Monday, 4 April 2011

My winding wheel

Round 30: October 2032 (Spring)
Charlie Benton is 20, Camilla Sitko is 19 and Grace and Everett are both 2.
(Tate is 62 and Jack is 20)
Narrated by Charlie Benton

Almost everyone else on campus is away on spring break right now, except us. It's nice and quiet but I just keep thinking how cool it would have been if we got to go as well.

I know we can't, obviously. We have Grace and Everett to take care of.

It's a little depressing being stuck doing mundane things like potty training when your friends are all sunning themselves on a beach somewhere.

I don't regret having the kids. I just wish we were a little bit older when they came along and that we'd had more time to live a little first.

Two years in and I still don't think we've discovered all the things that we either can't do or that have been made a lot harder by having the twins.

The latest thing is my future career plans. I've always wanted to do something with entertainment. I would love to get paid for making people laugh.

But lately, Dad has been talking about how that might not be the best idea. That kind of work isn't necessarily stable or easy to come by.

Dad thinks I have to start thinking about "providing for my family". I was annoyed and dismissive about it at first but it's stayed in my thoughts.

I ended up talking about it with Camilla. I wanted to know if it was just Dad getting on my back or if it was something she thought was actually going to be an issue.

It turns out she's a little concerned about the job situation after we graduate as well. Camilla has always wanted to open her own gallery for her paintings but she's decided to put that off, until we're on surer financial footing.

Hearing that, I think I'm going to have to do the same. I couldn't let Camilla get some boring job somewhere while I go ahead and do whatever I want.

It's going to suck and I dread thinking of what kind of crappy job I'm going to have to take but it has to be done.

Jack is one of the few students who's still on campus. He didn't go on spring break so he's been hanging around here a lot instead, because otherwise, he'd be alone in the dorms with Julia.

I think he's nuts for not going and I told him so. Sophie went, plus he could have escaped from Julia for a while and it would have been such awesome fun.

He should be taking advantage of the freedom he has but he says boozy party trips aren't his thing.

I still think it would have been fun to go but it was a mistake to mention anything about it to Camilla. I just said that if we could have gone, it would have been great and it turned into an argument.

Camilla thought I was talking about spring break because I was resentful of her, or of the kids.

She even said it was "typical" of me and accused me of "never taking anything seriously".

That was the only time in my life I've ever wished I had a class to go to but it was spring break, so I just told Camilla I was going for a walk instead.

I just needed to clear my head for a little bit. I knew we'd have to talk when I got back and I didn't want to be too mad at her when we did.

I was almost expecting Camilla to be annoyed at me for leaving her alone with the twins but she didn't look annoyed when I walked in the door, so I figured we could talk.

Camilla apologised for what she'd said earlier right away. She admitted that she wished we could have gone away too but she was trying not to think about it. So she snapped, she took it out on me and she didn't mean it.

Well, that was something, because her saying I didn't take anything seriously hurt. I definitely had a steep learning curve when we all started living together but I've never once tried to dodge responsibility.

I just don't think it's so terrible to wish we could take a break for once. Ever since Grace and Everett were born, there hasn't been one single time when we've both been away from them. We haven't been on a date since Camilla was pregnant. That's over two years now.

Camilla is so determined that no one will ever get a chance to call us awful parents or accuse us of neglecting our kids that she never lets herself (or me!) have any time off.

But everyone needs a break. The fact that we had our kids young doesn't mean we shouldn't get one.

The next morning, I decided I'd try to talk her into going out on a date. We can't really go on vacation but one night out is doable.

Even after our talk the night before, Camilla was reluctant to leave the kids with anybody else. Neither of us like the idea of handing the kids over to other people all the time but it's not like we do it all the time.

Besides, it's not like Jack has anything else to do right now and I knew he wouldn't mind watching Grace and Everett for a night.

I could tell the idea was sounding pretty appealing to her by that point.

