Freddie's parents had made him get an actual job. He had to get up and leave the house in the early hours of the morning, just to be yelled at and bossed around all day. He couldn't even sneak off to take a nap somewhere when he felt like it! It was pretty much like school all over again, but without his best friends by his side.
Being a grown-up sucked.
The only good thing about Freddie's life at the moment were his daughters. They could all play together for hours, without ever getting tired. And now the girls were finally old enough to come along to the beach!
"Seriously, man, you're totally cramping my style," Todd grumbled. "I mean, just look at all those sweet cheeks around here..." He let his gaze sweep over the scores of women tanning on their colorful beach towels. "And they're too scared to approach the Toddster because I'm here with you and a couple of babies..."
"Oh my Plumbob," Todd gasped. "Do you think they believe we're a couple?!"
"Whatever, man," Fred replied. "Who cares what they think? The only girls I care about are right here." In a high-pitched voice, he continued, "Yes they are!" He tickled Grace's little belly and the toddler squealed with glee. "Yes they are!"
"Uhm, I care what they think, thank you very much," Todd hissed. As he walked off, he announced loudly, "Eligible bachelor here, just going to get wet and wild in the water. If any of you ladies care to join..."
Being a parent was actually not that bad - Freddie was sure that Charity would have liked it too. And the girls looked so much like her! If only she were here...
Fred quickly stopped himself from continuing that train of thought. It just made him too sad every time. What he needed was a little distraction...
... so he decided to join Todd in the water.
The twins stayed behind.
Children stared as the two grown men splashed each other with water and guffawed.
"Never!" Fred roared, bending forward to dip his hands into the water once more. Then he saw her.
"Mom!" Fred called happily, beginning to walk towards her. But the wide grin on his face vanished when he saw her stern expression.
Evelyn gently placed Grace back onto the ground before angrily stomping toward her approaching son.
"What were you thinking?!" she yelled, jabbing her finger at him. "Leaving the twins here, all by themselves, while you go and goof off?!"
Fred wasn't sure why his mother was so mad at him. It was not like there was anything dangerous around here. The girls were sitting on the soft sand, and far away from the road so no car could ever hit them.
When she saw the look of confusion on his face she sighed.
"Please, Freddie," she begged, "You have to be more careful. Grace and Gloria are still too young to take care of themselves. We adults have to make sure that they stay healthy and have everything they need."
"The girls are at an impressionable age right now. They need to learn how to walk and talk and we have to make sure that their brains are always stimulated! You can't just leave them by themselves like this. And, to make things worse, right in the glaring sun!"
"Sorry, Mom... I got distracted," Fred mumbled. "But we were having so much fun before! You should have seen us!"
Evelyn and Rémy took the twins and left without another word.
With more determination than ever, they continued to teach the toddlers everything they needed to know.
Only the best educational toys and books were good enough for them.
To be perfectly honest, teaching the twins was a cinch - they were both so smart and very eager to learn.
It was a true joy to watch them develop.
... even if the early mornings and late-night feedings were burdensome for the elderly couple.
It was during one such early morning that Freddie came into the nursery and found his mother there.
"I'm sorry, Mom," he apologized. "I feel really bad about the other day... I really appreciate all that you and Dad do for the girls and me. You guys deserve a day off at least! I want to show you that I can take care of the girls properly."
Feeling a new surge of hope for her son, Evelyn gladly accepted his offer - not without telling him how exactly he had to care for the twins in his parents' absence, of course.
What they ended up doing instead, however, was to visit their other grandchildren.
Ronald and Kami were growing like weeds!
When they came back home earlier than anticipated, they were pleasantly surprised to see that Fred had made true on his promise. Grace and Gloria were happily busying themselves with their educational books. The twins would surely grow up to be magnificent children.
And maybe their father was beginning to grow up too.
With the girls' next birthday on the horizon, Fred had begun to think about remodeling some rooms, so each of the twins could have their own if they wanted.
Francis' room had always been pretty awesome in Fred's opinion. Not only was the pirate theme pretty cool, but all the shelves and surfaces were also chock-full of neat items. Unfortunately Francis had always forbidden Freddie from touching his stuff...
But wait! Francis was living in his own apartment and had left all of this stuff behind - now it was all fair game!
Which one of these awesome things would he lug over to his own room first? Taking in his surroundings with fresh eyes, Fred let his gaze wander... until it stopped on one particular item.
This. This was definitely the most alluring thing in here. Francis had called this weird golden teapot a lamp, for whatever reason. Fred had always wanted to see if it would really light up!
And now there was no Francis around to snap, 'Don't touch my stuff!' whenever Fred wanted to check out something cool.
Giddy with anticipation, he reached for it.
"So how do you turn this thing on?" Freddie wondered aloud. He examined it from all angles, but there was no plug or battery hatch, let alone something that looked like it could give off light. Man, Francis had been yanking his chain all along! This strange teapot couldn't be a lamp. And it was really grimy to boot!
Well, maybe the twins could use it for a make-believe tea party or something. Girls liked doing that kind of stuff. He'd just clean it up and...
Besides being perfect children, the twins are on a random traits roll, by the way. Luckily Charity the genius gave birth to two little geniuses in turn :D It made things kind of easy.