Being the mother of a toddler is so much harder than Amaranth ever could have imagined. When she's not working as a detective and putting effort into her legacy ambitions, she has a thousand other chores to do around the house.
Of course, that's only half the work. The other half is getting Soren to even sit on the thing.
After finally finding him (he seems to hide somewhere else every time), Amaranth has to literally wrestle him onto the chair, desperately trying to pull off his bunny onesie without catching him with the zipper.
Soren always strains and grunts, then passes his lovely bowel movements into the chair. Amaranth sighs, wondering why it always has to be a struggle when the actual act of using the potty chair is so easy. Finally quiet, Soren gazes up at his mother, giving a small smile when he's finished. Relieved, Amaranth smiles back. Maybe he's finally getting the hang of it...
Amaranth has to step away for a moment. She has to step away or surely she'll do something she'll immensely regret in her anger.
As she cries, she hears the door being jiggled and then pushed close. Evidently Soren tried to get to her, but accidentally shut the door instead of being able to open it. She hears him cry even harder on the other side, pressed against the door. Putting her back against the wall and sliding to the floor, Amaranth bawls into her hands. Why does she have to care for a difficult child? And worse, why must she do it alone? She feels so helpless to do anything right for her child.
Why? Just why?
The next morning is just like any other morning. Amaranth wakes up to Soren's screaming, tiredly giving him his bottle and waiting until he starts wailing again. She's too exhausted to go to work today, but she does not want to stay home alone with Soren all day. She loves her son deeply, but sometimes it's so emotionally draining to try and handle him herself. She decides it's time to do some visits. Her family hasn't seen Soren yet. They'll be happy to meet him.
Amaranth: "Don't think so. He just likes to cry. A lot."
Soren: "Sniff sniff..."
Amaranth: "Look, Soren, this is Uncle Oliver! He took care of me when I was just a little one like you. I called him Toof. Can you say Toof?"
Oliver: "Ha! At least he's opinionated. Please do come inside, Amaranth. I seem to recall you don't like the outdoors."
Amaranth: "I don't like sharing my environment with bugs and dirt."
Once inside, Amaranth gently sets Soren down, as he's stopped his crying for the moment. Then she gives Oliver a proper hug. She's missed him a lot.
Amaranth: "...I am tired, Oliver. I love Soren so much, but....oh Oliver, he's so much work. He cries constantly, throwing tantrums all day long, and I don't know how much longer I can handle this. How am I supposed to concentrate on influencing the citizens of Moonlight Falls and furthering my family's domination plans if I can't even get myself together when it's just me and Soren?"
Oliver: "Parenting isn't an easy job, Amaranth. You're doing an excellent job of it, but it's not easy. You're even stronger than most. When you were a baby, I had Jakkson - your father, rather - and Phantom to help. You're doing this by yourself."
Amaranth: "Why did Zack have to be such a jerk?"
Oliver: "...I take it the break-up was bad?"
Amaranth realizes she hasn't let Oliver in on the details of her break-up. She almost doesn't want to burden him with such a stupid story, but she decides to talk to him about it anyway. Oliver quietly listens to her, sympathizing with her story. By the end, Amaranth is glad she told him. Oliver's always so easy to talk to.
For the remainder of their time together, Amaranth decides to enjoy the simple pleasures of just sitting on the couch and watching TV. The Overlords have never owned a TV (or a computer, for that matter). She wonders if she shouldn't get one soon. Just sitting down and zoning out for a little while is so relaxing. Oliver sits down to watch with her, and soon even Soren is intrigued and joins them.
Oliver: "...Sigh. We are married, Am."
Amaranth: "Oh. Is she at work then?"
Oliver: "She's very particular about housing. She doesn't want to live here, but we can't find a suitable house that we can afford, so...we're living separately right now."
Amaranth: "But...that's terrible."
Oliver: "It is. I hate it. She has bad feelings about this house, but I can't fit in her current house - she has two roommates and she doesn't want to kick either of them out. She just really wants a new house. I check for houses around town and in the real estate ads all the time, but I just can't find anything."
Amaranth: "...I wish I could give you the castle and move into a smaller house. But the market's terrible right now. There's not a lot of available housing, for as big as the town is."
Oliver: "You're telling me. I just fear that by the time a house becomes available...it'll be too late."
Amaranth: "...Are you going to turn her?"
Oliver: "I don't think I can, Amaranth. I've lived so long and it's....I don't know. I often wish I just had the normal life of a human. I don't think I could subject her to vampirism."
Amaranth: "...I see."
Soon Oliver has to excuse himself to go see his client, so Amaranth decides it's time to let Soren visit another uncle. She really can't wait. She hasn't seen her "cousin" yet.
Phantom: "I'm so glad you came! It's not a castle, but it does okay. I wish Delia would let me shoot paintballs around the house though. The walls are so drab."
Amaranth: "Oh Phantom. By the way, where is Delia? I haven't seen her around."
Phantom: "Ah, she has work at the bistro, you know. Hopefully she comes back with food tonight. We had lobster thermometer last night."
Amaranth: "Therm....oh, you mean lobster thermidor?"
Phantom: "It was a lobster and it had stuff on it and it was great."
Amaranth picks up Phantom's daughter, Eva, and has some fun with her.
Phantom likewise plays with his little nephew.
Phantom: "No, you're a bunny rabbit, not a mama."
