The Wiles family brought in the New Year at my friend Emily’s apartment, as we pretty much do every year. All the adults eat and drink in the kitchen and living room, while we stick the kids in the guest room with a movie and enough snacks to hopefully keep them busy until midnight.
It’s funny. In previous years, at the same party, passing the time until midnight seemed like an eternity. We’d take turns breastfeeding in the master bedroom, everyone trying and failing to put the kids down in numerous portable cribs so the adults could bring in the new year on our own. Rarely were we all in the same room at once and never was a there a moment when someone’s kid wasn’t crying. We barely finished a glass of champagne, much less a bottle.
This year, time ticked by pretty quickly and uneventfully. The kids happily watched Trolls (a neighbor loaned us a screener) and only one kid passed out before midnight.
Not mine, obviously. Mine wouldn’t go to sleep voluntarily if you paid them in Shopkins. Here’s Harlow and her friend Giles looking like pretty much every couple waiting for the ball to drop.
My friends always organize some sort of family talent show which requires everyone to show up prepared with an act. Last year, everyone had to bring a magic trick. This year, each family had to perform a song. Mike and Mazzy informed me that they were both opting out but once the other families started performing, I could tell Harlow’s interest was piqued. I ended up getting her to dance to Dark Horse (her favorite) by telling her that I would follow her lead and dance alongside her. If you caught it on Snapchat or Instagram Stories, I am sure you were wowed by Harlow’s real time choreography and our semi-synchronized moves. Maybe I’ll post it one of these days for posterity’s sake.
Mazzy looked especially grown up at the party and spent a lot of the time sitting with the adults at the kitchen counter. She was peeved that Emily’s son Charlie (her oldest friend, but not someone she sees that often) was not playing with her as much as she would have liked. I felt like it was the beginning of a new boy/girl relationship for them and all the awkwardness that comes with it.
I asked Mazzy who she wanted to kiss at midnight and she said me. I told her, I felt the same. Sorry, Mike.
In the days that followed, we did a lot of nothing. We hung out in our pajamas, introduced the kids to the Brady Bunch and played with a lot of the toys we got over the holidays. Slinkies, for what it’s worth, do not work nearly as well as they did when we were kids. We could not make that stupid thing go down the stairs. “Bop It” however, was an instant hit.
I also took some time to make a “Top Nine” on Instagram since that has become the new way to end the year on social media. It’s a site that takes all of your top performing pics and puts them in a neat little grid. Unfortunately, as much as I love Instagram, the pics that get the most “likes” and what’s most important to me don’t always line up. My official “Top Nine” is basically Harlow’s greatest hits with Hillary Clinton in the center.
Of course, I had to use a Throwback Thursday photo of our wedding (bottom left) because Mike gets more and more camera shy every year. I think it’s because he doesn’t know if I’m snapchatting or just taking an old fashioned photo since it is all done from the same device. Understandable.
Currently, my social feeds are filled with lots of big announcements and plans for 2017. New babies, big moves, fresh starts, etc. I’ve got no big news for 2017. No baby on the way, no second book in the works, no announcements of things to come. Last year, personally and professionally was pretty good and I just want more of the same. Of course, the country is going to shit and women’s rights are about to be flushed down the toilet, but at least I’ll probably get a small business tax cut?
It’s hard to write a post about the future without a “Political Feelings Update,” so here goes…
I haven’t talked about Trump in awhile because I’m an optimist and digesting the news these days hurts my heart and messes with my brain. But I agree with the people who say that it’s important not to normalize his presidency. So I keep reading and I let the horror of the next four years (hopefully) sink in whether I mention it or not. I’m still trying to figure out how to proceed in the new year. What to write about, how to help and where to focus my energy. And while I used to be open to views from the other side, that window is closing. I think he is a horrible man, he has appointed horrible people and the outlook is grim. I think the people who will benefit from whatever changes he makes to the economy are the people who need it the least. I think Trump will push his economic agenda and give little thought to the damage his party intends to inflict socially. I don’t pretend to understand all of the international implications but I don’t trust Trump’s motives and I don’t think he understands the implications of his actions either. My hope is that some of the people who voted for him and some of the people who didn’t vote at all are also beginning to understand why he is so dangerous so we can fight against what is happening to this country together. How we will do that, I have no idea.
Alright. Got that off my chest. Anybody still with me?
Then let’s do a “Mike’s Facial Hair” update. Many of you have been asking about the sudden appearance of a beard. I might not have photo evidence but it did appear on Snapchat. For the record, Mike always grows out a beard around the holidays. I like it and always try to get him to keep it but he usually shaves right before he goes back to work. When I left the apartment this morning to take Mazzy to school, Mike’s beard was still there. I guess I will find out later today if he shaved before he left the house.
How about a “Mean Moms at Gymnastics” update? Just so you know, there are Mean Dads too. Yesterday, one of them shoved a chair with a jacket on it in front of me while I attempted to take a picture of Mazzy while standing in a clear spot by the railing. He was sitting next to the woman I called out in my last post on the subject, which seemed appropriate. I guess there is a protocol as to who is allowed to have a good vantage point to see their kids that I don’t understand. Last time, I got scolded for trying to make room for my chair. This time, there was clearly room but that wasn’t good enough either. I HATE THEM ALL.
Now for a “Binge Watching” update! Remember when I used to stay up all night writing? That time has been replaced with television binge watching. It started this summer with all four seasons of Orange is the New Black. Then I crowdsourced good TV options on Snapchat and ended up watching all of Wentworth, Stranger Things and Black Mirror. The Affair and Homeland are both back on Showtime which I am thrilled about but also not loving so far. The Affair is getting increasingly bleak and the first episode of Homeland was pretty depressing too. Plus, I feel like the choice of a female president on Homeland was made when they thought we’d be welcoming Hillary to the presidency this year. And that female president is Heather Dunbar who ran against Frank Underwood in House of Cards last season which was made my brain jump the Netflix Showtime continuum and wonder if I had lost my mind for a second. I’m thinking about starting OA next. Any other suggestions?
Here’s an @Insta2yearold update. I think I might start posting more pics of Harlow. I’m getting a little tired of her perspective all the time. I mean, how many pics can you take of a waffle and come up with something original to say? As for @PinkinNYC, Mazzy just broke the news to me that her new favorite color is no longer pink. She prefers purple and turquoise. I have no idea what to do with this new knowledge. Maybe I’ll turn it into a rainbow feed.
In other Instagram news, I’ve been posting a lot more to my Instagram stories. I’ve also been dabbling a bit with Instagram Live which feels way less frightening than Facebook Live for some reason. Mostly, I’ve been using it for Q&A’s although I did have one fabulous fuck up where I started a late night Live Q&A on @averageparentproblems and then two minutes in, there was a large thump followed by ear-piercing crying. Harlow fell out of her bed. I said I had to go tend to my children and thought I clicked end, but apparently Instagram Live makes that a two-step process and I basically live streamed the whole thing. I mean, there was nothing to see (the phone was turned over), but you could hear Harlow crying up a storm, me getting a band aid, Mazzy admonishing her for sleeping too close to the edge of the bed, etc. My friend who was on the live stream said that comments kept coming in the whole time, mainly from people saying they were witnessing an #averageparentproblem in real time. So I guess, if anything, my failed attempt at going LIVE after I thought the kids were asleep was very ON BRAND.
My heart still belongs to Snapchat though.
Here’s to all great things for everyone in 2017! Even if it’s not technically “big” news. Even if it doesn’t get a lot of “likes.” Even if you live stream it by accident. Even if there’s a twitter-obsessed reality star in the White House.
We’re all gonna be okay.