That day after school, Bloom was surprised to see his father waiting for him across the street.
"Hello, son. I, err... Do you have a minute?"
"Um, sure dad."
"Well, I don't want to beat around the bush-- uh, I mean..."
His father was obviously uncomfortable, especially after that accidental slip-of-the-tongue. Usually Arthur tried to avoid idioms that had anything to do with plants - probably out of some misguided attempt at courtesy. Bloom had always wanted to tell him that he didn't care at all, but now was not the time. Bloom knew what was on his father's mind.
He decided to try and appear confident when he replied. Hey, fake it 'til you make it, right?
"Dad, I'm sorry it got awkward this morning. You know, I thought I should be a little more like Broccoli and talk to people and stuff... and well, I thought it was a good idea to practice beforehand."
"Oh, well, in that case I suppose it is alright... I suppose you can keep on... uh..."
"No dad, don't worry, I won't practice in your bedroom anymore. I had a better idea. Today in school I saw this flyer for a charisma class down at city hall. Do you think it would be ok for me to go?"
Arthur gladly shelled out the 400 Simoleons, visibly relieved that his son was not insane after all. Bloom was actually a bit proud of himself - he had seen his chance and seized it, and all through talking! Maybe this wasn't going to be so bad after all.
Bloom happily raced towards city hall, not even noticing that rain had started to pour. (Not that he minded anyway - he was a PlantSim after all.)
After the class he was so pumped that he wanted to try out what he'd learned right away. His first victim was a man with a little child in the park outside city hall.
"Hey there!", Bloom chirped. Ugh, he hated it when his voice did that. "Nice weather, isn't it?"
The man looked somewhat bemused. Bloom tensed when he realized what he had just said. He fought the urge to run away and forced himself to go on.
"Well, nice weather for a PlantSim like me anyway!", he grinned in what he hoped was a charming - and not creepy! - sort of way. "I actually absorb nutrients through water, just like the plants you probably have in your own garden, so this is like a feast to me!"
Phew. Saved it. He hoped. The man smiled and they exchanged a few pleasantries before parting ways.
Alright, time to step it up! The relative success of his previous encounter had given Bloom enough confidence to visit a place he would have normally avoided like the plague - a local bar, the Red Rendezvous. At first the crowd intimidated him a little, but he brought to mind what he had just learned at the charisma class.
The charisma instructor had taught them to instantly go up and introduce themselves to the most attractive Sim in the room in situations like this. And so Bloom did. Of course the woman was too old for him, but this time the small talk worked out much better than it had before. He didn't even mind the several people eyeing him with a hungry look, as if he was a fresh salad or something.
When he spied one of his classmates, he realized that with all this excitement, he had completely forgotten about his homework! But to keep on with the charisma practice, he did something he had never done before and asked his classmate if he wanted to do their homework together.
He silently thanked his little brother, who, unbeknownst to Bloom, had celebrated his teen birthday all by himself at home.
Broccoli was such a sweet and selfless boy - he had decided that helping his parents by babysitting Bismuth was more important than a birthday bash. When Bloom asked him about it later, Broccoli was his usual cheery self.
"There will be more parties, bro! Many, MANY more!"
And he was right! The next day marked baby Bismuth's transition from toddler to child. This would be the last time he could use the old potty chair.
To mark this momentous occasion, Bismuth apparently decided that it was a good idea to do so as the party guests already started pouring in. Arthur decided to let it slip - he was their last little baby after all.
The girls at the party were much too occupied with Broccoli to notice the stinky potty anyway - much to the chagrin of Broccoli's male friends.
Pansy Coddle-Prudence even changed into her swimwear right then and there - probably to get Broccoli's attention off of Shameka Thorn, with whom he was dancing.
In the meantime, Bloom had burrowed underground in the front yard. He'd had no idea that he was even capable of doing this, but when he had seen the hordes of party guests arriving, his shyness had gotten the better of him. It was actually pretty nice underground! He could feel his body absorb nutrients from the rich soil around him. Later he'd have to tell his mother about this - she was always so excited to learn more about how PlantSims worked. But for now, he would stay out here just a tiny bit longer.
When he had finally built up his courage to join the party going on inside, for once his mother seemed too engrossed in other things to care about her scientific research. Bloom guessed it was sweet, though of course totally embarrassing too!
Bismuth spent most of the party reading his beloved baby books one last time.
Until it was time to blow out the candles on his cake!
Kaitlin refused to eat a slice of the birthday cake. Apparently she didn't feel like celebrating the fact that there wouldn't be any more babies in the house from now on. She might have seemed like a cold-hearted scientist to most, and maybe she was, but Bloom knew that she loved him and his siblings like any other mother loved her children.
She even insisted on taking pictures of all the baby toys before getting rid of them.
To be honest, Bloom, Broccoli and Beryllium wouldn't miss being woken up by a screaming toddler in the middle of the night.
As soon as the last party guests left, Beryllium was at it again. She loved searching the Galaxy and discovering new planets and solar systems.
She insisted that she saw both a UFO and a unicorn that night.
In the meantime, Bloom had completed a painting as a birthday gift for little Bismuth. He was still on a mission to paint something personalized for each one of his family members.
He'd had a bit of trouble coming up with something for Bismuth, but it turned out that he enjoyed art just as much as Bloom did and he absolutely loved the painting.