It took us four tries to get through Poplar’s adult birthday.
First time, the game crashed. Next two times, this old Toshiba laptop overheated and shut down. Finally, after blowing the dust out of the laptop fan and scaling back the party guest-list to family only, we made it through and into the next life stages for Poplar and baby Sugar Maple.
What do you do on the morning of your birthday when you’ve taken a vacation day and you’ve got until the afternoon before the party starts?
You might begin with what Poplar calls “The Run of Intensity.”
Then a little high-powered dancing might be just the thing.
Then, why not kick off the rest of the interim with a little power-programming?
We finally got to meet the cousins. Daryl and Irving are cuties. Irving’s got pierced ears and likes to wear a necklace, too.
They’re both ridiculously cute, and their uncle, aunts, grandma, and big cousin love them tremendously.
They seem to be sharing some kind of secret code with each other.
“Which one of these is the mean one?”
“Beats me. Maybe we better just keep our eyes on all of ’em, just in case.”
When we finally made it through the party, we only invited Madrona, Lamont, and the twins. Brody and Minsk showed up, anyway, which is cool–they’re both Poplar’s only friends.
Lamont, the good, romantic family Sim, is beyond proud.
“So, life’s good,” he said. “We’ve got the big house, the family ghost, the two boys. My beautiful wife. Not bad for a mailman that got turned down by the heir, if I do say so myself!”
With the party behind us, and with me saving every five minutes, just in case, we were able to move onto other parts of life.
Salix became an A student in high school.
Sugar Maple got all sorts of loving from Mom and Dad and Grandma and Big Sis and even her aunt Poplar.
Poplar advanced another level in her career, and she’s coming close to finishing her computer whiz aspiration–just twelve more hours on the computer ought to do it. Easy as pie for this hidden geek-trait girl.
Before her little sister grew out of the bassinet, Salix enjoyed a little more time having her mom and dad to herself during the quiet hours of just hanging out in the kitchen.
And we were visited by rashes…
… and fevers.
When everybody got well, Linda snuggled in a last baby hug before Sugar aged up.
Then the bassinet shook, the sparkles came, and out popped Sugar Maple–the newest family Glutton!
I don’t mind the Glutton trait–sometimes, as with Shug’s grandpa I-dub, the trait expresses itself as zest for life.
I got thrown off at first by Shug’s hair cut and clothes–had I misread the baby notice? Was this really a little boy? Did something get switched with all the game crashes? Would the name Sugar Maple work for a boy?
I checked relationships… Ok. She’s a sister. She’s a girl.
Well, we’ve always been flexible with gender roles and expression around here. Sugar Maple is who she is, and for right now, she’s a little kid that wants to become a whiz kid, and as she grows up, she’ll be encouraged to be the person that she wants to be.
Welcome to childhood, Sugar Maple!
She’s got her super-star athlete mom, and her children’s book author dad, and her programming-wiz aunt, and her body-building grandma to show her lots of different ways of being true to who she really is.
For a whiz-kid, childhood starts right off at the chess board.
Niko needs to gain more logic points for his nerd brain aspiration, so I’ve got a feeling that Niko and Shug will be spending most of the upcoming weekend right here, playing chess.