Sunday, 24 April 2011

Turn a square

Round 31: January 2033 (Summer)
Josie Clarke is 31, Troy is 30 and Jude is 6 months old.
(Kendal is 57, Patience is 31 and Calvin and Aaron are both 30)

Narrated by Troy Clarke

Since Jude was born in July, we've had what seems like a constant stream of visitors coming in and out of our house.

Calvin and Aaron haven't said anything about starting their own family yet but they were pretty excited to be uncles. Jude doesn't seem to mind all the attention.

It's slowed down a little bit since Levi and Will were born before Christmas. My side of the family has mostly switched to annoying Rose and Joanna now and Josie and I have some peace.

Jude is a different kind of baby that what we were expecting.

He's so cheerful and easy going, which isn't really anything like Josie and not much like me either.

Mum is still an extremely frequent visitor. She loves Jude and was so happy that we used Dad's name in the middle for him.

She's so thrilled to finally be a grandma. She certainly nagged me about it for long enough before it finally happened.

I don't mind having Mum over - she's just enthusiastic. But Josie is getting annoyed with the frequency of the visits.

Josie is kind of a stickler for people calling before they come over and that's not really a habit anyone in my family ever picked up. I usually get chewed out when Mum leaves.

For the last week or so, we've had hardly any visitors at all. Josie has the flu, so we've been telling everyone to stay away.

Josie thinks I'm insufferable when I'm sick but I honestly think she's worse. If she wasn't still on maternity leave, I wouldn't have been surprised if she'd tried to drag herself into work. I kept having to order her back to bed, or back to the couch. She did not appreciate it.

I kind of love it when people fuss over me when I'm sick but Josie hates it. She spends most of her time insisting that she's fine, even when she sounds like she's going to cough up a lung.

It was a challenge getting her stop doing all the household chores. I can handle them but Josie likes to do things her way, so she just had to do them. Doctors make the worst patients.

She just got bored, really. Once she'd tired of watching TV or reading, all she could do was talk on the phone.

Lucky for her, Patience is on maternity leave as well and she doesn't have anything to do during the day either.

The one saving grace is that Josie was been willing to let me take over everything with Jude. Neither of us want to risk him getting sick when he's still so little.

That meant that when Josie was finally better and I ended up with what she had, she was much more willing to let me laze around the house than she has been in the past.

She didn't want me infecting Jude, so she took over all household and baby duties.

I did miss hanging out with Jude though. He loves his baths and I could hear him giggling and gurgling with Josie in the kitchen. I wanted so badly to go in there.

But this is what my dad died of, as well as Rose and Patience's mother. It's not something I'm willing to mess around with.

Thank God I didn't get it nearly as bad as Josie did and I was better within a few days.

It's nice not to have to worry about transmitting germs to each other if we get too close. Things are mostly back to normal around here.

Sometimes I think I could be a stay-at-home dad but I might feel differently if I really was home with Jude all day, every day. I've never tried it.

Josie loves Jude but she feels like she's going nuts being at home all day. She's not cut out for stay-at-home motherhood.

She's been saying that since the start and I thought maybe she'd get used to it as time went on but she sat me down the other night and told me she felt like she really had to go back to work. While she was sick, it was all she could think about.

I wasn't really sure about the idea of her going back. We'd have to arrange some kind of care for Jude and he's still so young.

But what could I really say? She's more than ready physically, and clearly, she's ready mentally as well. So I just told her if that's what she really wants to do, then she should.

Josie was on the phone to David the next morning, asking about the possibility of ending her maternity leave early. It doesn't sound like it's going to be a problem at all.

Most likely, Josie will be able to go back to work within the next couple of weeks. She can't wait to start getting out of the house on a regular basis again.

