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The Days are Long

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The Days are Long

Simdale Valley

Late August, 605

Ethan McElveen is almost 13 months old, Laney and Declan are both 41, and Charlotte is days away from 5 years old.  Grandma Chloe is 57, and Jackson is 58.  Aunt Simone is 27.

Sienna Endeavor and Harrison Petite just turned 5.  Isaiah Gavigan and Marsha Bruenig are 11, Yuki Ono and Cameron Gallant are 10, and Chelsea Finnbar is 29.

Previous Update about the McElveens / Next update about the McElveens

Long before the crack of dawn on Sunday, Ethan was not only up, but had made it out onto the McElveen’s sprawling front porch.

Laney, his mother, was determined he would be potty trained as soon as possible, and had set him on the potty.  Before she knew it, he had eloped, right out the front door.

Determined not to be defeated by a toddler, she set him on the potty chair again.  Why was everything with this child so much more difficult than it had been with Charlotte?  Charlotte had needed lots of attention, but she had been a neat and obedient little girl at this age.  And she never minded potty training.

By the time the sun started to come up, Laney and Ethan had been up for hours, and she was ready for the arrival of reinforcements.  Instead of eating his cereal, Ethan squished it between his fingers, fascinated with the texture.

“I’ll feed him,” Declan said.  Laney expected Declan’s neat shirt wouldn’t remain that way long.  It gave her a bit of satisfaction to know it.

Declan knew that Laney was squeamish, and it was hard for her to tolerate sticky hands.  Feeding Ethan had become a major stress for her, ever since she started to wean him around 9 months old.

“Good morning, little man,” Declan said, peering at the sheer square footage of the mess.

As Declan sat down next to his son, Ethan suddenly appeared to be a complete little angel.

“Are you finished?  Ok.  Let’s go get you washed up.  Wouldn’t want to put those sticky hands on mommy.”

Meanwhile, Charlotte had been wanting to get into Laney’s makeup, and since Laney had just gone out for a run, she saw her opportunity to sneak into her mom’s room.

And while Charlotte was playing with Laney’s makeup, Ethan had toddled into Charlotte’s room, and was playing with her dollhouse.

Charlotte was quite pleased with the result of her foray into the world of makeup.

But not so pleased to find Ethan in her room, putting her dolls in his mouth.

She went to get her dad.

When Laney returned from her run and finished her shower, Declan suggested that he barbeque some chicken at the park for lunch.

“It will do us all good to get out of the house,” he said.

The fresh air and break from cleaning up messes was just what Laney needed.  Ethan watched his mommy for a moment, a little uncertain in the big outdoors, and then struggled to get down.

He ambled towards Declan.  Ethan had started walking by ten months, and was already pretty good at it.

Having this little park right next to the house was a lifesaver, as was living across the street from Declan’s parents and sister.   Simone, Jackson, and Chloe all helped out with Ethan.  Laney would never be able to manage the school board, temporary principal-ship, and stay sane, if she were taking care of Ethan all day, every day.  As it was, she was starting to think she needed to hire a maid.  Or a nanny.  Or both.

Laney noticed a lot of the students, enjoying a last sunny weekend before the start of a new school year.  Isaiah Gavigan and Harrison Petite were there.  Harrison’s mom was a kindergarten teacher, and his dad was a science teacher for the newly formed Simdale Valley high school.

Cameron Gallant’s dad was a CFO for a large company across the bay in Port Prominence, and his mom was an environmental lawyer.  He was new to Simdale Valley, and his parents thought the long commute would be worthwhile, tired of city life.

Charlotte was trying to get Sienna, her cousin, to play along about a made up scenario.  Sienna didn’t want to play whatever role Charlotte was assigning her at the moment.

Ethan was looking longingly up at Isaiah, playing in the crow’s nest.  Laney didn’t think it would be long till Ethan would be climbing and she’d have to watch him like a hawk every second.  But for now, he was contained to the ground.

Laney scooped Ethan up and brought him back over to the picnic tables, where Chelsea Finnbar and Ethan’s granddad, Jackson McElveen, were eating.  Chelsea had successfully lobbied for the new school in the spring.  She told Laney about her new position as Senator Phillips’ campaign manager, and life in Port Prominence.   She and Julien were leading what sounded like an exciting and glamorous life in the big city, Laney thought to herself.

Laney looked over at Ethan, who looked like he might be making a messy diaper.  Chelsea suddenly was very interested in her food, and Jackson had that look grandparents get when they realize they aren’t the one who has to change the diaper.

“Potty training,” she explained to Chelsea, who gave her a wry smile.

As the sun set, Chloe, Jackson, Simone, and Sienna came over to fix dinner and help with Ethan.

It was so nice to have some adult conversation, Laney thought, and as Ethan toddled around the porch, she felt a lot safer, with all the other adults there to keep him from launching himself off the edge or eating dirt.

Laney could see her sister-in-law, Simone, looking at Ethan with that look she got sometimes.  Simone had found out she was likely unable to conceive any more children, and although she hadn’t been in a hurry to have more, now she was grieving the loss of the children she would never have.

“Do you want to read?” Jackson was asking Ethan.

