Kiki’s toddlerhood was extremely challenging for me to play, not because of anything to do with Kiki. She was a dream: Her trait is inquisitive, so she was always happy learning, and in fact, was happy most of the time, even if her sleep and hunger veered towards red.
The first challenge was meeting those needs while trying to level up her skills. She needed so much sleep! And we didn’t have a tub on the lot, so it took a lot of time to keep her hygiene up.
Plus, after the composting toilet fiasco, the family funds were drained. We had to sell the tent, a bunch of party items (like the electronic piano and the Freezer-Bunny bar), and several of Ira’s paintings to scrounge up enough Simoleans to pay the bills.
And then there was the lag. Oh, my. The lag. Perhaps it’s because there’s a bee hive on the lot and each of those buzzing objects takes memory. Maybe it’s because it was fall, so the processing was consumed by falling leaves, and falling raindrops. Or maybe it was just because.
My mouse was giving out, too, though I didn’t realize it at the time. So I would click, and nothing. So much in-game time ticking away, and Kiki getting closer to becoming a child, and her skills still needing leveling, and her sleep meter ticking down to red, and even though I’ve queued actions, the lag is making everything take forever! And in real life, I was stressed as the date for my retirement approached, and the game did not provide relief!
But Kiki skills, nonetheless, maxing everything except imagination and communication, which reach the high fours.
And Harvest Day comes, and three more gnomes spawn, including Grim Reaper Gnome, just to remind us that there are worse things than lag, a failing mouse, and pre-retirement stress!
And the family continues to be as charming as ever.
Aadhya drops by on Harvest Day evening, with a gift for Ira, “because you’re such a good friend and neighbor.”
It’s a packet containing a rare seed.
“I’m not sure if I’m a good enough gardener to grow this,” Ira says.
“That’s OK!” replies Aadhya. “Case is. He can plant it. It’s for both of you.”
It’s a Death Flower, and it’s just the right season for planting it.
While Kiki naps (again), Case thinks about this strange gift. It’s thoughtful, touching even.
We think of flowers as symbolizing new life, new beginnings. But a Death Flower?
It doesn’t symbolize the end–it symbolizes protection, an escape clause.
All his life, Case never had an escape clause–it was always “accept the consequences, no matter what comes.” And he thinks it still is probably that way. But the idea of an escape–the idea that we could be protected, even from Death. There is something of the myth and mystery in that, even if it all hinges on delusion.