  • Title is from Turn a Square by The Shins.
  • First update and we're right into the ROS! Josie was the Sim who rolled the flu ROS; Troy was just unlucky and caught it from her! And she really was way sicker than he was. I thought she was going to die a couple of times, for real. But luckily, they both survived.
  • By default, I give all my Sim mothers a year's maternity leave. That's about standard for women in the line of work I'm in here, so it's what I'm used to. It's not for everybody though and I can see Josie being one of those women. If they ever have a second kid (neither has rolled the want yet and they won't have another until one of them does), I might have Troy take paternity leave instead. I think he'd like the stay-at-home thing better than Josie.
  • Even though Troy's dad died when he was a toddler, Kendal never needed a nanny for him and Calvin, because she lived with the boys' grandparents. So the idea of a nanny for Jude is something that's probably out of his comfort zone, as a new parent and as someone with zero experience with nannies. Obviously, in game, they'll be using a nanny. Story-wise though, I have a couple of different options I'm weighing up, to see if/how they might work. But it'll be all smoke and mirrors. ;)


  1. I'm glad they got better quickly, I'm not a fan of the flu ROS-but then again, I also don't have the realistic sickness mod as you do so I don't have to worry about deaths unless the ROS says a death.

  2. *big sigh of relief* Good thing they're both all better. I hate when my sims get sick, cause even if I don't have realistic sickness installed, I'm always so scared for them.
    I think it's great that Josie's going to be going back to work. A woman like her is definately not a stay-at-home mom kind of girl.
    Great update!:)

  3. The differences between Troy and Josie being sick is cute and fitting for these two. Of course she wouldn't be able to hold still.

    But I do worry anytime one of your sims get sick, lol.

  4. What??? They could have died?! *faint* Oh my, I didn't worry, but now, retrospectively, I shudder for them!
    I like how Josie is annoyed by her mother-in-law! *lol*

  5. This chapter was really illustrative of how different Josie and Troy are. I think of Troy as fairly laid-back, so I'm surprised that he doesn't think Jude is much like him! :)

    I am glad that both of them got better, and it doesn't surprise me that Josie was chomping at the bit to get back to work. She worked hard to get through medical school, of course she wants to get back! I can understand Troy's misgivings about the nanny situation as well, though.

    On an unrelated note, a year's maternity leave?! Wow! I get six weeks, lol! But I think teachers here do get more time off as well.

  6. Yay, they survived! :) So are there 9 or 8 sims left?
    Also, can you use the comfort soup? Did you make a rule not to use it or anything?

    Troy is much more of a stay in home parent than Josie! I'm glad she can go back to her work now and save lives :P

  7. Apple Valley, LOL, if I lose one of my Sims, I certainly won't be a fan of this ROS! The times that I've lost Sims to the flu, they've caught it spontaneously, through no fault of my own. I'd feel much guiltier if it happened through ROS!

    Thanks for reading!

    coolkat2, I was most relieved as well. I'd hate to lose either Troy or Josie!

    No, Josie is definitely not cut out to stay at home. She loves her job and she misses it when she doesn't get to do it. So she's heading back to work.

    Thanks for reading!

    Lunar, Josie is definitely a woman who likes to keep moving and being useful. Sitting around the house would be like torture for her.

    I get worried every time my Sims get sick too, believe me!

    Thanks for reading!

    Sandy, yes, they could have died! Troy's father died of the flu when Troy was very little and Rose and Patience's mother died of it as well, when Patience was about 8. I use Realistic Sickness, which makes getting sick in TS2 a more risky prospect!

    Poor Kendal...she really is just excited, as well as probably missing Chris now that he's off at college. Josie isn't too thrilled with her at the moment though. ;)

    Thanks for reading!

    Rachel, Troy and Josie have identical personalities (this is why their chemistry is so high!), so I'm glad I've done a good enough job not making them seem like identical characters!

    Troy is generally laid back but he's also a whiner and he can tell Jude's not heading that way. Against all odds, Jude is quite a cheerful little thing!

    Very true and Josie wouldn't have gone through all that study unless it was something she was really passionate about. Six months away is more than enough for her and if they have another baby, she'll probably be away for a much shorter time.

    A year's maternity here is not universal but it tends to be what teachers take. And everyone gets longer than six weeks - you get 18 weeks paid for by the government and then whatever your employer wants to offer. I don't think they have to offer anything but most do.

