Chapter 3.9: Then be a father

Screenshot-175It was still early when I got out of the house to be picked up by the department carpool. The babysitter practically lived at our place because I worked so much. It wasn’t something I was prepared to change either. I had come to the conclusion that my job wasn’t just a good way to charm men but also something I really enjoyed doing. Besides, I really needed the money.

Since Plum and Canary had Hyacinth they seemed to have less time for me, which meant I put even more time in to my job.

Screenshot-176There was an excitement even to the dull days at the department. You could be casually keeping the truck or the alarms in shape, or relaxing on the upper floor with your co-workers, or working out in the yard and still there was this feeling inside you. You knew that the alarm could sound any second at it kept you on your toes. It was exciting.

Besides, my closest boss was my brother Blizzard, who was not just a good fireman but also a darn good boss.

Screenshot-177The treadmill made a familiar mechanical and steady sound. I remembered how I used to frown upon that sound when we still lived at home and Blizzard had pretty much been obsessed with working out. Maybe we weren’t so different after all?

I liked the feeling when the muscles in my legs burned from being challenged but I was also careful to not overstrain them because I knew there could be a big fire and the need to carry a heavy man three stairs down just seconds later. It was a balance everyone at the department had learned to control the hard way. We had all been to at least one alarm where our forces were barely enough. I was getting quite good at it, actually.

Screenshot-178On one of my vacant days I decided to bring Taxus with me to the Spring residence. It was nice going there because of how crowded the place was. I could just put Taxus down on the floor and someone would entertain him, letting me focus on catching up with my two best friends.

Screenshot-179“He stinks, doesn’t he?” I asked Canary who met us with a displeasing look on her face. It wasn’t until I saw her face that I realized there was a rather pungent smell coming from my son and that I hadn’t changed his diaper since waking up. Truth be told, I tried to change it as rarely as I could because it was pretty disgusting.

“Give him to me” Canary said and took him from my arms before I could reply or do something. She didn’t even invite me in, but I followed her anyway and watched her descend up the stairs with my boy without another word. It was a relief to see him disappear from my sight.

Screenshot-188When they came down again Taxus was dressed in shorts and a sweater instead of the pajamas he had been wearing when we came. He frowned when he looked at me.

“You have to get a grip about this” Canary said and shook her head. I knew she looked down on me for how I handled my parenting, but I never asked for a kid and I didn’t know how to be a mother. I wasn’t cut for it like she was.

Screenshot-183“It’s easy for you to say” I said to defend myself. “You actually had a mother to teach you!”

Because really, how could I know how to be a mother when no-one had been there to show me how to? It wasn’t my fault.

Screenshot-180“Then be a father” Canary’s father – Mithos – stepped up in front of me and said, clearly agreeing with his daughter in that I needed to step up my game. “You had a great father, learn from him.”

I shook my head. Did they really think I didn’t try? “I’m supposed to be a mother, not a father” I protested.

“There’s not really a difference in those two jobs” Mithos said and glanced back at our kids who were playing at the little table. Taxus was chewing on a red block while Hyacinth talked with adorable one-word-sentences and told her friend what the names of the different shapes were. She was two years younger than Taxus and still talked a lot better than him.

“I’m giving him everything he needs” I said when the realization hit me. I was a failure as a mother.

Screenshot-182“It’s not just about toys” Mithos said and walked towards Barley who had wondered something about different political ideologies for his school work. Good for him to have an expert father in the matter.

Canary stepped closer to me and out her hand on my shoulder. It actually did feel comforting, just as I suspect she wanted it to. “You know that we will help you, right?”

I hugged her. What would I do without my friends?

“But really, you need to invest in him. Emotionally. He needs love.”

I nodded slowly, trying to understand what I was doing wrong. I spoiled him, which was a way of showing love. Wasn’t it?

Screenshot-184We stood in silence just watching the two kids play for a while. The rest of the Spring family left the room which resulted in a rather peaceful atmosphere. Taxus and Hyacinth were good friends and played nicely together. Hyacinth was a real sweetheart, just like her two mothers. After a few moments of silence Canary turned towards me, “I’m probably a bit too pushy here, but…” she blushed a bit. “Are you pregnant again?”

“What?”

“Well, you have that look in your eyes. The same as with Taxus. They get a certain glow which makes you look both happy and terrified at the same time.”

Screenshot-185“I’m not pregnant!” I protested and waved my hands in front of me. I couldn’t be, right?

“Are you sure?” Canary asked and a small smile played on her lips. “Because it’s there now. It’s kind of glassy.”

“I… I don’t know” I stammered. I mean, I hadn’t been very careful with Lychee because there hadn’t really been time for careful, but I couldn’t be pregnant again, could I?

“I knew it!” Canary exclaimed, sounding much too happy than what was fitting for this situation. I pressed my fingers against my temples, trying to push away the headache that was now creeping upon me. I had barely had time to get on my feet after having Taxus and it would be incredibly bad if I was pregnant again.

“Look at it as another chance” Canary tried and hugged me. It felt weird. Just shortly afterwards I excused myself and headed back home.

Screenshot-189“Pregnant” I muttered to myself, feeling completely bummed out by the whole thing. Canary had been right, I was pregnant. And with Lychee Button’s kid of all possible men. It didn’t even matter that he was a famous record company owner, I didn’t want to birth his kid. Besides, I hated how they had pulled me off work again and now I was stuck at home, with my son and a baby on the way.

