balancing bureaucrat

december 2021
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(Grimsley Household Profile)
Tim Grimsley (45 years), Bekah (44 years), Willa (12 years), Holden (7 years)
(Lainey Grimsley – 20 years)

narrated by: Bekah

I’m hosting Christmas for the Grimsley family this year, Cara requested we don’t exchange gifts, and I was more than happy to oblige. When I called to invite Lainey home for the holidays, she confessed that she’s been seeing someone since her freshman year; she’s a junior this year. She insisted we meet him before the holidays, she seemed to think we would not like the guy, which made me and Tim wary.

It turns out we were anxious for good reason, as she brought Isaac Gavigan home. I’m very familiar with him, as he was a student in my high school when he got Julia Millett pregnant. We all know that he is not active in little Nolan’s life ether, which makes him even more despicable in my book.

I forced myself to be polite to him, knowing that Lainey wanted that, but Tim wasn’t worried about hurting Lainey’s feelings. He jumped right onto the elephant, and rode it all around the room. He grilled him over not being a parent, and getting girls into trouble and not looking back. I tried my hardest to steer the conversation back to polite topics, but I was burning to know the answers personally.

When he grabbed her hand, my stomach dropped, I thought for certain they were going to announce a pregnancy or an engagement. I was relieved when neither of those things happened, but I’m barely over the shock of this relationship. I hate that they’ve been together for two and a half years, and this is the first we are hearing of it. Maybe we were wrong in thinking Lainey was an easy daughter to raise, because this sneaking around is very worrisome.

She informed us that Isaac would be joining the family for the holidays, and I suppose she thinks it went well. I guess it went better than it could have, but me and Tim are not happy with this development. Neither of us want to have Isaac as a son in law, and crossing our fingers that this relationship ends quickly, and without any repercussions.

That night, Tim called to be sure that Lainey was using birth control, she was evasive on the phone, and I hope that it is because her Dad asked, and not that she isn’t using protection.

We can’t worry about her too often though, Willa and Holden keep us occupied until we are dead on our feet. Willa only knows how to go from one extreme to the next, she’s ether extremely happy or extremely angry, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her sad. It’s hard to respond the way she expects, so it’s easy to accidentally flip her rage switch.

Holden enjoys instigating fights with Willa, and Tim usually ignores it, thinking they will work it out for themselves. He’s lucky that he works longer shifts than I do, so he gets to avoid the drama. I get to deal with it at the high school, and then in my own home, and kids don’t just learn how to deal with things, they need guidance, which Tim doesn’t get.

Holden takes after his Dad, in that he doesn’t seem to pick up on things ether, like with Willa, she always gets her revenge. I wish he’d wise up, and just leave his sister alone.

Our Christmas break started earlier this year, so I thought it’d be nice of me to take all the kids and their cousins to the skating rink. I don’t relish these type of activities, but Tim volunteered to go with, and so we brought all of their cousins too. Willa seemed to be happy to go, but she was raging before she even got on the ice, and freaking out that her brother fell. Holden has never ice skated before, he can’t be expected to be a pro on the first go.

Rachael competes in ice skating, she’s talented, and can skate circles around any of my kids, but she isn’t boastful. It seems that Willa is jealous of Rachael’s abilities though, something that I didn’t anticipate but should have.

Willa was holding herself together, silently steaming, until she wiped out in front of her cousin. There was no saving the day once she’d been humiliated.

Me and Tim were quietly enjoying ourselves, as the kids were all falling over the ice, hoping that Willa would let it go if she was properly ignored. Rachael even wiped out, though admittedly it was Lulu’s fault, since she tripped her up on accident.

That didn’t happen though, as soon as Tim went to get some food, she ascended on me, scowl on her face, shoulders scrunched up.

She started shouting that I was a horrible parent, forcing her to ice skate; when I mentioned her falling in front of Rachael, she really lost it. She denied that she was jealous, or embarrassed, and said that I didn’t know her at all.

She doesn’t behave this way towards Tim, so I sent her to sit with him. I can’t say that the timeout works, but it does stop her behavior momentarily.

He got her to calm down enough to sit quietly, and sulk. Skating is stupid, she explained, and she pressed that she’d never want to be a better skater, because it’s only for losers. None of us are buying it, and we often wonder why she has to be so headstrong. We stayed until all the kids were tired of skating, though it was hard to stick to our guns on that one, as she really made us all rather miserable.

Lainey came home Christmas Eve, and helped prepare food Christmas morning. I never taught her how to cook, so she made the gelatin. I always thought I had more time to teach her things, and now I realize that I dropped the ball on a few basics of living, like doing laundry and preparing food.

