Sunday, 6 January 2013

Chapter 20: They Taught You How To Feel But You Just Feel Numb

Anastacia was doing paperwork one afternoon, grabbing a quiet minute whilst the triplets were having their afternoon nap, when Lawrence approached her with a smile on his face.

"Guess what?"

"You've got a promotion?"

"No, not that.  Better.  Your dad has said he'll babysit tonight so we can go out on a date."

Anastacia immediately sighed and shook her head.  "I'm not in the mood, Lawrence.  I'm sorry."

Lawrence frowned.  "What, how come?  We are allowed a night off, you know!"

"Yes, I know that but I... I look frumpy.  You know what people are like in this place.  They'll all be gossiping about me going out on a date wearing a frayed cardigan and boots that need re-heeling.  I'd rather just have a quiet night in."

"No, come on, Ana!  I think you look beautiful, and I want to take you out and show you off."

"Lawrence," she said warningly.  Her husband sucked in through his teeth, starting to get irritated, and she could see he was about to walk away before he turned back abruptly.

"No, you don't win that easily.  You're the most beautiful girl in Appaloosa Plains and I'll prove it to you.  Look, here's a hundred simolians.  Go down to that stylist place downtown and get yourself done up.  No excuses.  Go!"

Anasacia reluctantly took the money (which she was pretty sure was hers, anyway) and glared at him as he smiled in amusement, knowing he'd won.  Well, Anastacia let him think it.  The truth was, she knew she'd been a bit baby-focused recently, and hadn't spent nearly enough time with Lawrence.  They hadn't exactly been married very long, and she loved going on dates with him, knowing he would make her laugh and blush like they were a newly courting couple all evening long.

The salon was almost closing when she arrived, but it had been a quiet day so the stylist agreed to see Anastacia despite not having an appointment.
She stared at herself critically in the mirror.  She felt like she'd been wearing this outfit for years; it was like a uniform at this point, unimaginative and dull but comfortable and easy to pull on.  Beside her, the stylist let out a small 'hmm' before stating, "Yes, you definitely need some help."
"I guess I've let myself go a bit," Anastacia replied sheepishly.  "I've just had triplets, so..."
"Oh, honey, don't you worry about that post-baby weight, that'll come off eventually.
Anastacia looked down at her stomach.  That hadn't been what she meant!  As a highly active sim, her weight had never been of concern in the past, and she hoped that it wasn't too obvious she'd just given birth.  She shifted uncomfortably on the podium as the stylist continued to stare at her appraisingly.  This was ridiculous!  She was a slim, healthy woman.
"Look, just dress me in something nice, okay?  That's why I came," she snapped.  The stylist raised an eyebrow.
"It's also natural to be over-emotional after birth, honey.  I'll go grab you a new season outfit we've just got in."
Anastacia contemplated making a run for it whilst the woman was out of the room.  This whole process was highly embarrassing.  But she gritted her teeth, realising she'd already handed the money over and they couldn't exactly afford to throw away a hundred simolians.  Maybe she was wrong, and the stylist would actually come up with something decent for her to wear.  After all, that was what she did for a living, so she must know more than Anastacia did about this sort of thing.

But the outfit she returned with was... well.... interesting.  Anastacia tried not to burst out laughing when she saw herself in the mirror.  She looked like a woman pretending to be a teenager.  It wasn't her at all, and she felt more uncomfortable than she did when she walked in.

"Is this the best you've got?" Anastacia asked.  The woman frowned.

"That's high class couture, from Champs Le Sims!"

"Oh, do they all dress like teenage hookers in Champs Le Sims?!  Surely you've got something more... sophisticated?"

The stylist grumbled under her breath and went off again in search of another outfit.  When she returned, not looking quite as enthusiastic about what was in her hands this time, Anastacia's eyes lit up.  That was a bit more like it!

When she arrived home, she strutted through the front door and gazed in her best 'smouldering' expression at Lawrence who had just stopped dead in his tracks.


"Does this meet your approval?"

 "Damn straight.  Now get over here and kiss me!"

Anastacia melted into his arms.  "Ready for our date?"

"Maybe we should just skip it and head upstairs?"

"Uh-uh.  What happened to taking me out and showing me off?"

"I've kind of forgotten about that."

"I haven't," Anastacia smiled deviously.  "Come on, let's get out of here."


Later that evening, with Anastacia and Lawrence both still out on their date, Miles carried Alexis up to the bedroom in order to soothe her to sleep in the rocking chair.  The oldest of the triplets was also the least settled when it came to sleeping patterns, and she often needed extra attention to get her dozing off.

He stopped when he saw who was in front of him.

Hailey's ghost was silently rocking in the chair, back and forth, back and forth.  Miles blinked, not quite believing it.


Hailey's ghost didn't say anything.  She simply looked at Alexis, then Miles, and smiled before floating upwards.  Her ghostly breath whispered soundlessly against Miles' ear and then she was gone.

Miles sunk into the rocking chair and sighed.  Hailey had loved this spot in the house; her 'little corner of peace' was how she'd described it.  Naturally, her ghost had gravitated back towards it in the afterlife.