    Thanks for reading!

    Flit, there are 9 Sims left, because Troy just got unlucky, lol. By the time I get through this, more than 10 Sims will likely have had the flu. The other Sims usually manage to catch it from the infected one.

    I can use the comfort soup if I want to but my rule is not for 24 hours, to make it challenging. I figure it's okay to use it, seeing it doesn't always work. Troy's dad had comfort soup, for all the good it did him!

    I agree, Troy could do the stay-at-home dad thing and if they have a second, he probably will. Josie will be back at the hospital, dealing with this flu outbreak. ;)

    Thanks for reading!

  8. Oh my!!! *hair rising* I haven't played to the Sims 1 for at least a month after a guinea pig flu epidemic! *lol* I hadn't read your ROS thread (I usually skip them to be surprised), but so... you have 9 other Sims who will be sick and will risk to die? *faint* My, I'd have a heart attack if you lose any of your Sims! I don't know the Real Sickness mod. Can it affect kids as well?

  9. Sandy, LOL, I never used that guinea pig in TS1! I was so afraid of it!

    But yes, there are 9 other Sims who'll get sick this round. At least 9, because they'll probably pass it on to other people in their households. I'm going to try my best to take care of them. I don't want you having a heart attack on me!

    Realistic Sickness does affect kids but I don't have children listed in my ROS. Theoretically, a kid could still die though, seeing they might catch it from their parents. But I don't know...I might have to break my "no plead" rule with the Grim Reaper if it was a kid!

  10. The shot of Josie on the couch talking on the phone is absolutely stunning! And I guess I'm on her side about people telling me they're coming before they show up LOL!

    I know you're doing something where you infect them with something. It really does kill them?

  11. I'm glad they both survived their illness, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all the others do as well!
    Wow a year of maternity leave, we only have 3 months here... anyway, Josie didn't seem like the stay-at-home-type, I think she's happy to go back to work.
    I think I would be kind of like Josie, I love having friends over, but I like them to call first before comming over!

  12. I'm a bit like Josie because I prefer that people call before they come over too, lol! I'm glad they both survived the flu. I'm missing that realistic sickness mod since I haven't found one yet for TS3.

    And wow, a year's maternity leave! Only six weeks is pretty standard across the board for jobs in the US.

  13. I'm SO relieved that they both pulled through this, I was concerned for Josie with those pictures, seemed like an awful lot of coughing fits. I'm not surprised she's going back to work, but it's a little sad for Jude. Don't mind me, I'm a little bit of a Lia. ;)

    My sims live in the US so they also get the 6 weeks, no year one. I knew that Australia did the year one though from a big debate on USA maternity/vacation time, compared to other countries. Wish the USA allowed one year off, or at least half a year! 6 weeks is such a tiny little bit of time, and they are still so small.

    Oh wait.. sims. ;) I adore that Kendall is so over the moon with her new little grandson, and thought it was funny that Josie would be annoyed by her pop-in visits. I can see that. They have a nice home, I really like the nursery and the paint color.

  14. S.B, thanks! I almost adjusted the facial expression on that one but then I figured Josie looked grumpy enough already. ;)

    I am definitely not a fan of the pop-in either. Just call me and give me 10 minutes and we'll be all right!

    I use Insimenator to infect them with the flu, plus the Realistic Sickness mod which makes it more risky. It doesn't always kill them, as you can see here but it's possible. I have to actually care for my sick Sims now. I used to just send them to work and school as normal and they'd still get better.

    Thanks for reading!

    Tanja, me too, because some Sims I really like due to get the flu this round. :(

    Well, the year is for teaching in public schools. Everyone else gets at least 18 weeks, which is still a lot better than some places. If you want more than 18 weeks, it's up to your employer whether they want to give that to you or not.

    Disliking unannounced visitors is one more way I am quite similar to Josie. ;)

    Thanks for reading!

    Shana, oh, I guess they probably can't do a Realistic Sickness for TS3, seeing the Sims can't get sick at all. :\ Realistic Sickness just takes the Maxis illness and amplifies it, really.