Willa came in to the kitchen, but only to make herself some lunch. I didn’t even try to approach her on helping, she may graduate high school and only know how to make a sandwich, unless she picks up something in Home Economics.

When Charlie and his family arrived, it seemed that Willa jumped right in to picking on her cousin Lulu. She started telling her lewd jokes, which Lulu doesn’t tolerate, and then Willa teased her for being a baby. I don’t know how the girls get along at cheerleading practice, Willa doesn’t generally share things that put her in a poor light, so we are often in the dark.

Then Tim caught Lainey and Isaac in her old bedroom in the basement, they were making out, and he lost it. He said that Isaac wasn’t even embarrassed, but I don’t know if that is true.

He sent them upstairs to the sofa, and put me in charge of watching them. It seemed a bit absurd to me, I couldn’t imagine them doing anything really sneaky in our full house. Besides that, they can do whatever they want while away at university, so it’s a little silly to lose it over a bit of kissing.

We sent the kids all outside, and I could tell from the house that Willa was still leering at Lulu, poor kid. Charlie has the nicest girls, so I feel bad that they are stuck with the terror that is my daughter. I honestly never thought I’d have a daughter so hell-bent in her ways, I would have expected Cara to have a wild teenager. But me and Tim were pretty keyed up as kids too, me set on saving the world from an environmental stand point, and Tim just wanting to have his way. We’ve mellowed, so I can only hope that she will as well.

At least the boys were getting along. Jake is usually super whimpy and whiny about everything, but he actually played well with Holden, though that boy cannot catch a ball to save his life. I don’t think he caught a single one the entire afternoon, and Holden didn’t restrain himself from laughing at him.

Our kids are sore winners and even worse losers.

Most of the adults hung out in the living room, and it didn’t escape me that Isaac and Lainey took off again, but Tim didn’t seem aware, too distracted by the kids as they all came in from the cold.

Cara brought a dish, and we prepared the rest, it all turned out lovely. There were options for everyone, and I got to try a few new recipes I’d been interested in.

As we were heading into the evening, and most of us were beginning to tire and call it a night, that was when our Christmas tree caught on fire. It was horrifying, we lost our old house six years ago to a Christmas tree fire, and this was the worst type of deja vous there could ever be.

Willa lost it, it was the first time that I’d seen her truly upset and vulnerable since she was a child.

We had the same firefighter as last time, a guy named Benjamin, Tim knows him better than me as their paths cross out on the field now and then. He got the fire out, and thankfully because the boys refused to leave the house. Everyone ran out to the sidewalk, as has always been the plan, and we realized that both Jake and Holden hadn’t made it out.

After it was over, we got the area cleaned up, and Willa went straight to bed. I don’t know if she was exhausted from the fire, or just wanted her own space, but I let her be. The rest of us couldn’t sleep though, we stayed awake until nearly midnight, when Tim took the lead and sent us all to bed. He triple-checked that the fireplace was without fire before he followed me up.

After the holiday, I had a meeting with Violet-Adele and her partner Etienne to go over the plans for my Mayor project. I still can’t believe that I won the election.

Violet-Adele is the city architect, she’d been hired by the previous Mayor Cole, and I didn’t feel inclined to choose someone else. She’s really fired up over this big project, and I need that enthusiasm to ensure it goes well.

As of now we have secured the location, it will be right along the Prince Alfred Sound, a prime location. We are now working on the budget, and taking locals opinions on what to put there, it will ether be an Art Museum, or an Aquarium. The latter seems like the winner to me, but that is where the budget comes into play, I can’t put the county into a deficit.

We are hoping to have this portion decided on before summer, then we will move towards fundraisers, and get the plans done. If it all goes as planned, we can break ground in the spring of 2023, and be finished before my term is complete.

I got coffee with my best friend, Lucy, she has experience being the wife of a Mayor, and I hoped she’d have some wisdom to pass on. I also wanted to talk about Lainey and Isaac, and my issues with Willa. Sometimes I just need to vent, and get it out of my system.

She was surprised to hear that Lainey would waste her time on Isaac, and her only advice was that we didn’t make it into a huge deal, in case Lainey was suddenly going through a rebelling stage. I don’t think that is what it is, I just think she’s been duped into falling for the villain.

Lucy had been upset about Alice starting college, but she’s handling it better. She told me that Lainey and Alice had a falling out last year, and I never knew about it. Alice didn’t tell her Mom why, except that she didn’t approve of who Lainey spent her time with. It had all seemed vague and confusing, but now it was all coming in clearly.

