G.3 C.13 – A Day in our Life

The sun is barely above the horizon and already sounds of bowls clanking together and the delightful scents of baking are wafting through the house. Berjes’ side of the bed is rumpled and abandoned, the sheets cold – just like his wife who had rolled in for a cuddle. Tempted by the smells floating through the house, and with no one warm to tether me to bed for another hour or so, I drag myself over the edge of the mattress and into the world of the awake. Bean and Jack are both still sound asleep in their cribs when I peek in, dreaming peacefully with no idea that today will be a loud and busy day. My husband isn’t up baking for fun at this unreasonably early hour; today we celebrate birthdays. Everyone’s birthdays. And each of us gets our own, made from scratch with love, birthday cake.

“Everyone ready for a party? A lot of people will be here today.”
“Cakes baked, cooked and iced, check!”
“Boys scrubbed and dressed, check!”
“Patio all set up, check!”
I can’t help but laugh at Bean’s enthusiasm. He’s blissfully unaware of the impending crowds and sugar rush, he doesn’t know what a party is but he does love the balloons that are swaying in the breeze. Imagining him running up and down the stairs and heading off to school is bittersweet. I’d like him to stay my baby forever, but I still have Jack in my arms and while he’ll grow up just as fast as Bean did, I still have a baby.In the last moments of calm before the storm, Berjes and Bean play with the pirate ship while I leave Jack to nap in the crib. Keeping flies off of our cakes is a job for those of us with two hands and unlimited mobility. Between swatting pests I run around the house, picking up toys from the ground and making sure everything’s in order. This isn’t just any party, it’s all of our party’s and it must be perfect. Before long, the house is buzzing with friends and family as they gather in the back yard, tempted by the company and promise of top notch baked goods. We’ve decided to go ‘in order of age,’ with Jack being the first of us to ‘blow out his candles.’ Completely oblivious to the cake set in front of him or the crowds gathering to cheer him on, it falls to me, mom, to be the one to snuff the candle on his green tea cake. I even take the liberty of wishing a little wish on his behalf.Next is Bean, safely held in Berjes arms he’s squirming and wiggling, desperate to sink his little hands into his chocolate and vanilla dessert. When we remind him to make a wish he stills, drawing out a few long and pensive moments before declaring his wish to be “CAY!” I suppose, sometimes told wishes do come true. I’m not sure I can eat another bite.
Nevertheless, it is my turn up at the candles and my mouth waters at the strawberry perfume rising up towards me. Technically I am older than Berjes, but for the sake of my vanity he’s letting me pretend to be younger, at least for one day. The sun is beginning to set and the crowds have thinned, everyone having already tried two wonderfully moist cakes.
But there’s still one left to go, rich, dark, decadent chocolate, planted with candles. By the time everyone’s ready to cheer on Berjes, there’s very few of us left. We’ve got the Itis and I foresee cake, cake and more cake in our near future. I can’t help but smile as my husband blows out his candles. Handsome as ever, our love, strong, our family, perfect.
At the end of the night there’s cake, there’s mess and there’s a child replacing my toddler and a toddler replacing my baby. To my distress, I’ve discovered fine lines around my eyes and mouth. I’ve also noticed them on Berjes but on him, they’re distinguished and they only add to his good looks for me. Bean is a scrawny thing, I can’t believe how tall he is and Jack is just a burbling, happy little guy who stares up at me with eyes the same shade as my own and giggles as he tugs on my hair.
Immediately a routine begins, with Bean grabbing a book from the bookshelf and shoving it into my hands when I announce bed time. “Will you read me a bedtime story, mom?” He asks, looking up at me with clear blue eyes. “Please mom, please?” He looks so eager for his story that I can’t say ‘no’ so I point him in the direction of my bedroom. My heart swells as he snuggles in beneath the covers and looks at me expectantly. “C’mon mom!” I begin the tale he handed me and watch him as his eyes begin to droop and his yawns grow larger and sleepier. Before I’m so much as half-way through the book it’s time to send my boy to his own bed. “Thanks, g’night, I love you.” He mumbles as I guide him to his room, leaning against me as if he would like to sleep on his feet. “I love you too, Bean.” I reply as he climbs into his loft bed, crawls across the comforter and flops down, asleep (I think) before his head hits the pillow. “Sweet dreams, little prince.” I can’t wait to read some more with him tomorrow and the next night and the next.
Initially excited to get to school, to be with kids and to learn, it doesn’t take long for Bean to realize what a ‘drag’ school is. Forcing him out the door each morning is a challenge that I’m well equipped to deal with but I wish he had more enthusiasm. I won’t call the look in his eyes when the school bus honks it’s horn ‘dread’ but it’s certainly not a happy anticipation. He drags his feet as he crosses the yard, watches his feet as he mounts the steps and then slumps into an empty seat and stares wistfully out the window as the bus pulls away.
There are no specific complaints about school, the kids or his classes so I can’t worry much. My main concern is Jack’s total unwillingness to learn to talk. He’ll scream and shout, he’ll cry and laugh and giggle but he won’t try to enunciate a syllable. Some days, I think he understands more than he’s letting on, other days he gives me a quizzical look that makes me wonder if he just thinks I’m some big babbling person making unreasonable demands upon him. I have no choice, I have to keep trying. His “I’m hungry” and “I’m lonely” screams are too identical for me to keep guessing at what he wants from me.