He stared down at the baby in his arms.  Alexis had finally begun to drift off, unaffected by the eerie encounter she'd just witnessed.  In his mind, Miles began to make a list of things he needed to do before he went.  He knew it would be soon and he wanted to be ready.  But he soon realised with some sadness that there wasn't anything that required any action from him now.  Anastacia and Lawrence were more than ready to take on the responsibility of parenthood, the management of the household... his whole family, in fact, were living their lives in a way he was proud of.  Even Harrison - it surely wouldn't be too long before he was wed to Lucy and fathering a family of his own

No, this was the perfect time for the Grim Reaper to take him, and Miles was ready.


It happened the next day.  Miles was out in the garden playing chess as Lawrence harvested produce in the vegetable garden. Anastacia was inside feeding the triplets and so didn't realise what was happening at first.  Miles felt a strange presence behind him and stood to turn and look.

In the next moment, his body faded away.  Lawrence looked up and yelled, realising what was happening.  He ran over, calling loudly for Anastacia as he did so, but there was nothing else he could do; Miles' time was up.

Behind Miles' spirit, the Grim Reaper made his way into their world, ready to collect his third member of the Cantrell family.  Lawrence saw nothing, just felt the world grow a little colder, and then Anastacia was outside as well, crying silently as she realised what was happening.

"Please, daddy, no, don't leave, don't take him, please," she begged.  Lawrence frowned, not understanding who her second plea was directed at.  He could see nobody, but Anastacia was staring at something in front of her, holding her hands out in a strange sort of offering.  "Please, I'm scared," she sobbed.

But Miles' ghost faded away without another word, leaving Anastacia devastated.  She shivered against the rain in her thin dress as her sobs began to grow louder.

Lawrence took his wife in his arms and pulled her close.  "It's okay," he soothed her as she wept into his chest.  "He was ready, Ana.  He was ready to go."
"But I wasn't ready to say goodbye," Ana whispered.  "The Grim Reaper, he doesn't let you say goodbye.  He just takes them away like they're nothing, like they have no connections or ties here.  It's not right."
"There's no such thing as the Grim Reaper.  He's the stuff of old wives' tales.  Now come on, let's get inside, you'll freeze to death out here."
Ana shook her head.  "I saw him, Lawrence.  He was there, right in front of us.  How could you not see him?"
Lawrence frowned.  He had a logical mind, a sensible mind.  There was no such thing as the Grim Reaper, he was sure of it.  Yet Anastacia looked so certain that all he could do was sigh and pretend to agree.  There were more important things to worry about right now then debating theology, and if Anastacia believed she had seen the mystical figure then there was nothing Lawrence could do to convince her otherwise.
There was no time to mourn Miles properly, however, as the triplets aged up that same day. All of Anastacia and Lawrence's time was now devoted to ensuring these vital years passed peacefully.
Alexis was a pretty little girl with hair darker than her mother's but not as dark as her father's; Anastacia figured she probably took after her grandfather in that respect. She had her mother's slightly more tanned colouring as well as resembling her facially.  She loved the colour aqua and seemed to be a very intuitive little sim, taking in the moods and personalities of everyone around her.

Aidia quite clearly resembled her father in hair colour and facial features.  She was a lively, slightly odd toddler that loved the colour yellow and seemed to gravitate towards the front door when the sun was shining outside. She always instinctively knew when this was and would scream if her mummy or daddy didn't take her into the garden to crawl around in the sun.

The youngest, Leith, was a perfect match between Anastacia and Lawrence, but Anastacia also saw a lot of her own mother, Hailey, when she looked at him.  He had pale skin and large brown eyes that made Anastacia melt whenever she looked at him.  He seemed remarkably intelligent for his age, picking up skills much more quickly than his two sisters, but he was also a rather grumpy little boy who got irritated easily.  Like his sister Aidia, though, he loved bright colours, and insisted on wearing orange when Anastacia picked out clothes for him.

With the ageing up of the triplets, and no Miles to help out with babysitting, Lawrence realised with a sinking heart that he would need to take time off work in order to stay with the children during the day.  Anastacia worked from home but she could be called out to an emergency at a moment's notice.  And despite her thinking that Lawrence's dislike of babysitters was irrational, she had to admit that it wasn't practical to wait around the house for the babysitter to arrive whilst someone was potentially burning to death.

So Lawrence made the phone call the next morning.  Shooting on the film would be postponed until the winter.  There was no other way around it.

 He definitely didn't find it easy, however.  He tried not to get annoyed by the triplets but there were some moments he seriously questioned his sanity.  He found their temper tantrums self-indulgent, their music ability laughable and their refusal to sleep perplexing.  Didn't they wear themselves out during the day with all that misplaced energy?!

Still, he was mostly fine as long as he didn't have to do anything with them.  It was when he had to be hands-on that he faltered.  Potty training?  Surely he hadn't had to suffer this indignity when he was a toddler?