So Jack came over and just as I thought, he was happy to do it. He's never watched them on his own before but our parents fostered a baby for a while when we were teenagers, so I figured he could handle it for a few hours.

He really didn't have much to do anyway; Grace and Everett sleep through the night now and they were already asleep when he arrived.

We didn't go far - just to the bar on campus but it was a much needed night off.

Seeing just about everyone is away at the moment, it was almost eerily quiet as well.

We had the whole place to ourselves.

We just had a couple of drinks and played some pool. Our friends do that kind of thing all the time but we never do.

Camilla worried about the kids. A lot. But it was the first time we've ever both been away from them.

We were incredibly tired when we got home but more relaxed than we'd been in a long time.

I hope I can talk Camilla into doing stuff like this more often. Being stuck in this house almost 24/7 isn't healthy for either of us.

Twin spam:

Because there wasn't really much of Grace and Everett in this update.

  • Title is from My Winding Wheel by Ryan Adams.
  • After this year, Charlie's GPA is 3.4 and Camilla's is 3.6.
  • For a Popularity Sim, Camilla really isn't very interested in dates or parties or going to community lots. Charlie is Pleasure and wants those things all the time, which is a huge difference between these two. But I think she's got a taste for it now, because she rolled the want to go on another date just about as soon as they got home. ;)
  • Next up will be the actual spring break trip. All current uni students are going, except Charlie, Camilla, Jack and Julia. I've also slightly adjusted the play schedule, so that the final uni update of the round will now be in November. Pretty much only because I'm anxious to meet Nick and Sarah's new baby!


  1. Oooh, I'm all kinds of excited to read your spring break update!!! :D

    But back on topic, awww, I'm so happy to see these guys work it out and still manage to do okay. Wow, they were kind of a crapshoot, weren't they? But they make an adorable family! And I hope they both get to do what they really want with their careers eventually too.

    And I have such a soft spot for Charlie! He's so adorably clueless, lol! :)

  2. I'm glad that they were able to go out on a date as well and that they're handling things so adult-like with the children and putting their dreams on hold-not every teenage parent does that.

  3. I was actually getting a bit annoyed with Charlie at first, I just wanted to tell him to stop whining, lol. But he reformed towards the end.

    It's great that they got to go out on a date. It was about time.

    I can't wait to see what the other kids are up to on their spring break!

  4. Charlie and Camilla's date seemed like a much needed one! Camilla's feelings about leaving the kids are understandable though, young parents get judged so easily as being bad parents whent they leave their kids with babysitter for once! I hope they go out a little bit more. It's nice to see them still being together, and being able to work things out.
    I hope they can eventually have the careers they really want.
    I love the shots of Charlie taking a walk, like you said yourself at N99, it looks great with the library and the surrounding buildings!

    I'm looking forward to reading about your spring break!

  5. Charlie and Jack are just too cute! I guess you have yo cut Charlie some slack, he IS only 20 after all. I think he's doing well considering the least he didn't bail on Camilia. They really did need that night out and I'm glad he could convince her to go. Otherwise they'll be snipping at each other from frustration! Can't wait to see what happens on spring break!!!

  6. Spring break!!! Woooo! LOL Can't wait for that update. I' glad that Charlie and Camilia got the night off. No matter how old you get it's still nice to get some time away from the kids! Nice to see things are going smoothly for the two of them.

  7. Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you all!

    Laura, ha, I hope I don't disappoint! I have very little idea what's going to happen!

    "Crapshoot" is definitely a good description of Camilla and Charlie. They weren't together for very long before Camilla got pregnant, so they really didn't know how this would work out. But they're trying and they're doing all right.

    I love Charlie too. He really wants to do the right thing, even though he's not positive what that is sometimes.

    Thanks for reading!

    Apple Valley, that's true. I don't think Charlie would have considered putting his chosen career on hold if Tate hadn't brought it up with him first. He would have been the type to just jump in and worry about the consequences later. Tate knows Charlie too well though, so he knew he'd have to broach the topic to get Charlie to think about it.