I feel perplexed that Lainey would choose this boy, who has proven himself to be lacking in moral fiber, and to lose her best friend over it all. They have had their rough patches before, but nothing of this magnitude.

I don’t know how to divide my time up with my children, and my Mayor project. I feel like I’ve taken on more than I can handle, and Tim just got news that he will be getting a new position and moving to second shift after the new year. Willa is going to have to take care of Holden now after he gets off the bus until I get home from work, and that doesn’t even take into account my meetings and the public forum events that are planned along the way. I really hope that Tim can get back to a day shift, so at least our scheduling isn’t such a fiasco, and I guess we have to hope that we raised Lainey right, and she makes wise choices.


Notes: Willa is a ton of fun to play, and Holden is constantly antagonizing her, except when Bekah is around, then he is inexplicably reading a book or writing in his diary! He’s into sports, not even books, but it never fails. A total little sneak.

I’m not surprised that Tim and Bekah didn’t warm too kindly to Isaac, it was a big deal for Bekah when the event unfolded, and she’s had to witness Julia being teased in the halls of the highschool. I imagine this is a huge nightmare for them, and add to it that Lainey is not allowed birth control… yikes. Every time they sneak off, my stomach clenches until it’s over. Please no baby for Lainey and Isaac! I really didn’t think this relationship would have lasted this long! So glad there are no engagement wants, small favors!

I couldn’t believe that their tree caught on fire too! Last time I rolled that Benjamin’s lungs were injured, but this time, he made it out just fine. I always get nervous when a fire catches, because it’s almost always Benjamin that puts them out. I let that play out, and if he makes it out alive, then I roll to see if there was any injuries for him and the household members. I was glad that everyone was alright!

I believe it will be an aquarium that I do, as I already built an Art Gallery, and I don’t need too much art places in town. I’m just not in the mood to fiddle with it right now, so it’s waiting for the time being.

Thanks for reading!


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12 thoughts on “balancing bureaucrat

  1. Ugh, Isaac, I kind of wished that you rolled that his lungs were screwed up in the fire. Ugh. Hopefully either Lainey makes Isaac into a better man, or she leaves him intact :/

    1. haha, I wouldn’t have minded that! Isaac is just not disappearing as I had thought he would, and even if he becomes a better man, I still don’t want Lainey with him! But I would allow them to proceed, if it’s what they wanted. Thanks for commenting Starr!

  2. Ah, a Millwood update for my Sunday night reading!

    Holden sounds like a typical younger sibling – always angelic when Mum and Dad are around and a terror any other time! But of course, Willa is no peach herself. Tim and Bekah have their hands full with their kids, truly.

    I’m kind of glad Isaac is still getting a hard time from Tim and Bekah, because I don’t think he’s done much to really get a good reputation, at least in my eyes. He appears to be treating Lainey well (from what I remember) but that’s not enough for me. :\ And I feel so bad for Alice as well. What about Isaac though, is he allowed BC? Make sure you have unmarried TFB turned off too – that was how Adrienne got pregnant!

    How do you get Benjamin to put out the fires? Do you have him cloned over your NPC firefighter, do you teleport him in or what?

    1. Aww a Sunday night read! Love that! πŸ™‚ I always aim to read yours on Saturdays with my coffee. πŸ™‚

      Willa is definitely no peach, both are rather bratty, which had taken me by surprise. Willa just drifted through in grade school, she didn’t demand any attention, but she’s really livened up in her teen years.

      I don’t know if Tim and Bekah would ever like Isaac, so Lainey better pick someone else to settle down with. They might try to be nicer to him if they got married, but they wouldn’t like it. He does treat Lainey well, and he has rolled a few Nolan related wants, which I’ve touched a few times, but he hasn’t taken any actions, yet, which could lead to a redemption. Julia is in college this year, so they will be crossing paths, and I think we will be seeing more of that chapter. I don’t recall if Isaac is allowed BC, I believe he is. Unmarried TFB is definitely off in my game as a rule, but I would change it for someone who perhaps never rolled marriage wants but seemed pretty settled.

      As for Benjamin, I actually teleport him in, put him in his fire gear, and set him to work. I try to get the people out of the house, but that doesn’t always work. I couldn’t use a clone, because they’d never catch on fire and die (that I’m aware of!), and I always want there to be a risk, though I hope nothing really bad ever happens to him.

      Thanks for commenting Carla!