And so, I take on double duty in the afternoons. I multi-task and try to teach Jack to talk while helping my older son with his homework. This is the most difficult part of my day. I’ve seen the notes that Bean takes in class – detailed and specific, it’s clear that he pays close attention to his lessons – but by the time he gets home, everything he’s been taught has been forgotten. Just like he forgets his lunch on the counter every morning. Just like he can never keep track of what day it is or when his library books are due. Nothing sticks in that little head of his, but he tries so hard that it’s an easy to not hold his absent-mindedness against him.
After homework and failed attempts at getting Jack to pronounce words like “subtract” and “amoeba” it’s mommy rest time and boy play time. Berjes is still at work and now that Bean is free to keep an eye on Jack, I like to use the time to nap or relax in the bath in the quiet. The boys get along splendidly, Bean really likes playing with his little brother, in fact, it was his idea to buy a block table they could work at together. Through the walls between the nursery-slash-playroom and my bedroom I can hear Bean talking away, trying (and unfortunately failing) to coerce a coherent sound out of Jack. It’s not that they play together everyday, but Bean will keep close so that I don’t have to worry. Jack is happy enough to play on his own with the toys he has, crawling from one to the other to see what it does… And how it tastes. No small pieces in this house! He spends enough time at his xylophone to make his musician momma hopeful, but not enough time actually hitting the keys for her to start dreaming big on his behalf. I suppose that’s just the best tasting toy we have… The things a mother wishes she didn’t know. Bean’s discovered reading in a huge way. He’s torn through the books in his classroom and his teachers tell me that he’s reading at a grade level far above his peers. He’s discovered the Sims In Space series by Connor Clarke, his great-grandfather, and is devouring them page by page of them. He gets so engrossed in the tales that he disappears for hours on end, nose buried deep and a smile constantly touching his face. It’s wonderful to be able to watch him and just know that my little boy is content.Weekends though… Everybody’s working for the weekend, even this mom who’s still on maternity leave for a few more short weeks. I push myself through Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, waiting for the day that Berjes won’t be running off to the restaurant so that we can spend the day, as a family. In the comfort of my music studio, I brush up on my skills while Berjes coaxes wobbly steps from our youngest, the two of them cheering at every success. Jack’s cautious but the layers of Persian rugs on the floor cushion every tumble.
In the silence of the house, staying away from the bustle in the studio is Bean, riveted on some fantasy, sci-fi or horror novel. Always fiction, never fact, never straying from a tale that allows him to escape the confines of our sleepy little town. Always dreaming big and dreaming far. I can see the glazed look in his eyes when he’s been transported away by a story, he wears it almost all the time as his head escapes into the clouds. He lives in a different world from the rest of us, as much as he can.
Sometimes, I wish I could escape the same way. Like today. My first day back at work since I became pregnant with Bean. Since I first held my baby boy, lost my mother, had another son… And now I’m leaving the house without one of my boys in my arms or in a stroller. One is at school, the other is crawling away from our babysitter, a boy who looks like he should be bored in algebra class somewhere and doesn’t look like he knows one end of a baby from the other. He’s come highly recommended though and is polite enough so I leave what is most precious to me in my life in the hands of a complete stranger and try to quell my nerves as I head to the car.
I’m not going back to a job I know. They filled my old position, needing to find someone to scout for bands, but held a reserve spot in the string quartet for me. I won’t be on stage unless someone falls sick, but I do have to practice with a bunch of people I’ve never met. I have to play and perform in front of and with strangers. My knuckles are white as I grasp the wheel, palms sweaty, and it’s only the tight hold I have on the car that’s keeping my hands from shaking like a leaf. A swarm of seagulls flaps in my belly but if I’m truly determined to get past my phobias I have to start by getting to work. In one piece.
Work isn’t as bad as I had feared, the quartet is full of lovely, healthy people who are encouraging and kind and who never miss a performance. I practice and play without worry that I’ll have to be on stage any time soon. When I get home, Bean’s homework is done, Jack’s happy, clean and fed and Berjes is there to welcome me with open arms. I get to rest and relax and luxuriate in being able to be a working mom with only a few worries. I don’t even have to concern myself with Jack’s vocabulary any longer… Sitting at the foot of my bed one evening with Berjes, all of a sudden a little voice I don’t recognize pipes up: “Dada! Momma! HIIIIIII!” Since then he’s been talking fairly clearly non-stop. From zero to sixty in no time at all… I guess he was waiting until he learned to speak to actually speak up.
“Oh, can I really?! Eeee! Thanks dad, you’re the best!! I’m gonna call her right now and let her know.” My son’s gleeful squeals echo through the house, quickly followed by his footsteps pounding up the stairs, down the hall an into his room, where he makes some all important phone call. I peek my head into the office, where Berjes has been left in a cloud of dust – or would have if this were a cartoon.