    But anyway, yeah, I'm like Josie too. I wouldn't want my own mother popping in unannounced and I definitely wouldn't want my in-laws doing it!

    6 weeks has always sounded so miniscule to me. It's not very long at all!

    Thanks for reading!

    Maisie, yeah, I was concerned for Josie too (not so much for Troy, because he really did seem to have a milder form). Along with the coughing, Josie was doing this wheezing thing, like she couldn't breathe properly. Scary!

    My Sims don't live anywhere in particular, so I'm free to make maternity leave in my game ideal, lol. Teachers can take a year (not at full pay, mind you!), everyone else gets 18 weeks, plus whatever your employer wants to give you. Still much more than the US though!

    Kendal is having a great time with Jude and it's helping take her mind off Chris going away to college. She and Lake will be empty nesters this round, which is going to be hard for her. It doesn't take much to annoy Josie though. ;) The paint colour in the nursery was a last minute change. I was using a different one when Patience visited Josie and Jude in her update.

    Thanks for reading!

  15. Wow, this story is so organized and the Sims look so realistic, beautiful pictures... I'm definitely following!! Follow back? :)

  16. Diana P., I'm glad you're enjoying Sullivan.

    Thanks for reading!

  17. I think it makes sense that Josie's getting back to work sooner. She doesn't strike me as a stay-at-home type of mom at all. And I can totally understand why she gets annoyed by Kendal popping by unannounced, I wouldn't want my in-laws to do that either (if I had in-laws, that is).

    In Finland the maternity leave starts one month before the due date and ends when the baby is 9 months old. After that the mother (or the father) can stay home with the child and get a home care subsidy from the government until the child is 3 years old. I use the same rules for Wellington, or should I say that I will use them from now on.

  18. Sari, no, Josie's definitely not the stay-at-home type, even with her Pleasure secondary.

    I wouldn't want my in-laws popping around unannounced either. My mother likes to tell a story about her own in-laws (my grandparents) trying to pop in one day. She apparently just kept me quiet and pretended she wasn't home! Thank goodness for peep holes!

    The Finnish system sounds pretty good! So you're planning on adding a home care subsidy to Wellington? I'll be looking out for how you do that, should any of your Sims decide to stay at home with their kids.

    Thanks for reading!

  19. I think I'll add a home care subsidy, I just haven't figured out the details yet. I'm guessing the governor will transmit money to the parent that stays home with the kids but I have to do more research to find out how much the parents in Finland usually get. I know it's not a lot of money though.

  20. Well, however you end up doing it, I'll be interested to hear how it works out for you!

  21. Great update! I liked getting a quick peek at Patience's growing belly. I always say it, but I really like Josie LOL. I said on the forum how I'm with her on not liking the unexpected guests all the time. Especially with my RL mother-in-law. I like her, but she's definitely like a typical family sim hounding us for a baby.

    Anyway, I'm glad Josie's heading back to work. I think she'd murder someone if she was stuck in the house any longer lol. I looked it up and my job gives us 12 weeks leave. Not as good as a year but a heck of a lot better than 6 weeks. That does seem like too soon to leave the baby. I haven't even thought about how I'm going to work out the maternity leave for my sims yet. I guess I'll do a little more research first.

  22. Danielle, Patience is getting close to her due date! After my next play session, it'll be time to bump her up to her third trimester!

    I love Josie too - she's a lot of fun to play and write for. I am definitely anti pop-ins! Unless you call first, I pretty much will just not answer the door!

    Yes, Josie was going stir-crazy in the house and she needs to get back out there. Doctors here seem to take fairly long breaks for maternity leave but there's no minimum time they have to take, so I figure I can do what I want. ;) I'm going to just think about it Sim by Sim. Patience is on maternity leave already, because she's currently a Broadway Star, so I figure her understudy would have to take over from her while she's heavily pregnant. When the baby comes though, I imagine she'd have to get back to work fairly quickly, so she will probably only take three months off (which still seems like a decent chunk of time). It's such a nerdy thing to think about but that's never stopped me before!

    Thanks for reading!