  3. I really like the relationship between Holden and Willa. She’s not an easy girl to please, but it seems like her younger brother does everything in his power to spike her, which seems to real to me!
    Wille definatly is a handfull! For Bekah and Tim’s sake I’m hoping it’s just puberty, and that she will grow out of it eventually. But it might also be intersting to watch her battle the world!

    I’m surprised Lainey and Isaac are still together. It seems like no one approves and she even lost her best friend over it, maybe that gives her even more reason to make it work. It might also be that Isaac has changed, but seeing he’s not thinking about Nolan, I doubt it.
    I’m really hoping Lainey doesn’t get pregnant, especially since she’s not allowed birth control.

    Poor family, another christmas tree fire! I’m glad every one got out safe!

    1. Sorry I missed this comment! I don’t always check my pending! Thank you for commenting Tanja!! πŸ™‚

      I like the relationship with Holden and Willa too. They really antagonize each other, and so true about Willa not being the easiest to get along with. Willa is primary romance, I think she has a lonnnng road before she calms down, they may look back on this and miss it when she starts dating guys!

      I’m surprised about Lainey and Isaac too. They just started it on their own, which I usually love, but didn’t expect it to last. Isaac has secondary romance too! So it makes me worried… as in, why isn’t he rolling wants for other ladies? If Lainey gets pregnant, I may cry… I really do wish she was allowed birth control. Thank you Tanja!

  4. I almost feel like Tim and Bekah got the bottom of the barrel with their kids. Lainey I figured was the one good apple, and now this. I never did like Isaac after the whole Julia debacle, and I couldn’t believe she was willing to lose her best friend over what I think is a correct opinion of him. He hasn’t redeemed himself at all, and I hope Lainey sees that before she makes a big mistake.

    1. So funny Fini! You know they did sort of get a wild bunch of kids, but I think in the long run they will be well-adjusted citizens. I imagine that their parents will laugh when Willa/Holden have kids just like them, and think they need to pay their dues. Willa may be a bit too entitled for her middle class upbringing. πŸ˜‰ I don’t care for Isaac ether, after he was so mean to Julia, and wanting to date Lauren immediately, during the pregnancy, no thanks. I hope that Lainey finds someone better or that Isaac does something to earn him her love.

      Thanks for commenting Fini!

  5. Oh man, what an interesting bunch of kids these two have. It definitely makes for fun reading, though I keep hoping Isaac will have a horrible fate somehow. πŸ™‚ But of course there’s that appeal in redeeming the bad guy that Lainey seems to be taken in by. I’m really interested to see where this is going.

    1. I actually don’t have Isaac in my ROS, because he’s just a pnpc that I technically play with now, but only because he’s in the same dorm as mine. So horrible fate would have to be from the game in regards to him, maybe I’ll add him in the next round just for you. πŸ™‚

      I think you might be on to something with the redeeming bad guy sort of thing, and Lainey never felt bad for Julia, and had no allegiance to her, so she sort of thinks that Isaac got a bad rap in it all. And he has treated her very well, he’s romance secondary, and he has had zero wants for anyone else but Lainey for a few years now, so that is something. But I still want Lainey with someone else, she seriously has amazing attraction with loads of good looking, well-adjusted guys, she could definitely do better.

      Thanks for commenting River!

  6. Yikes! What a terrible time for a fire, I’m so glad that no one was hurt, especially Benjamin!

    Isaac refuses to be forced into the background. He will continually worm his way into your story line until you can’t take it anymore. πŸ˜‰ I hope Lainey knows what she’s doing and she’s not just trying to “fix him.” You can’t fix people.

    Not even gonna lie, I think I was a little like Willa as a teen. Maybe not about the same things or in the exact same way… but yeah. Wow. Haha, I hope she evens out as she gets older, because she’ll definitely be fun to see grow up. I always love the feisty ones!

    1. The fire really surprised me, but as everyone was a-ok, I was happy with it! A little something unexpected. So funny on Isaac, he does seem to worm his way into everything. Lainey started dating Isaac because she didn’t believe he was the “villain” that everyone pegged him to be, and so far he’s not done anything atrocious to her, so she believes that to be true. She was adopted, and sort of has bad feelings towards young mothers to begin with, and never was friends with Julia, sort of thought she was stupid to get pregnant…. hopefully she doesn’t eat those words!

      Funny on you being like Willa, I adore her! She is a ton of fun to play, and I think it might be a while before she gets better, with a primary romance, I am just waiting for her to start going boy crazy. She’s struck out with everyone so far, but it won’t be long. Tim is gonna cry! I love the feisty ones too!

      Thanks for commenting Mao!

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