“What’d the best dad do this time?” I laugh, an eyebrow arched in curiousity.
“He wants to go to a friend’s house afterschool tomorrow, I said it was OK. Her name is Maebe… Somethingoranother.” He pauses, catching the expression on my face faltering, ever so slightly. Just that one look seems to take away that “best dad” glow and I feel guilty. “It is, isn’t it? OK that is…”
I force a believable smile and nod emphatically “Of course, of course. It’s great that he’s finally making friends.” Ah! The glow is back. Mission accomplished.
It is good to see Bean making friends, he doesn’t really speak about the other kids at school… I’m just… Anxious. I like knowing that he’s going straight home, that Jack will only be alone with Tobin (tbh guys, I’ve never checked to see what the babysitter’s name is. Does that make me a bad simmer? – Chelle) for a short hour and a half or so before Bean’s back home to keep an eye on both of them. I know I shouldn’t worry, Jack and Tobin get along famously, even Bean likes him, but he’s still mostly a stranger to me and I’m more comfortable knowing that there’s someone at home who will call me at work if something goes wrong. Not that it has so far.
“Math stinks!”
“Yeah. It’s the worst. I’m not gonna be a mathemiti… Mathemuh…”
“Yeah! I’m never gonna be one of those, why do I need to know how to use brackets?”
“For real! The only place I like brackets is in books.”
“Even there. Boo brackets!”
“Hahaha boo brackets! Boo brackets! Boo brackets!”
“If you kids don’t finish your homework up soon, you won’t have any time left to play.”
“OK mom… We’re almost done anyways… Right?”
“I am done.”
“Can I see your answers for the last two questions… Pretty please?”
“So this is the online version of P&P.”
“Yeah stupid. P&P, like Plumbobs & Pixies? Don’t you know anything?”
“I… Uh…”
“It’s a tabletop RPG that they’ve turned into an MMO… You do know what I’m talking about, don’t you?”
“Uh… Yeah… Of course I do?”
“Hah. Sure. Liar. I have all the manuals for the tabletop game in my room, but no one’ll play with me so I made mom and dad get me the online game. You make a character – I’m an elven battle-mage princess online – and give it stats and stuff and do quests in a medieval fantasy sorta setting. It’s really cool…”
That does sound really cool. Like being part of a book… I wonder…
“Hey Maebe? Can I borrow those manuals?”
Hello readers, let me take a break from my normal “I tell you stuff” way of doing things to just be straight up with you. Bean brought home these P&P tomes from his friends house and my goodness they are dull! He has me reading them to him every night… Blah blah blah, history of the dark orc, blah blah blah werellamas, blah blah blah, dexterity, stamina, cooking, blah blah blah d6+14+d49 or something. I don’t understand half of it, it does not make a good story and almost worst of all, Bean is rivited to this stuff. He doesn’t get tired and I just read and read until it’s my eyes drooping and I need to send him off to bed so I can sleep. Please tell me this is just a phase he’s going through?
Now that Bean is immersing himself into P&P, he hardly utters a peep that doesn’t have to do with dungeons or dragons.The new obsession though, has served to make him more organized. He carries a notebook with him everywhere he goes now, jotting down notes as they occur to him, but also reminders and to-dos. Page after page is covered in details for ‘quests’ and odd numerical strings but while I find his love of P&B bizarre, he seems happier than he has for a while and all of his chores are getting done. You can’t imagine how much I love asking him to do something only to have him pull his notebook out and write it down. Then draw a bold box around it. Then add arrows. Then do as requested.
Jack continues to be the best little baby. He’s walking and talking and going potty on his own. He’s inquisitive (“Why?…. Why?… Why?) and playful, rarely screams or cries and is just as happy on his own or with us. On his own, he will wander the top floor, going from one room to another to play with anything that’s been left within his reach. Is it delicious? Can he eat more? He’s happy. Otherwise, he’ll read or get stuck in the toybox until someone hears him whining but he never goes near the stairs and never once gotten himself into trouble. He’s getting so big now though… Fingers crossed that he’ll stay as good when he grow up.
“M-mom? Can I ask you something?” Bean’s voice is little more than a squeak, partially (I think) because I’ve just put Jack to bed, partially because he appears to be very nervous. This makes me nervous. “I ask dad, but he said to ask you…” I wait a moment longer, but he’s not saying anything. Just looking like he’ll cry if I don’t prod him along.
“You can ask me anything, Bean. What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong, I just…” He scratches the back of his head and casts his gaze around the playroom. “I really like playing in here, upstairs, but I can’t… I mean… If I wanted…” He sighs, as if he thinks I’ll say no before I even know the question. “Could we renovated the basement?” Renovate the basement?! “Just a little” he adds quickly. “Put some lights and bookshelves and stuff? I wanna have friends over to play P&P but there’s no where really cool and private here and no one uses the basement like ever so I was hoping you’d let me use it I promise we’ll clean up but not make a mess and we’ll be good really we will please?” I can’t say no to that appeal, not if he’s making friends and keeping out of trouble. I think we can afford a small reno, at least monetarily. Sanity? We’ll see.
“Of course, Bean. That sounds like a great idea.”
“Really?! Eeee! Thanks mom, you’re the best!!”