    Thanks for reading!

    Sari, LOL, yeah, Charlie was getting a little bit whiny there!

    I think they both really needed a night off, so hopefully Camilla will be more agreeable to doing things like that in the future.

    I'm going to play spring break today! Or at least start to...I'm not sure if I'll get through the whole session.

    Thanks for reading!

    Tanja, the date was definitely much needed! Camilla is determined to prove that she can do this but like Charlie said, even older parents take time off occasionally.

    I'm glad you liked those pictures. The good thing was there was hardly any posing involved! I was doing quite a bit of it with some of the shots at their house though.

    Thanks for reading!

    Mizzgin03, I am a fan of the Benton boys as well. ;)

    Yes, Charlie is still only 20 and he's not a particularly mature 20. We're definitely not dealing with Finn here! But he is sticking around and he's trying, so he should get credit for that. I don't think Camilla realises how good she has it sometimes, because it could have worked out very differently for her.

    Thanks for reading!

    Riverdale, LOL! I think spring break will be fun to play, though I'm not sure what will happen yet!

    I think everyone is a little bit happier after a break. And you can do the things you need to do with a clearer head as well, so it's good all round.

    Thanks for reading!

  8. OMG I freakin' love the twins! They're so adorable. I really like the first one of the "twin spam" where Grace is looking at Everett with the doll. She's looking at him like "nooo, that's not how you do it!" Oh I can't wait for the twins! And I thought it was so cute seeing Charlie playing with the dolls with the kids. If I didn't already say at N99, I love the pics of Charlie walking by the library. I love seeing surrounding buildings like that.

    I'm glad these 2 finally got a break. Being stuck inside with each other with 2 kids for 2 years can stress anyone out. I'm glad their argument was just that and they got to wind down while the campus was empty. That's always cool. It sucks that they'll have to put their dreams on hold but that may be a good thing in the end. They'll learn a lot of real life lessons along the way and hopefully be able to save up some money along the way. And you're right. Camilla should really think about how the situation could have turned out if Charlie didn't step up. He isn't Finn, but he's no deadbeat, either.

    Can't wait to see what you did for spring break!

  9. I'm glad they finally took time out for a date! Camilla needs to understand that she doesn't have to do it all herself and that it's okay to let their siblings or parents help out or watch the kids every now and then. Poor girl is going to drive herself and Charlie crazy if she doesn't, lol!

    I'm sad that they're putting off their dream careers, but it's very understandable. They can't afford to take a few years of unsteady work or big risks right now. But I hope one day they'll both get to do what they dream of.

  10. Danielle, I know, Grace and Everett turned out pretty cute! That's exactly what I thought about the first twin spam picture. Boys!

    The argument had probably been brewing for a while but it was a good catalyst for Charlie and Camilla to change some things. Charlie is a little bit clueless but he would probably do anything Camilla asked him to, so she's got a good one here. He definitely has his heart in the right place.

    As for the money, they're actually saving up a good deal. I think Camilla has about $8000 in the bank and Charlie has a little less. Not bad.

    Spring break is shaping up to be more interesting than I thought it might be! I'm not quite as worried about disappointing you all now. ;)

    Thanks for reading!

    Shana, this has been a pattern of behaviour with Camilla since she had the twins. They have a ton of people willing to help them out, including siblings on campus but she wants to prove she doesn't need them. But she does, just like everybody needs help sometimes. I think they both need to take some time out to hang out with friends as well - that would be a good mental health activity for them.

    It's a shame neither of their dream careers are easy to break into or highly paid straight off the bet. I'm planning to let them both get into their "real" careers eventually but we'll just see what happens.

    Thanks for reading!

