It’s been two weeks since our last The Brookline Parent column, “The Mommy Blogging Question,” was published, and we’re sad to have to tell our friends and fans that it’ll probably be the last column for a while. Brookline Patch has decided to go in a new direction, one that doesn’t include our bi-weekly parenting column.

We’d like to thank Neal Simpson, Grahame Turner, and Nate Homan, the three Brookline Patch editors with whom we worked, for their stewardship of our work. We’d particularly like to thank Neal, for suggesting the column in the first place all the way back in 2010 and giving us a chance to try our hand at it. Although we’re both writers and editors, writing a parenting column wasn’t something either of us had tried before. We’d like to think that it was a success, and from everything our readers have told us, it was.

We’d also like to remind our readers that our 60 columns, covering two years in the lives of Muffin and Squeaker, are still published on the Brookline Patch site for the world to enjoy. From time to time, if something reminds us of a column we wrote, we’ll be sure to link to it.

We are hoping that this won’t be the final parenting column that we write. At the moment, we’ve been exploring other options for our column, looking for a paying media outlet interested in our ruminations as the parents of twins. (And we’ve been thinking of writing a book.) That said, if you know of any newspaper or website interesting in running a column by us on raising twins, feel free to point them in our direction.
As I've been reading more and more articles and blogs where people talk about their kids, I've also been thinking more and more about the issue of privacy. There was that recent article where a mother discussed the psychological issues her son has, and it triggered both a wave of sympathy for her and a backlash against her, as she was in essence branding her son with a label that might follow him whenever anyone does an Internet search.

It's a dilemma that [ profile] gnomi and I have faced as we have written our The Brookline Parent column for Brookline Patch. Although we're not blogging publicly about our kids all that often, we do share a window into their lives with the entire world. (A somewhat more private window exists through our occasional private status updates on Facebook.)

Anyway, this week I decided to tackle the question head-on. The column, The Mommy Blogging Question, is somewhat meta, as Nomi puts it, but it will give you a window into some of the concerns we've had every other week as we write our column.
In this week's The Brookline Parent column at Brookline Patch, [ profile] gnomi looks back at how things have changed for our kids since the beginning of 2012. Muffin and Squeaker have grown and matured in a variety of ways, and some of those ways might not be what you'd expect.

Go read My, How We've Grown to see, well, how they've grown.
In the wake of last week's news out of Newtown, CT, [ profile] gnomi and I use this week's The Brookline Parent column at Brookline Patch to write an open letter to our daughters.

Click to read Dear Muffin and Squeaker.
In this week's The Brookline Parent column at Brookline Patch, I discuss Brookline Town Meeting's recent votes to ban polystyrene cups and plastic grocery bags.

What is the connection between these votes and Muffin and Squeaker? Read "Roots in the Future" to find out.

And if you're a fan of either Spider Robinson's Callahan's Bar stories or J. Michael Straczynski of "Babylon 5" fame, there's a little bonus for you.
Tomorrow's The Brookline Parent column on Brookline Patch, "Roots in the Future," begins with a quote from Spider Robinson and ends with a quote from J. Michael Straczynski. And in between, a discussion of Brookline Town Meeting. What do all of those things have to do with each other and with Muffin and Squeaker? Read the column tomorrow morning at 9 and find out...
Our latest The Brookline Parent column at Brookline Patch was supposed to run on last Friday as usual, but due to a production error, it ran on Saturday instead and has just been re-featured this morning. So for those of you who missed it...

[ profile] gnomi writes a column that definitely lives up to the name The Brookline Parent, as she talks about the fun we had entertaining the kids in Brookline last Sunday (November 18). Come to think of it, we took the kids around Brookline a lot this past Thanksgiving weekend as well...

Go read A Grand Day Out to learn how we entertained Muffin and Squeaker locally.
Last week, I asked friends online if Nomi and I should take Muffin and Squeaker to the polls with us on Election Day, and everyone came back with a resounding YES to the idea. So, in this week's The Brookline Parent column at Brookline Patch, I discuss how it went, but I also take the long view of continuing the family tradition of voting. So, if you'd like to find out both how I have a family connection to a former presidential candidate, and what happens when a preschooler tantrums on the way to the polls, check out Voting as Family Tradition.

(There's also some cute pictures of the kids holding their own campaign signs. What issue did they support? Click through to find out.)
In this week's The Brookline Parent column at Brookline Patch, [ profile] gnomi discusses a recent incident in which Muffin appeared to feel bullied at school. This wasn't something we were quite expecting to have to deal with at such a young age, but we thought it might be helpful to others if we talked about what happened and how we dealt with it. Also, Muffin herself asked us to write this week's column about it.

Go read Shutting Down the Bully Pulpit to see what Nomi said.
In this week's The Brookline Parent column at Brookline Patch, I note the contradictory behavior of Muffin and Squeaker. Well, I note one particular contradictory behavior. They like to sweep the floor, but they're oblivious to their mess of toys, books, games, and clothes they leave scattered about. Do others see the same sort of behavior in their own preschool children?

Go read Clean-Up Time for a cute photo of the kids pushing a Swiffer Sweeper if not for my prose.

And after that, if you visit me on Facebook, I might be posting one or two more pictures of the kids cleaning.
This past Sunday, [ profile] gnomi and I were trying to think about what to do with Muffin and Squeaker, when our friend Leah Cypess reminded us about Brookline Day, a celebration the town was holding at Larz Anderson Park.

What could be more appropriate for a column called The Brookline Parent than a discussion of Brookline Day?

So in today's The Brookline Parent column at Brookline Patch, [ profile] gnomi tells the world about A Brookline Day Adventure. It includes two quests: the Quest for the Golden Egg, and the Quest for the Great Balloon.

