Les Fields, Farmer: Chapter 4

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Finances are one of my biggest worries next to crop failure…and crop failure is only a worry simply because it impacts our finances.  I didn’t want Dilly to go back to work now that we were parents, but I was really afraid that we had no other option if we wanted to maintain even our simple life-style.

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Even though she’s still on maternity leave for awhile longer, Dilly sometimes goes down to the library to do some writing.  I can sense that she gets a little stir-crazy.  I remember her telling me that she thought she might want to write books, so I don’t mind the trips to the library so much even though I then have to take care of little Sydney by myself.  If Dilly does publish a book, then maybe we will have enough extra income for her to quit her job at the newspaper.

Dilly says that she wants to continue working because she likes being around new people.  She finds our solitary life a little confining.  I’ve been encouraging her to join groups such as a Mommy and Me group sponsored by the City Council.

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Dilly had met one local mother before Sydney was born.  Her name was Eva Drudge.  Eva was older and already had several children.  Best of all, she was a stay at home mom.  She’s the one who invited Dilly to join the Mommy and Me group.  Eva was apparently a founding member.  I hoped Dilly would look at how happy Eva was and be more inclined to stay home, too.

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So it pleased me when Dilly invited Eva over.  I was glad when the two became best friends.

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And I was even more thrilled when Dilly announced that she was pregnant again right after Sydney became a toddler.  Dilly had only been back at work for a little while when she had to take maternity leave again.  She was worried that it would affect her ability to be promoted.  I tried to be supportive, but secretly I was glad.

I’d been taking in extra work fixing things for people around town.  With a new baby on the way, I was conscious of our need to have more ready cash.  I was becoming knows as a bit of a handyman.  It probably had something to do with having to learn to fix all of our major appliances.

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It’s Murphy’s Law that things would start breaking right when we really needed to be saving money.  Our washing machine really needed to be replaced, but with a new baby on the way, there was nothing I could do except hope the latest fix kept it running just a few years more.

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The second pregnancy took it’s toll on Dilly more than when she was pregnant with Sydney.  She was tired more and sick a lot more.   It fell on my shoulders to potty-train Sydney.  Dilly just couldn’t handle the smells, but we really wanted our oldest potty trained before the new baby arrived.

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This time when Dilly went into labor I really did freak out.  It was about a month too soon.  Dilly and I hadn’t been in to see the doctor as much as we had hoped (money being so tight), but everything had been progressing pretty normally in the last trimester.  Dilly was bigger than she had been with Sydney, but I’d read in the pregnancy books that this sometimes happened to pregnant women who conceived so soon after their last pregnancy.  Weight gain was to be expected.  I had thought nothing of it.

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But Dilly hadn’t really gained weight.  She had been pregnant with twins.  Both of us knew that it would be a struggle with one new baby.  I think we were both worried about having two infants.  Where would we put them?  Sydney’s room wasn’t big enough for three cribs.

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With great sadness, my parents’ book nook on the third floor had to be sacrificed.  Not only did we need the money from the sale of the furniture in that room, but it was also really the only space available for our new daughters, Samantha and Mina.

“I’m sorry Dill,” I whispered to Dilly as we put the finishing touches on the twins’ room.  “I had hoped that this room would become your office.”

“Don’t worry about it Les.  I don’t need an office.  I can always work down at the newsroom.”

I gritted my teeth.  I loved my little baby daughters, and I knew that we’d really need Dilly’s income now that we had three new mouths to feed.  But I had wanted to build Dilly an office.  I would even have purchased a computer for her (even though I hate them), so that she could work on her stories.

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Once Dilly’s maternity leave was over, I still hadn’t figured out a solution to our money problems.  I felt impotent as I watched Dilly run out to her co-worker’s car (we still didn’t have one).  I just wanted to be able to provide for all of my family.  I know that it’s an old-fashioned ideal.  I wanted Dilly to be a mother only…maybe indulge her dream to write.  She was so good at both.

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But I couldn’t deny that even going to work didn’t prevent her from taking good care of the children.  She helped teach Sydney how to talk and walk and she made sure to play with her every day.  Dilly loved playing with all of the children.  She made them laugh at the games she made up and the funny voices she used for their stuffed toys.  Was it so selfish of me to want her to be able to do that full time?

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Sometimes I felt myself going stir crazy worrying about the family.  We had little money and taking care of three babies was really time-consuming.

The only way I found to alleviate the stress was to go fishing in the ravine behind the house.  I caught some odd fish out there, but they did help fertilize the plants and I needed to start growing more perfect plants so that we’d have some extra money.

Dilly’s way of dealing with all of the stress was to cook.  I tried to talk her into going down to the library to write, but she said she felt guilty leaving the babies.  She assured me that she didn’t need to go out and that she wasn’t feeling cooped up.

