That same night, Evelyn was invited to attend Teresa’s swimwear party with her family. For the first time since she adopted Mia, Evelyn was finally able to attend parties again without needing to rely on a babysitter.
Teresa lived within walking distance of Evelyn, so she decided to walk instead of drive. It was a beautiful evening with beautiful weather, as it had finally stopped raining, causing the fresh smell of wet soil to hang in the air.
It was a small and informal party as only the closest neighbours of the area had been invited, but there were still enough people that Mia got fidgety. They didn’t stay for very long, but while they stayed Evelyn caught up with Teresa’s husband Nocden, another of her close friends. They spent a long time talking about their children, Nocden showing off their youngest, whom Evelyn hadn’t met before. For Chantia, the party turned out a bit differently. She had her first meeting with a member of the canine species; the Mendel family’s dog. She had heard a lot about the dog from Joy, but it was only after she met the dog that she finally understood her friend’s enthusiasm. Joy wasn’t at the party, so Chantia spent the whole time playing with the dog. By the time they finally went home, Chantia was convinced of one thing: she wanted a dog of her own.
“Mommy?” Chantia asked her mother once they arrived home.
“Hmm?” Evelyn hummed to show that she was listening, even though she was busy getting Mia ready for bed.
“Can I get a dog? Please? I promise I’ll take good care of it, I just want one,” Mia begged with pleading eyes. Evelyn deposited Mia in the crib before turning to look at Chantia.
“A dog is a very big responsibility, Chantia,” Evelyn warned the girl. “You’ll have to make sure it has food, water, enough exercise and so on.”
Chantia nodded emphatically. “I know. I’ll take very good care of it,” she promised. Evelyn raised an eyebrow before turning back to Mia to kiss the girl goodnight.
“We’ll see,” she promised.
Chantia gave her a bright smile before turning to her bed. She eyed the dark space beneath the bed apprehensively, suddenly afraid of it. She squared her shoulders and took a deep breath. She was just being silly. There was nothing to be afraid of. There was nothing under the bed.
Still, she wanted to make sure, so she checked under the bed for just in case.
Turned out she had something to be scared of. She stared at the red eyes under the bed for half a second before she jumped away, screaming. She threw herself into her mother’s arms, sobbing hysterically.
“Hey, it’s okay sweetie. I’m here, don’t worry,” Evelyn tried to calm down the hysterical girl, trying to figure out what had caused the girl to scream. Between the girl’s sobs and nearly unintelligible words, she finally managed to figure out that the girl thought there was something under her bed.
“Look, there’s nothing,” Evelyn reassured the girl, looking under the bed with Chantia. As she expected, there was nothing, just dust. Chantia wiped her tears away with the heel of her hand.
“B-but it was right there! I swear!” Chantia protested. “It was there, s-staring at me with evil red eyes!”
“Sweetie, there’s nothing there,” Evelyn repeated. Chantia sniffled, looking at Evelyn with a small pout on her face, causing Evelyn to sigh in resignation. “If it bothers you that much, why don’t you sleep on the top bed? I’m sure nothing will be able to reach you there,” Evelyn suggested. Chantia sniffled again before nodding hesitantly.
“Okay,” she agreed.
Evelyn stayed with Chantia until the girl finally fell asleep, exhausted by her busy day.
The next morning was the start of a new week, signalling Chantia’s first day at school. Being in the position she was, Evelyn had to leave for work before Chantia had to leave for school.
“Now be good,” Evelyn reminded the girl. “Have fun, work hard and make lots of friends, okay?” Chantia smiled broadly before nodding decisively. Evelyn felt her heart clench at the sight, causing her to draw the girl in for a tight hug. She wished Gustave could’ve been here to witness his daughter’s first day of school, but she knew it wasn’t to be. Still, it might be a good idea for Evelyn to take the girl to Champs Les Sims. Chantia was half French and it would be unfair of Evelyn to deny her daughter that part of her heritage.
Soon though, Evelyn had to leave, allowing the girl to get ready for school. By the time the school bus arrived, Chantia was a mess of nerves and excitement. She looked forward to seeing Joy, but at the same time she was anxious that her new classmates wouldn’t like her.Luckily, her fears were unfounded. Her fellow classmates were all just as anxious as she, so she wasn’t alone. Her first day was hard, but she still enjoyed it immensely. After school, she immediately enrolled into an afterschool activity. She nearly decided to join the Ballet Club, but after much pondering she eventually decided on the Scouting Club. While ballet sounded fun, she wanted something a bit more adventurous.
By the time she returned home, her mother was already there. As is the fate of the daughter of a teacher, Chantia immediately had to do her homework. She was just glad that her mother was there to help her with it.
By the time she was finally done with her homework, it was time for Evelyn to start with dinner. Chantia told her mother not to make anything for her: Joy had given her a new muffin recipe that she just had to try out!
The blueberry muffin turned out beautifully. Chantia vowed to use her toy oven the next time to bake some cookies.
After dinner, Evelyn made sure to spend some time with her other child. Mia was getting big and pretty soon, it would be time for her to join Chantia at school.
Chantia scowled when she saw her mother play with Mia. Her mother wasn’t allowed to give any attention to that snivelling baby. So Chantia decided to teach her a lesson.
Needless to say, Evelyn was decidedly not happy about it. Luckily, she managed to wash the dye out, so no permanent damage was done, but it was still the thought that counted. Chantia had to be taught some discipline.
After a good scolding session, Evelyn gave Chantia her punishment: she was in charge of doing the dishes every day for the next week.
Before long, life settled into a rhythm. Chantia still hadn’t gotten her dog and Evelyn still hadn’t managed to take her daughter to France, but life was good. Chantia was flourishing at school, Mia was growing bigger and Evelyn was satisfied with her work progress.
Of course, that wasn’t to say there weren’t any rough patches. Chantia didn’t play any pranks on her mother after that first one, but she started picking on Mia again. While it wasn’t anything major, it was enough to cause the little girl to hide away from her sister. The flowerbed in front of the house was her favourite hiding spot.
She loved it to wander outside, but unlike Chantia, she actually paid attention to tangible objects. The strange gnome that had randomly appeared one day on the lot was her favourite. Evelyn didn’t really mind the girl wandering outside, because it was summer, so she didn’t have to worry about her child freezing to death.
Life was good for the Marquel family. Evelyn wished that Gustave could’ve shared in the peaceful life with her, but she enjoyed her independence too much. Her children were a handful, but she loved every second of it. She had never been more thankful for leaving the community she had grown up in. She could just imagine how her children’s lives would’ve been different if they had to grow up under her mother’s thumb.
She smiled, content with knowing that her mother had nothing to do with her children’s lives. Her children would grow up happy.
Mia finally finished the toddler books, so I’m done with the toddler part of Perfect Children for this generation. Chantia is busy with the blocks and the toy oven, so so far she’s still on track. I’m waiting to see what will happen with the afterschool activity, as I’ve never been able to get the children in my other games to reach the top – between the field trips and the free days, they only went to their afterschool activities once or twice -_-.