Tickets and Google Trick … ets?My Profile

    • December 16, 2013 Alison

      I should have known!

  • December 16, 2013 julie gardner

    Oh those sweet voices…I could listen all day long.
    And I’m guessing their shenanigans are much easier to survive when you’re wearing plaid pajama pants.

    It’s science.
    Pretty sure.

    • December 16, 2013 Alison

      I do love my plaid pajama pants! xoxo

  • December 17, 2013 Lady Jennie

    In French they would say “les 400 coups” – they get into all sorts of mischief together! πŸ™‚

    They are cute. And seeing the picture from your balcony brings me back to Asia. It’s like I can smell the air (the pollution, the humidity, the food). I feel nostalgic.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Foie Gras PopsMy Profile

    • December 18, 2013 Alison

      I’m always happy to bring the smells of Asia to you, Jennie! I’ll take pictures of curry and stuff for you πŸ™‚

  • December 18, 2013 Andrea

    That is indeed some cuteness. Oh my goodness. That little thirty second video was a perfect start to my day. πŸ™‚ But I also know shenanigans and am glad that they are behind you. πŸ™‚
    Andrea recently wrote…Master of the UniverseMy Profile

    • December 18, 2013 Alison

      I’m glad you liked the video!
      As for the shenanigans, oh, they’re still up to stuff!

  • December 19, 2013 Kimberly

    Let that boy dress himself. He’s go style yo. My kid is a diva and must dress himself so I let him. He wore skeleton sunglasses on a day when it was raining.
    Kids are funny like that. They think that they can get away with anything. Drives us to drink no?
    Kimberly recently wrote…Wrecking The WallsMy Profile

    • December 20, 2013 Alison

      Drives me to bake, because I don’t drink. But dude, I totally get it.

  • December 22, 2013 My Inner Chick

    One word.

    P R E C I O U S!!!
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…Blogging, Letters To My Sister, & ChristmasMy Profile

    • December 22, 2013 Alison

      πŸ™‚ They are!

  • December 23, 2013 alexandra

    I love shenanigans. My favorite update of yours on FB. It should really be a book or a feature on HuffPost. It should be viral, really. GET ON THAT ALISON!

    • December 24, 2013 Alison

      You mean my boys need to get on that!
      Time to unlock the refrigerator…..

  • December 24, 2013 Nina

    Wow I would’ve been so confused if I saw my kids sleeping on the couch… and without a shirt on lol! I remember getting into mischief with my older sister when there was less parental authority. We thought we were so cool and didn’t understand why people were so mad when we told them we’ve been up all night and watched Flintstones at 5 in the morning.
    Nina recently wrote…So You’re Having Twins. Now Here’s What You Do:My Profile

    • December 25, 2013 Alison

      I used to get up in the middle of the night to watch VHS tapes of Cantonese TV series, lol. I wasn’t entirely surprised to see the kids on the couch!

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