  11. The twins are SOOOOO adorable! They are going to grow up to be very cute!:)
    I'm glad Charlie was able to talk Camilla into going on a date. They both obviously really needed it. As cute as the twins are, they can't be cooped up inside with them all day.
    Great update! :D

  12. coolkat2, Grace and Everett are turning 4 next round as well! When it's time for Camilla's senior year, they'll be off to pre-school.

    Hopefully, Charlie will have an easier time talking Camilla into going out again, now that she knows that it's beneficial to her as well as him.

    Thanks for reading!

  13. Aww, it was nice for Charlie to want to get Camilla out of the house (not just himself). It does have to be depressing to be one of the very few people left out of the spring break fun. I still can't believe that Jack didn't go!

  14. Rachel, I think having their little date night almost made up for missing out on spring break. It's a very different thing being left out because you can't go, than being left out because you chose not to go, like Jack did.

    Spring break just isn't really Jack's thing. He must have predicted all the drama that would happen - he hates that kind of stuff. ;)

    Thanks for reading!

  15. I'm glad they got out and were able to enjoy each other a little, it's important if you are going to parent, to have a good relationship with the adults. I'm curious what's going on with Jack and Julia, love the photos of him lounging on the sofa. He's such a good looking guy. ;)

    The twins are super cute! Adore them, and their little apartment, it's such a nice little starting point.

    When these two were younger, did you have an idea of who you wanted them to end up with, and was it with one another? I know they aren't married, and are still young, but I'm just curious with how you thought things might go, and how they went with the surprise pregnancy.

  16. Maisie, you're very right. People need a life outside of their kids, as hard as that can be sometimes. I'll probably show a little of what went on between Jack and Julia in the next update but I'm sure you can imagine, lol.

    I'm hoping Camilla and Charlie have saved up enough to set themselves up with a house once Camilla graduates. This house is perfect for them but once they're not students any more, they'll have to leave, per my own rules.

    I actually didn't have a clue what would happen with Charlie or Camilla when they were younger. Camilla was 15 and I thought to myself "oh, poor Camilla's never even had her first kiss. Who can I pair her up with?" Then when I played Charlie's house, I noticed they had some chemistry and threw them together to see what would happen. And um...this is what happened!

    Thanks for reading!

  17. Wow, some of these shots are incredible! Charlie walking outside the library; Jack reading on the sofa; and I love the dining booth shots, too. I don't know anything about N99 but the name so I don't see shots in advance.

    I feel really sorry for Charlie. Yes he's unrealistic, but he's so YOUNG. That's not a great situation, having to grow up so soon and be stuck in a house with two little kids and Camilla not wanting to even get out for one night. Maybe she'll go along now that she had a good time and nothing terrible happened to the twins.

  18. S.B., oh, thank you! Jack reading on the couch was easier than I thought it would be. I had Camilla start the diary writing interaction and grabbed the book off her. I didn't think it would work but with the angled OMSPs, it turned out well. :) There's an ongoing thread at N99 called "Today I'm", where people post what they're doing in game. I usually post little previews in there - nothing spoilery, as a lot of Sullivan readers also post there.

    20 is still very much a kid, I think, so Charlie is in a tough spot. He doesn't really have the luxury of being unrealistic any more, while most of his friends can basically do whatever they please. I think Camilla might be willing to bend a little, now that she knows they can take a night off and nothing awful will happen.

    Thanks for reading!

  19. Awww these two. A break is a good idea. I love how you worked in their wants into the character. It makes sense with them being young parents that they'd both be concerned leaving the kids behind. But Charlie's right, they should get out and enjoy life a bit while they can.

  20. Lunar, thank you. Working in the wants is still something I try to do a lot, even though Sullivan is much more storytelling-oriented than it was when I started.

    Camilla works herself too hard. She's intent on proving herself to everybody but she hasn't really noticed than no one is really judging her anyway. They've been really lucky with their parents - all four of them have been supportive from the beginning. And she and Charlie have done pretty well for the past two years, so a break was in order for sure.

    Thanks for reading!