It’s safe to say that this was not how I wanted my life to be.

Screenshot-199Plum still came over pretty much every day. Sometimes she brought Canary and Hyacinth with her and sometimes she came alone. She was practically in love with my son. Way more than I was. But then again, she didn’t need to keep a constant look on him like I did. She could simply enjoy the good moments with him without the need for any deeper responsibility. I wanted to have it that way too.

And Taxus seemed to love his aunt Plum. He was laughing and giggling while in her arms. He rarely ever smiled at me.

Screenshot-198“So you’re going to be a big brother are you Taxus?” Plum’s voice transformed in to a lighter, more playful one which was more suited to get Taxus’ attention. I couldn’t understand how every single berry could be so easily transformed if you just put a baby in their arms. Didn’t people care about their own identities? That was what made me different. No baby could change who I was.

Screenshot-193The full moon was shining bright over my little house. I had always been a night owl and this particular night was no exception. It had been hours since Taxus fell in to his deep slumber and as I was fiddling with the kitchen sink, trying to come up with a way to prevent it from ever breaking, I could hear the faint sounds of baby whimpers from his nursery. It wasn’t easy, but I had to admit to myself that there was something cute and love-able about that sound. He seemed pleased.

Taxus whimpering and the metallic sound of my wrench against the kitchen sink was the only thing heard through the house. It was calm and peaceful and even outside the house it seemed quiet. I wasn’t much of a loner, but this silence was rather soothing anyway.

Screenshot-192A sharp pain in the lower parts of my belly made me drop the wrench with a CLANG down in the kitchen sink. I knew this pain, I had been through it before.

I wanted to scream but I was afraid to wake Taxus up so instead I just clutched my hands against my stomach and focused on breathing. In through the nose and out through the mouth.

The baby was coming. 

Now.

Screenshot-194It was a couple of weeks early and I wasn’t prepared. There was no nursery prepared in the house because I still had time. At least, I had thought there was more time. A quick glance at the clock on my wall told me it was 3.15 am. The middle of the night. I couldn’t call anyone simply to ask for help at this hour so I did what I had done with Taxus:

I gathered some towels and then sat down on the floor in the kitchen, spread my legs apart and continued to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. The body works in mysterious ways and even though you think the pain is too much you manage to keep fighting. I pushed when my body so demanded and tried to stay away from pushing otherwise. I don’t know why, it just seemed like the right thing to do and had worked just fine with Taxus.

Screenshot-195The clock showed 4.30 when the sound of a baby’s first scream caught my eyes and I started crying by pure exhaustion. I had made it. I had a daughter now.

Her crying woke Taxus up and he too started crying. I couldn’t go to him though because the little girl in my arms needed me more.

Screenshot-196She was so beautiful. Surprisingly, I felt rather happy about her presence and when I curled her up in my arms and snuggled her close I realized exactly what it meant to feel happiness after a birth. “I’m going to call you Coral” I whispered, still keeping the tiny baby close to my chin. I was proud of myself.

And then I realized I had nowhere to put her. Instead I just walked in to Taxus room and stroke his chin with one hand while still clutching on to my little baby girl with the other. He stopped crying once he realized he wasn’t alone.

That night I slept in the rocking chair i Taxus room with Coral in my arms and it was the first time I felt any happiness about being a mother.

Screenshot-197Plum came over the very next day and forced me to go get some sleep while she looked after the two kids. I didn’t object, I was exhausted. “She’s so adorable” Plum said before I walked out of the room and to my bedroom. I couldn’t find the energy to even respond.

“Hello Coral, I’m your aunt Plum”  she whispered and took the girl in her arms. Taxus was on the floor playing with his toy blocks but he kept throwing glances towards the little baby. It had to be confusing to him.

They had to share crib until I had bought another one, which was on top of my to-do-list. After some rest.

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11 Comments

  1. :[ Awwww, Coral is such a cute name. The way she treats Taxus’ is horrible – esp the part about not changing his diaper in the morning. I couldn’t help but imagine his little booty all covered in rashes. At least now she seems like she might try a little harder. Maybe. Hopefully.

    Reply
  2. annasommer

     /  March 11, 2013

    A complete fail as a mother indeed. Selfish to the bone, and to uncaring to give the children away to have a better home on top of that. Jeeze.
    Great writing, I say! I don’t think I could master this :o)

    Reply
  3. She’s a terrible mom. Not that I’m surprised. lol.I hope she doen’t favor the girl now.

    Reply
  4. Coral s a pretty name.
    At least Soda cares that she’s a failure as a mother, but will she make any changes or just keep on failing?

    Reply
  5. Aw, Lychee has a daughter…and Soda sorta loves her 😀 Will Lychee ever know, though?

    Reply
  6. With each kid, it gets more and more painful to watch Soda fail as a parent. At least Canary and Plum are around to help..

    Reply
  7. I couldn’t help but think the reason she warmed up to Coral was because she might actually like Lychee… 😀

    Reply
  8. You’re doing such an amazing job at portraying Soda =) I dislike her more at each chapter, and yet I love her for it all the more 0.o That makes no sense, but oh well ^^
    I feel bad for Taxus though, she’s almost completely ignoring him.. =(

    Reply

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