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I suppose we both sort of got used to a never-ending steam of taking care of the children and doing our jobs around the house.  One day, as I was taking down the laundry from our room, I ran into Dilly outside of Sydney’s room.

“Hey,” she said, smiling at me faintly.  I realized that we hadn’t really spent any significant time together in quite some time.

“Hey,” I said and gave her a much bigger smile.  “How are you, gorgeous?”  Dilly’s smile widened and her eyes sparkled.  I think it was the first compliment I’d given her since the twins were born, and for that I felt really guilty.

“Laundry must be much more…stimulating…for you than I think it is,” she said and chuckled.

“All of the girls are napping, meet me in our room in 5 minutes and I’ll show you how stimulating a clean pair of socks can really be.”  I wiggled my eyebrows lasciviously and Dilly giggled.

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Well, I’ve always wanted a large family.  Still, when Dilly found out she was pregnant again, I almost wanted to turn back time and take back my flirting that day on the stairs.  We were barely keeping it together with three kids.  I found myself suddenly grateful for Dilly’s income from the newspaper.  I was getting the best of both worlds now…we were getting paychecks from her job, but she was able to stay home on maternity leave.

Actually, it felt like cheating the system, but I couldn’t complain about it.  My farming, while becoming more successful, would not have been enough to sustain us.

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Soon after Dilly found out about the new baby, the twins became toddlers—there were now three toddlers in the house.  Since Dilly was pregnant, she got tired a lot faster.  I had to pick up the slack.  My days of fishing would have to be postponed…again.

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However, I discovered one good thing about twins.  They can entertain themselves.   Mina (in red) and Samantha (in pink), spend hours playing together and jabbering at each other in their twin language.  I did some reading on it and found this to be perfectly normal.  They didn’t learn to talk as fast as Sydney, either.  But that, I read, was also normal for twins.

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Also, according to the books, one twin tends to be the dominant one.  For us, that was definitely Mina.  Mina was the one who learned to do everything first and Samantha followed.

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Dilly was still going to the Mommy and Me group.  She would take Sydney along since she was now potty trained and could walk and talk a little.  Sometimes the two of them would stay later and Dilly would read to her.  These visits with other mothers and children were probably what kept Dilly from going stir crazy like I was.  And, while we still needed the money from her income, I couldn’t help but hope that Dilly might eventually make the decision to quit her job.  I knew we could find a way to make things work without her pay check.

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But we didn’t have to make that decision right away.  Dilly went into labor with our fourth daughter while in the bathroom.  It happened really quickly.  Dilly came out to our bedroom to inform me that it was time but instead she was hit with intense contractions and couldn’t speak.  I freaked out.   I think I knew something wasn’t right.

“Les, I don’t think we will be able to get to the hospital,” Dilly managed to get out between panting and grunting.

“We have to Dilly.  I already called the cab.”

“Nope.  Not.  Going.  To.  Happen!”

Somehow I managed to pull myself together.  I finally recognized that Dilly was already in the pushing stages and I remembered from the births of our other daughters (especially the twins) that once you start pushing, you can’t stop.   I really don’t know how we managed, but Dilly and I brought our fourth daughter into the world ourselves.  We named her Kindra.

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About hrootbeer

I am a teacher, writer, rpg player, and Sim 3 addict.
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15 Responses to Les Fields, Farmer: Chapter 4

  1. hrootbeer says:

    I’m not completely happy with this chapter. I almost scrapped it and started over. I wanted to condense a lot of time in this entry.
    I wanted all of their kids to be born by the time I ended it. (Les has the LTW of raising 5 teens, so I don’t think that I’m giving anything way when I say that Dilly’s going to have at least one more child.) The problem I kept having was how to make it all make sense and yet still get all the babies born.
    Obviously it didn’t work and the last baby (or babies) hasn’t been born yet.

    The other ideas I wanted for this chapter, I also am not completely satisfied with. I wanted to convey the tight financial situation (which I sort of accomplished) and I wanted to convey the conflict between Les and Dilly about her working,which ended up being mostly in his head as Dilly isn’t even aware there is a conflict.

    Sigh. I posted just because I couldn’t stand to keep looking at what I’d written and I was too tired to hit delete and start again. I’ve been writing this since Tuesday 😦

  2. FortA says:

    I’m sorry. Would you believe I thought there was NOTHING wrong with it? But I know how you feel – I’m often the same way. It’s just a writer’s thing. We feel like we’ve failed, that our post was awful, didn’t make any sense; and then everyone else says, “What a fantastic job.” Have you tried re-reading it? Sometimes doing so helps me realize, “Hey, it wasn’t that bad, after all!”

    I’m liking the Fields a LOT! And you’ve gotten updates out pretty quickly! I don’t know what it is about a DITFT, but it seems…easier…to write than a legacy. I’m not sure why, but it does (at least to me).