Phantom: "...Oh, you mean me? No, I'm a Pixie."
Phantom: "You're definitely Amaranth's son. Do you tickle as well as she did?"
Soren: "Ahhh ha ha ha ha ha!"
Phantom: "I can't wait until you get older. All the pranks I can play on you."
Phantom: "No, I can't play tricks on a bank. I tried that once and Mama Pixie had to convince the police not to send me to juvie."
Amaranth: "Ha! Is he calling you Bizzie too?"
Phantom: "Well, he was calling me mama earlier."
Amaranth: "See, this is your cousin Eva, Soren. She's a Pixie too....wait, is she? Or is she a Brownie?"
Phantom: "She's a Brownie. She's very quiet and stoic. If she were a Pixie, she'd be zinging all over the place."
Amaranth: "Have you been teaching her to speak, Phantom?"
Phantom: "No, that's Delia's doing. I've been trying to teach her to play pranks, but she doesn't get it yet. But I'm happy she's learning how to fly. She has my wings, just the healed version of them."
Amaranth: "...I feel like I've heard about your wings before...something about how you couldn't fly when you were younger? But I don't think you've told me anything about that..."
Phantom only smiles.
Phantom: "Oh yes."
Amaranth: "You and Delia still happy together?"
Phantom: "Every day gets more exciting with her. She's talking about having even more babies."
Amaranth: "Oh really! What do you think about that?"
Phantom: "I like children. They're fun to prank and fun to play with. Eva's tons of fun. I hope we have a Pixie sometime."
Eventually it comes time for Amaranth and Soren to go home. Amaranth, Phantom, Soren, and Eva all give a group hug before Amaranth and Soren leave, making the Sim Deity melt into a little puddle of warm happy goo.
Gator: "Haha! Sounds like he's learning to talk."
Amaranth: "I try to squeeze some speech-teaching in when I can. What's with the athletic gear, by the way?"
Gator: "Got off work not too long ago. We've got a game coming up tomorrow, so we were training and getting ready for it."
Amaranth: "You and your sports."
Gator: "Gotta get my energy out somehow."
After a small pause, Amaranth swallows and tries to calm her pounding heart. She's had the time to think about it, and she knows for certain now. She's sure of herself and she's sure of Gator. Slowly, she steps over to him, stopping close to his body.
Gator: "...Have you had enough time to think?"
Amaranth: "I have. And I'm sure now, Gator. I'm very sure."
Amaranth: "Yes. But...I don't want to say it unless you say it first."
Gator: "Unless I say what?"
Amaranth: "You know what I mean, Gator."
Gator: "...Give me a moment to take this in. I never thought this would ever happen."
Slowly Amaranth wraps her arms around Gator's waist, brushing her hands against him as she pulls him close. She feels him tremble slightly at her touch. She doesn't mind. She knows she's not going to pull away this time.
Gator softly brings his arms around her, holding her even more closely to him. Amaranth gently massages the small of his back as she brings her mouth close to his neck. There's that cologne again. She's come to love it so much. Gingerly she kisses his neck by his jawline. She traces the kisses along his jaw until she comes to his ear. She can feel Gator smiling.
Gator: "If you don't know I love you by now..."
Amaranth: "Yes...I know. I'm ready to accept it. And I'm ready to love you in return. I'm going to trust you..."
Gator: "I promise I will do everything I can to deserve that trust, Amaranth."
Amaranth: "Just...be there for me and protect me..."
They finally pull away, but not for long. Gently their lips meet again, and again, and again.
Amaranth heads into the bedroom, giving a coy look to Gator before saying, "I'm going to use the restroom. I'll be right back." Of course, she doesn't truly mean it and Gator knows it. With a sheepish grin, he follows her into the bedroom. He finds her plopped down on the bed. Trying to control his enthusiasm, he slides in next to her.
She gives him a smirk to indicate her teasing.
Gator: "Well now. I was rather of the impression that you wanted it too, my lady."
He returns the smirk.
Amaranth: "Hmph. You're a beast."
Gator: "Werewolf. But you were half-right."
Then Gator sits up a little in bed and gently grasps her hand, a serious look on his face.
Gator: "But honestly, Am...do you want to do this? I mean...I know I love you and I know I want to make love with you. But I don't want to push you to do anything you're not ready for."
Gator: "Are you sure? I want to make sure--"
Amaranth touches a finger to his lips, tapping them to gently silence him.
Amaranth: "I told you before. I trust you. And I'm ready."
Gator smiles, then leans forward to peck her on the lips.
One thing leads to another, and to another, and to another, and, well...can I make it any more obvious?
Author's notes: Decided to look at a more realistic view of single motherhood with Amaranth and Soren. Sim toddlers are so adorable and I love them so much (especially in bunny onesies), but I decided to focus on some of the difficulties. Amaranth really does want to be a good mom.
Soren gets to meet his uncles (he'll get to meet Grandpa Jakk soon). And yes, Oliver and Serena are married but they can't find a house to move into, even though StoryProgression repeatedly tells me they're looking. I'm considering just building a house that would suit them and seeing if they'll be able to move in. I feel bad that Oliver has to live in an entirely separate building from his wife. I had fun visiting Phantom and Eva, but I do wish Phantom would have some toddler toys on the ground floor so that Soren and Eva could play together.
I was so happy to write this chapter. There's one big reason, and it starts with G and ends with Ator. I like him and Amaranth together. :-}