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6 Responses to G.3 C.13 – A Day in our Life

  1. Sianystar says:

    Brilliant chapter! Utterly love it!

    Bean is adorable, and I’m loving the whole P&P thing you’ve invented, absolutely hilarious and so true to life! I want to hear more about werellamas, haha! I just hope it doesn’t take over his entire life. I also love that he’s reading his grandfather’s books, nice little reference there 🙂 Heartwarming to see the older generations connect with the new!

    I adored Lee’s description of her new coworkers as ‘lovely, healthy people’, brilliant little touch with the emphasis of healthy! I hope she does get over her shyness soon. She deserves the spot light.

    Finally, those cakes looked amazing! Where are they from? And I never pay attention to any service sims’ names, so you’re not a bad Simmer for not getting the babysitter’s 😉

    Great stuff!!

  2. Michelle says:

    The party was so well done and pretty. I love doing parties like in my game! Bean is so adorable, and I cant wait for P&P to start, I am quite nerdy myself and played D&D for a bit, so that to me was adorable!
    I cant wait to see what is in store for them next!

  3. seaweedy says:

    The boys are adorable, I am especially fond of Bean and his latest obsession.

  4. Pingback: Today In the World of Sims Stories 12.17.11 « todayintheworldofsimsstories

  5. auburn101 says:

    I loved the party you had in the beginning of the chapter. The family seem to get along so well together, it’s quiet touching to be honest. I like the P&P gaming you’ve brought up, but I have a feeling Bean has become completely obsessed with it ahaha. If ever he gets that game taken away, I’m sure he’ll go crazy or something!

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