“Dog!” Ethan said.  Dog had been his second, and so far, only other word, besides “Da.”  Every single day he asked for the Dog on the Log book to be read to him.  Laney was worried that if he ever saw a dog, there would be no end to the requests to adopt one of the creatures, and she vowed there would never be a dog in her house.

“What do you want?” Jackson was asking Ethan, feigning ignorance.

“Dog!” Ethan insisted, with more determination to bend his grandfather to his will.  Declan just looked at his dad, in wonder that he was egging his willfulness on.

“The Dog book you shall have,” Jackson said.  “Let’s read.”


Toddlers are here!!!  I hadn’t opened this save since July 2016, so this is sort of a “happy to see everyone again” post.

And since I hadn’t played the McElveen home, beyond set up, since they were moved from Sims 2 and it was Ethan’s birth in August 604, it was perfect timing for a McElveen update.  I had created Ethan as a child, but it was easy to age him back down to toddler.  Charlotte is technically not five for another week or so, but I didn’t want to age her down to toddler and back up to child just for this update.  I plan for sims to be toddlers from age one till their fifth birthday.

This post is a flashback, in the timeline, which is actually currently at December 605.  So you may have noticed, that I mentioned Simone’s unlikeliness to conceive (from her randomized roll), but at Halloween, she did conceive, miraculously.  So technically she is pregnant here but of course, from a story standpoint, she’s not yet, and doesn’t believe she will be able to be.

Ethan has the wild trait, which is like a combination of rambunctious scamp and loves the outdoors.  Since he was never a toddler in Sims 2, it was up to me to choose or roll for his personality, and just out of sheer plot fodder, I decided to make him a handful to manage.  Laney reacted just as I anticipated (she is Squeamish, Neat, and a Snob), and he is absolutely delightful and adorable.  Declan definitely has more patience with him, but Declan works long hours in the business career.  However, Jackson and Simone, who live right across the street, both have family aspirations or traits and also help a lot when they are there.

Chelsea Finnbar is in the political career, which up until the release of City Living, was just in my imagination, so I’m very excited about playing she and Julien and Senator Phillips again, and plan to move Chelsea and Julien to a small apartment in the city.



16 Comments so far:

  1. Ooh, so nice to see Simdale Valley back! Are you feeling the urge to continue with the hood now? LOVE the toddlers, and the family.

    • Definitely, the way they’ve programmed the toddlers and the other sims’ reactions to them, it adds back a huge aspect that was missing. I was so tired of working around the gap caused by the jump from baby to child, since my aging system is so granular, and with the hope of pets coming maybe this year, Sims 4 is feeling a lot more like Simdale Valley is much more appealing to play. Thanks for reading & commenting, Simnovoris!

  2. chealsycat says:

    The kids are adorable! <3

  3. cathytea says:

    Gosh, the toddlers add so much, especially to stories like this one, all about family!

    • Cathytea, thanks for reading! In real life, this was a time of life that I completely enjoyed (exhausting, but so incredible to be part of) Laney has such a different personality and outlook on mothering than I did it is fun to explore. I had a huge affinity with attachment parenting, and also can’t imagine myself being bent out of shape over potty training a 13 month old boy (or girl). Ethan’s just not ready for that yet. But she makes it a battle of wills, because that’s how she is. I imagine her kids will have some strengths mine in real life may not, from learning to cope with being pushed like that. But how can anyone resist that little face?? The developers did such an amazing job on the animations and the programming of how the sims interact autonomously. They were really thorough from what I can tell; I read there are over 100 new animations with toddlers and other sims related to toddlers.

  4. Carla says:

    Happy to see more Simdale Valley – I’d missed them!

    Ha, that’s just the kind of make-up job a little girl would go for! So cute! And Ethan is so adorable, if not already a little troublemaker!

    • Thanks, Carla, that’s so nice to hear, that you missed Simdale Valley sims. They are so much more appealing without the gaping age gap. Now I can look forward to the Gavigan’s and the Endeavor’s babies, knowing they’ll be able to grow into toddlers.

  5. maisie says:

    Ethan is adorable! I love that he straightened up when Declan came to feed him, what a scamp is right!! What a perfect word for that tyke. Charlotte getting into her Mom’s make up, what a cutie! All my girls but one did that. Nice that family is close by and able to help, everything was bright and sunny with this update, very nice! I really like your Simdale Sims, (And your Tesla) so I’m glad that you are keeping both going. It’s the best of both worlds! 😉 I’ll catch up with more when I can, off to make dinner. Have a good night!

    • Maisie- glad you enjoy the Teslas and the Simdale sims- it’s nice having a legacy and the rotational neighborhood although I do look forward to finishing the Teslas and just concentrating on Simdale Valley. Or- the historical challenge for Sims 4 is REALLY fun and I think a lot about continuing that one once seasons and pets have come out and the legacy is finished; especially if we get horses and any wild animals for Sims 4 (which I realize isn’t likely). Thanks for all your comments!

  6. These kids are adorable! Toddlers make all the difference in the families now! I’m so happy we got them back! 🙂

    OMG, what an unfortunate combination of traits for Laney, having a wild child, lol! I LOVE how the parents react to the toddlers according to their traits. They really did a good job with this. Lazy parents also have a really hard time with the tots, since they hate cleaning and being woken up in the night.

  7. Ethan is adorable, such a cute toddler! <3

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