Plus pictures of our friends from the Clay Center Observatory.

In today's The Brookline Parent column at Brookline Patch, [ profile] gnomi writes about Cooking with Kids. It includes mystical cheese, if not mystic pizza. Here's a sample:

Squeaker followed me into the kitchen and watched avidly as I removed the pizza dough from the grocery bag and left it on the counter.

"Whatcha doing, Mommy?" she asked. 

"I'm going to make pizza," I told her. "Do you want to watch?"

Nomi and I hope that everyone has been enjoying our The Brookline Parent column that we've been writing for Brookline Patch. Believe it or not, this morning Brookline Patch has published our fiftieth installment of the column.

In honor of the anniversary, we decided to take a look back and see just what it is we've been talking about for the past two years. We also delve into the reasons a column about one family raising their kids in one Massachusetts town is actually relevant in today's world.

Go read Fifty First Drafts to learn about obsessions, and to see a picture of Muffin and Squeaker holding up the number 50.

As folks know, I'm a big fan of comic books and superheroes (two separate things: one is a medium for storytelling, and the other is a genre). It's a fandom I'm hoping to pass along to Muffin and Squeaker, although I've not always been sure of the best way to do it.

Recently, our friend Shanna asked [ profile] gnomi and me how we go about explaining the "bad guys" to Muffin and Squeaker when we talk about superheroes, and this prompted me to craft my current The Brookline Parent column on the topic of superheroes in general.

So in today's The Brookline Parent column for Brookline Patch, I talk a little bit about how my own love of superheroes developed and how I'm hoping to inculcate the same in the kids.

Go read Up in the Sky! Superheroes! If nothing else, you'll see a picture of Muffin holding her favorite book and in her superhero disguise.

As folks know, [ profile] gnomi and I are very interested in science. Nomi's background is in Linguistics, and mine is in Physics. I've done scientific research, and there was a time in my life when I thought I would become a research physicist. Instead, I spent many years as a teacher of science, and currently I edit science curriculum materials for middle school and high school students.

In today's The Brookline Parent column for Brookline Patch, Nomi discusses some of what we've been doing to get our kids interested in science.

The fact is that children, being explorers of a world that is still new to them, are natural scientists. Nomi has written before about how Muffin and Squeaker are constantly asking "how" and "why"; they want to know how the world works and why it works that way.

A recent incident prompted Nomi to help Muffin and Squeaker set up what is in all likelihood their very first science experiment. Although we're not necessarily following all the steps of scientific inquiry as closely as we might, if you go read Stop! In the Name of Science! you'll see that Muffin has already developed a hypothesis or two to test. As Nomi points out, we're hoping to keep the girls interested in science pretty much for the rest of their lives.

Again, that link is Stop! In the Name of Science! There's even a picture of their first experiment.

Last month, [ profile] gnomi and I took Muffin and Squeaker to the Boston University Child Language Lab. We had heard that they were looking for subjects for studies, and so we signed up to be alerted in case they had a study that was right for Muffin and Squeaker.

As Nomi and I are fascinated by language, and interested in publicizing the work that the lab does, I decided to write about our experience. This week, my The Brookline Parent column for Brookline Patch is about our visit. For the first time, our column includes video as well as pictures, as the lab graciously allowed us to post the calibration videos, so readers can see how they tracked Muffin and Squeaker's eye movements during the study.

If you go read Muffin, Squeaker, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here you'll find out what it's like to take your kids to their lab, and why you should consider doing so if you have pre-school age children and live in the area. If nothing else, your kids will each get a gift at the end.
This week, in our The Brookline Parent column at Brookline Patch, [ profile] gnomi discusses what we did all week with the kids.

Once again, we're glad Brookline has lots of parks...

Read Summer Scheduling Blues, and see a picture of the girls hiding in their stroller on the T.
Anyone who interacted with [ profile] gnomi or me all this week can probably testify to our being a little off our game. We started off the week exhausted, and we're still recovering.


Well, my The Brookline Parent column for Brookline Patch today has an explanation. If you read In Sickness and in Sleep (Or Lack Thereof) you'll find out:

* What parade we marched in this week;
* Which kid got so sick we needed to take her to the doctor;
* Which kid kept us up half the night (hint: it wasn't the sick one);
* And the name of Muffin and Squeaker's pediatrician.

Enjoy! (And return to the article again later, when the issue with the photos has finally been resolved.)
Did you know that Muffin and Squeaker were born with hair?

It's true. They were born with hair and for almost three years now, they've had the same hair they had from the moment they were born.

Until this past Tuesday.

This week, in our The Brookline Parent column at Brookline Patch, [ profile] gnomi talks about our decision, finally, to cut the kids' hair.

Or rather, their own decision to have their hair cut.

If you click on the link below, you'll find more pictures of Muffin and Squeaker than ever before. After all, we had to show their hair from the start, from just before their haircuts, and from just after.

Read Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow, and enjoy.
One of the hardest things about having two toddlers in the house is that they don't always occupy themselves with activities. Sometimes you have to find things for them to do.

Thank goodness, then, for the concept of a playdate, in which parents of different children can bring them together in hopes that the children will play with each other, learn, and leave us alone. :-)

My The Brookline Parent column for Brookline Patch today, Occupy Playdates, is all about the playdate phenomenon as it applies to Muffin and Squeaker. And it gets philosophical at times. Go read it, and you'll find out:

* How being a middle child led Michael to make a certain decision about his own family;
* How not having a car influences the playdate decision;
* Which YA fantasy writer lives in Brookline, has three children, and is happy to have her kids play with Muffin and Squeaker;
* Which playgroup Muffin and Squeaker rate four thumbs up;
* And why it is that even at this age Muffin and Squeaker may already be spoken for.


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