    All the kids are cute – then again, the toddler stage is one of my favorites 🙂

    And no worries – I don’t mind waiting for our fifth child until the next update! Like you, I often try to condense time, and realize, “This just won’t make sense.”

    I feel for Les – I understand how he feels about his wife. And I have a feeling that Dilly might stay home, if she could still write and be with her children. But she seems to know they can’t scrape by solely on the farming income – and though Les KNOWS that, as well, he’s having a hard time grasping the concept.

    Are Samantha and Mina identical? It looked like it, in the picture of the two of them close-up.

    • hrootbeer says:

      Sam and Mina are identical except that Mina has Les’ red hair. Samantha and Sydney have brownish hair. I’ve seen Sydney as a child and she actually has some orange-ish highlights, but you can’t see them in her toddler hair.

      As for updating quickly, it all depends on how much play time I have during the week. This week I was able to play twice. Sometimes I can’t play at all.

  3. tipix7 says:

    I absolutely LOVED this chapter, the relationship and Les’ monetary worries were a perfect balance for the time that progressed. Mommy and Me was an especially cute aspect for the Fields, as it outlined the contrast between Dilly’s occasional loneliness and Les’ wish for her to just stay home.

    I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be happy with this chapter, as it was a thrill to read about the growing family! I look forward to seeing how the fifth child will change the dynamics again.

    • hrootbeer says:

      Dilly’s LTW is to be super popular. I hope that it comes out more in subsequent updates. She really is lonely. She gets calls all the time.

      The Mommy and Me idea came about because I have a few former students that I keep up with and they are all new mothers (which just makes me feel OLD!). Since they’ve all had babies within a few months of each other, they’ve formed a Mommy and Me group. I sort of lurk over their FB posts and they’re always commenting about how seeing each other keeps them sane.

      I never joined a Mother’s group, but then again I went back to work and my husband stayed home with our kids until the youngest was 2.

  4. carebear728 says:

    4 girls! OMGosh poor Dill

    • hrootbeer says:

      Hehe, I know. They only have one bathroom with a shower. I foresee teen angst involving that bathroom! I know my sisters and I fought over the shower A LOT!

  5. styxlady says:

    Wow, 4 girls! And one of the challenges of the first gen is to have at least 1 boy and 1 girl…hope they get a boy next time! I loved this chapter, and the thoughts playing out in Les’s head. “…meet me in our room in 5 minutes and I’ll show you how stimulating a clean pair of socks can really be.” Teehee, that was a great line!

    I know what you mean about the difficulties of portraying lots of time passing in one update and having it make sense. That happens to me a lot, too. You did a great job, though! Somehow, even though I’ve subscribed to this blog, I didn’t get notification of your updates. >< Heading over to comment on your boolprop thread so I can get notification that way in the future!

    • hrootbeer says:

      No prob. I did sweat them ever having a boy. I’ve never had so much difficulty getting one of the genders. Of course I do have the mod that makes the fruit null and void. So it truly is a random roll. It adds drama and conflict.

  6. Morbid_Mew says:

    I’m loving the Fields 🙂 What amuses me is that you’ve had four girls while in my very first generation, Clementine had four boys! It’s funny. It’s as if the game KNOWS you need something but it wants to make your sim’s lives harder before it allows them to get it. :p

    And this was very well written! Conflict is often like that, y’know. Just taking place in one person’s head. It’s very realistic, I think. Excellent job 🙂 And now I’m off to continue reading!

    • hrootbeer says:

      I remember reading your first gen. and wondering if they’d ever have boys. I think Toast’s first gen. had a lot of girls, too. While I was playing I got so mad at the game. I almost…but not quite…turned off the mod feature that suppresses the watermelon and apple influence. But in all honesty, I liked the realism of it all.

  7. zoxell says:

    For all of Les’ old fashioned ideals, I believe he is taking everything in stride rather well. You’ve done a great job of showing us the two sides of the conflict — the inner les and the outer Les.
    Again, a very enjoyable read! You have a wonderful and flowing style that makes your blog pretty addicting 😉

    Great work!

  8. snapcarolina says:

    Its always been insane for me to manage lots of kids. The baby stage makes me want to scream- always up in the middle of the night. Even older large families are tough for me though, it makes me crazy to play with 7 sims.
    I think Les is being unfair. Dilly deserves to work!
    x

  9. Layla Sims says:

    I too saw no problem with this chapter. I felt Les’ inner conflict about wishing Dilly would stay home and be a full-time stay-at-home mom vs. they all need her paycheck in order to exist was very well brought out. I am also glad to see he’s not being all irrational caveman about it either and giving Dilly some space. And believe me, those are very real issues in this day and age, with the mother many times feeling guilty because she realizes she’s not quite the super-mom she expected to be and could have it all. I thought the Mommy and Me concept was a brilliant idea to bring to the story. You just keep up the good writing work; you’re doing just fine. 🙂

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