Bath time is always a challenge. The triplets have their own bathroom yet on the night we planned to have company over, of course, Joey climbed into his mom and dad’s Jacuzzi in his diaper and then splashed so much water out of the tub that Joseph was soaked by the time he finished bathing the kid.
Joey was a complete angel for me. I arrived home from work and he kept saying, “Mama… mama… love you… love you…”
“Aww… I love you too, Joey,” I replied, snuggling him close.
While I got the kids settled with their dinners – pb&j for Parker, chicken nuggets for Nathan, and a plain tortilla for Joey…
Carrie enjoyed a toddler-free, uninterrupted extended bath time…
…and Joseph grabbed a shower, and beat his high score on Blicblock.
“Bedtime,” Joseph announced.
“No!” Parker, my night owl, howled. “Eat! Eat!”
She’s also the world’s slowest eater, when she wants to be.
“Why?” Nathan, my inquisitive one, inquired.
He appeared anxious. Lately, he’d had a few nightmares at beddie-by time, and was scared of sleeping.
“Mommy and Daddy have a guest coming,” Joseph said. “So you all need to sleep.”
“Who?” Joey tilted his head.
“Guess who?” Joseph picked up Joey.
“Santa!” Joey exclaimed.
“No!” Parker kicked her legs. “No Santa!”
“You’re not ready for Christmastide?” Joseph teased.
“Oof…” Joey pointed to his teeth. “Oof…” he repeated and flapped his arms.
“Tooth fairy?” Joseph deduced. “Nope.”
“No bed,” Nathan said, declining participation in the game. “See ‘end.”
“No, you can’t see Mommy and Daddy’s friend,” Joseph replied. “Not tonight.”
“Sleep tight,” Joseph planted a kiss on the toddler’s forehead.
Joey went down the easiest.
Nathan wanted endless hugs and wanted to sleep in his sister’s bed.
Parker wanted to eat. Then play. Then dance. She grumpily agreed to sleep.
I was just finishing changing from my work outfit and washing my hands in the bathroom when the doorbell rang.
Carrie let the guest into the apartment. She wanted to show Miss Tea her room. Cathy took a particular interest in the giant stuffed bear Carrie won at a carnival last winter.
“Now, you…be good to my little Carebear. She deserves so much love. All the love you can give her, and if you don’t, I’ll come back and unstuff you,” Cathy threatened.
Marshall barked in agreement, eyeing the bear mischievously.
“I guess I’ll let you sniff my hand, but if you want to lick it, we can’t be friends,” Cathy said in mock-annoyance. “Oh okay… come here, boy!”
I got started making dinner – fruit salad – as Cathy had turned vegetarian. She wanted to preserve Simterra, she said, and felt that abstaining from meat was a good way to do so. I pulled out the lettuce, mango, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, and golden apples to wash and chop. I was happy so many fruits were in season this time of year.
“Doesn’t anyone take out the trash around here?” Cathy grumbled.
“When you’re a mama of four, it’s hard to get to every household chore. I have to pick and choose,” I replied cheerily.
Joseph mopped the floor while waiting for the food, and carried in a plate from the bedroom.
“My cheese plate from earlier,” I winced. “I was watching a show in the bedroom.”
“It’s okay,” Joseph excused.
“Do you think she’s coming back?” I made a face.
We had waited almost twenty minutes for Cathy to return from the garbage chute.
“This looks delicious, beautiful!” Joseph smiled, digging into the fruit salad.
“Good for a hot summer night,” I remarked. “Ah…” I sighed. “It’s so nice.”
“Peace and quiet. All the kids are asleep.”
“Enjoy it while it lasts.”
“Mangos! I love mangos!” Cathy remarked, suddenly appearing again, and taking a seat at the counter.
“Did you get lost?” I asked.
“Did you fall in?” Joseph giggled into his water.
“I was talking to Ali,” Cathy answered. “Apparently, she’s getting new glasses.”
“I didn’t know she wore glasses,” I remarked.
“She’s nervous it’s going to change her appearance,” Cathy informed.
“Nonsense, the nerdy look is in,” Joseph replied.
“And I know one person who can rock the sexy nerd glasses look,” I said, coyly.
Joseph made a sound that was a cross between a gasp of pleasant surprise and a slight choking on his dinner.
“Hello Miss Tea,” Carrie pitter-pattered into the kitchen in her bare feet. “I hope you enjoy Lizzie’s fruit salad.”
“It’s very good, honey…” Cathy said, and then stared off into space with excited inspiration. “Ooo… honey would be good drizzled over the salad. Got any?”
“In the left cupboard next to the sink,” Joseph said.
“Carrie, what are you doing up? It’s a school night,” I asked.
“I was… wonder…wondering, Miss Tea? Would you read me one of your children’s books?”
“And then you’ll sleep?” I asked.
“Yes,” Carrie sighed, hopefully.
“Only if you want to,” Joseph said, looking at our guest.
“Hmm,” Cathy puzzled. “I might have just the story for you, Carrie.”
“The ones about puppies?” Carrie asked. “Marshall and I love that book.”
“Sure thing, kiddo!”
When she returned, Cathy plopped down at the counter.
“I love telling kids stories. Remind me to host a sleepover at my house and Carrie can come sometime,” Cathy offered.
“Really?” Carrie’s eyes lit up. “You’re the best, Miss Tea.”
“Don’t mention it,” Cathy shrugged.
“That was very nice of you,” Joseph remarked.
“Carrie, did you brush your teeth?” I inquired.
“Would you tuck me in?”
“I’d love to.”
“Lizzie, why are you yawning? Don’t adults stay up late all the time?” Carrie asked.
“Oh…ah…uh…I’m…slee..py…” I said, between yawns.
“That’s conta…gious…” Carrie said, yawning herself. “I learned that word in school the other day. It means I catch what you have.”
“That’s a good word to know,” Lizzie said, shaking her head to try and rid herself of the cobwebs forming.
“Good night, sweetheart.”
“Thanks for that,” I said.
“She’s a good kid. Tough break. She said she misses her mom,” Cathy said.
“Yeah,” I winced.
I had heard Carrie call Joseph ‘dad’ a few times, which surprised me, since she was close with her father, my ex-boyfriend, Rob. However, she still didn’t want to refer to me as “mom” or anything other than Lizzie. The therapist said not to rush things. She may never, and we would just have to accept it.
“You two have been good for her,” Cathy reassured me.
“I hope so,” I sighed.
“Look I know when it’s time to leave. I’ll see myself out.”
“You don’t have to do that. We were going to watch something or talk about our novels or some-thing,” I yawned uncontrollably.
“Get some sleep,” Cathy said. “I will call you tomorrow.”
Author Notes: Thanks for reading. I was hoping Amy Cat, Cathy’s spouse, would come over for a visit, but she never arrived. I had to throw in a bit of humor from the forums as friendsfan is or was (as she might have them by the time I post this chapter) getting new glasses. This chapter featured Cathy Tea’s Cathy Tea, LegacySims2017‘s Joseph Simself, and InfraGreen‘s Carrie Buckley.