For the first time ever, the atmosphere between Trent and Dolores was tense. She had no idea what was bothering him. And he said that this was the problem precisely.
She did know, of course, that Trent had taken offense at her taking away the weather. But he had no idea what it felt like to possess the kind of power she did, after working so hard for so long. She had spent the biggest part of her life planning for this, and it was a matter of principle for her to follow through.
So this was what it took to offend this man, she thought. Finally she knew.
The temperatures had dropped somewhat - there were still some kinks to iron out with the contraption - but there was no snow in sight. Regardless, Dolores decorated the house for Snowflake Day as soon as winter began (according to the calendars, at least).
Trent wasn't quite sure if this was meant to appease, or to mock.
Regardless, he had four children to think about. He had put his dreams on hold for them, and had found his happiness in them. These days, his career as a freelance photographer consisted of snapshots between diaper changes.
Luckily, there weren't any more diaper changes in the future though.
Evelyn grew into a child. Finally she was old enough to really play with her siblings, as she had always wanted. The expression on her face seemed to show that she knew that this would not last long, however.
Citrus, the last living son of Bloom, had taken the last slice of cake. Therefore Tremayne Shukepoj-O'Dourke and Ansgar Pertridge, Sedrick Trill-Kim's illegitimate son, thought it was fair game to raid the fridge and help themselves to drinks.
When an elderly lady (whom nobody had invited) suddenly dropped dead, the party came to a screeching halt.
Evelyn hadn't asked for any gifts for her birthday. Instead, she had wanted to visit the newly opened Hidden Springs branch of Mick's Master Karaoke. It was an unusual request for someone who had only just left the toddler stage, but Trent obliged.
The triplets had fun too, after all. Even if it was a bit painful to listen to the shouting that passed as singing for most children.
Evelyn was different. Even Trent, not musically inclined whatsoever, could tell that she was hitting all the notes perfectly.
But as predicted, having playmates of the same age in the house did not last long for Evelyn.
The next day, the triplets became teenagers.
And as teenagers, they had the greatest ideas!
An after-curfew sibling sing-off was one such flash of genius.
Eric's newly acquired teenage voice had not improved his singing whatsoever.
Esteban's enthusiasm couldn't make up for his cracking voice, either.
The music police came to arrest them all.
Or maybe it was just that they were out past curfew.
Back home, Trent reacted the way a father is supposed to react, apparently.
Some talking about responsibility and permanent records and ruining one's future.
"Whatever, dad. It's not like mom couldn't fix that for me. Permanent record, pssh. A joke. She has the police in her pocket."
After angrily sending Esteban to his room, Trent was approached by Dolores.
"Seriously though, Trent. That monkey in uniform just brought the kids back as a courtesy to me. Esteban's right. I do have the police in my pocket."
Esteban did not appreciate being told this, apparently. These days, his face started to remind Dolores of Audra Williams', who was still downing drinks after the other guests had left.
It was easier to just stick to Dancer.
They gloried in a snow-free winter.
There was nothing to be done about the Earth's rotation - at least not yet - so the temperatures dropped noticeably. But there were no storms to complicate long rides and no snow to cover the grass, so Dancer was pleased.
Now that the children were much more self-sufficient, Trent suddenly had a lot of time to take care of himself. The introspective hobby of meditation helped him to come to terms with his situation. What harm had Dolores done, really? Only time would tell. But Trent knew that no matter what he did, he could never change her mind. All he could ever do was work on changing himself, and being there for his children.
Some days, Diamond came over to do his homework with his niece and nephews. Diamond, still a teen himself, had been taken in by one of Clover's friends after her passing.
Long hours of practice and dedication had led Trent to physical, as well as mental perfection. He was once again at ease with himself and the world.
The triplets, usually led by Esteban, found new ways to explore Hidden Springs after curfew. The family graveyard was as good a place as any.
Dares and other dumb rites of passage. Teenagers.
Evelyn was usually left to entertain herself at home.
Emily best friend these days was Bridgette Moore-Funke, a distant cousin or something. She was the granddaughter of Emily's great-grandfather Bloom's brother Broccoli.
They did their homework, gossiped about their classmates and giggled about boys.
When Bridgette shifted the conversation to Eric, however, Emily always tried to change the topic. Or raised the volume on the TV. It was too weird to think about her best friend liking her dorky brother that way.
Eric was dating someone else, anyway. Maura Vanderburg-Rodgers, one of the popular girls at school, had apparently deemed him sufficiently cool to be seen with.
Esteban had less luck with the ladies. Audra William's daughter had been showing an interest in him lately.
But Esteban saw through her facade very quickly. "You're just hitting on me to get close to my mother, aren't you?"
"Uh... what? N-no, of course not!"
"Do you take me for a fool? Just look at your hair! Could you be any more obvious?!"
Citrus had moved in with Bridgette's family not too long ago, but now he was leaving them again.
Emily had never been too close to her great-uncle, but she was devastated at the thought of how this might scar Bridgette's poor little toddler brother.
Citrus was interred in the family graveyard, between his brother Cypress and sister Clover. It was there that Dolores ran into some more distant relatives.
Ginny's son Tremayne had married Broccoli's youngest daughter Shanon and they had joined their surnames to make Vanderburg-O'Dourke.
Even though Tremayne and Shanon were only very distantly related, the terrifying results of incest were obvious on their offspring, as Dolores kindly informed them.
When she spotted a geeky-looking ghost, Dolores went to investigate.
It turned out to be Dolores' great-grandmother Kaitlin. Apparently Kaitlin had lived in some hick town and her son and daughter had gotten married, or something. Dolores hoped that this had not resulted in her branch of the family.
Regardless, they bonded over a shared love for science and breaking the rules. This one was so much more coherent than Minzi Cho's ghost had been.
But when the spirit suddenly quieted and then reintroduced itself happily, Dolores saw the error in her assumption.
Ghosts, though identical in appearance to when they had been alive, were mere imprints of the Sims they had once been.
There was not much rhyme or reason left in them
And mothers did not recognize their own daughters.
Dolores left with a feeling that might have been disappointment.