Teaching them to talk was even worse.  He'd tried to do it logically, attempting to teach Alexis her alphabet first so that she could start to piece together letters and then sounds, but this had proved far too difficult so he'd had to resort to the kind of baby speak that Anastacia used which Lawrence usually refused to lower himself to.  But as soon as he started, Alexis's eyes lit up and she started babbling back at him.  Well, this one clearly wasn't going to grow up to be a genius.

He was a little more comfortable with Leith who seemed to be a bit more intelligent than his sisters and also a bit more socially awkward.  Sometimes he would look at Lawrence as if he really understood where he was coming from, and it made Lawrence feel a little better.


Still, that didn't mean that showing him affection came easily, and as for potty training him...

Well, Lawrence didn't think he'd ever get used to doing this, no matter how clever the kid was.

He was the most freaked out by Aidia, who he was pretty much convinced at this point was utterly crazy.  Whenever she saw him she made a bee-line towards him, eyes as bright as a chimpanzee's, babbling incoherently.  The other two seemed to respect his space a little more, but even putting his hand on top of Aidia's head to stop her coming any closer didn't seem to phase her; in fact, she just laughed and giggled hysterically.

Yup, she was definitely insane. Maybe she'd grow up to be a mad scientist.  That wouldn't be so bad.  At least she'd be channelling her craziness into something useful.

It didn't help, either, that Anastacia was a complete natural with the triplets.  She was endlessly kind, patient and sweet-natured with them, even when their energy levels were at a maximum, and hers were at a minimum.  She genuinely seemed to enjoy devoting all her spare time to them.  Which was pretty insane in and of itself, Lawrence thought.

 And the triplets adored her too, obviously.  Even grumpy Leith, when she came home from a job, still in her fire fighter's uniform, would clamour for her attention.

Lawrence tried not to feel anxious at the comfortable, easy way she had when holding them but it did make him feel a little sad.  He was trying his hardest not to miss out on the experience of being a father but it felt like an uphill struggle not to snap at them constantly.

One day, he looked over from the other side of the room to see Anastacia talking to Leith about his upcoming birthday.  "In just a few days you're going to be a big boy!" she cooed at him.  Leith cocked his head to one side inquisitively.

"Why, mummy?"

"Because you're going to have a birthday.  You're going to blow out the candles on your cake and age up like all little sims do."

"And then will daddy like me more?" Leith asked.  Anastacia frowned, looking up quickly at Lawrence, who glanced down at his book pretending he hadn't heard.  But his face, he knew, gave him away, and Anastacia sighed.

"Your daddy loves you very much, okay?"

Leith huffed out a sigh of his own and toddled over to the play table to join his sister. Anastacia disappeared upstairs to get changed out of her work uniform, then came to join Lawrence at the table.

She worked on upgrading her fire extinguisher as she tried to work out what to say to him, just for something to keep her hands busy.  Lawrence knew the subject was embarrassing for her.  "You aren't doing a bad job, Lawrence.  Before you use this to beat yourself up over."

"Children always know," he said.  "You can't fool them, can you?"

"To be fair, I don't think Leith is a typical child."

"Alexis knows as well.  And Aidia is too crazy to realise but I'm sure she will in time."

Anastacia let out a small giggle.  "Maybe that's the issue?  The fact that you have no qualms about calling your little girl crazy?"

"Well, she is!"  He looked over and smiled ruefully at her.  "Sorry."

"You'll be okay, sweetheart.  Just stop trying so hard.  They're your children, and they'll still love you despite your imperfections.  That's what so great about having kids."

"What, getting your ego boosted?"


They laughed together, then looked over to see similar giggles emerging from the play table.  All three toddlers were huddled around it, playing together sweetly, and Lawrence had to admit that in moments like this he could almost see why people enjoyed having children so much.  Hell, even Aidia looked relatively normal. 

Maybe things would be different when they aged up.   He hoped so, because he wasn't sure Anastacia would remain quite so understanding if she genuinely thought his hesitancy around the triplets was having a detrimental effect on their childhood.  Lawrance prayed that this wouldn't ever be the case.



Before notes, a bit more toddler spam because I wanted to get all the toddler stuff done this chapter but still had some cute pictures I couldn't work into the story:

 (I love Alexis' face in that last picture!  Very tricksy looking. ;))
Sorry for the delay on this chapter, and it not being especially long.  First week back at work after Christmas was a bit of a bitch and I've had nowhere enough time as I'd like to write/play, but a small update is better than nothing. hopefully! 
I've got a rough idea of what's going to happen with this new generation but their childhood is going to be very quiet.  Things will get going a bit more when they're teens.  I'm really enjoying playing with the triplets and from a game point of view, it is actually a lot more convenient to have all potential heirs born in one go as I now have a pretty good idea of who is going to become heir but will be able to change my mind if one of them randomly rolls a really awesome trait for the next primary career.

It was very sad to say goodbye to Miles in this update, but to be honest I think he was more than ready to go, and it felt like I'd passed a real milestone (no pun intended!) having my founder pass away; it feels like I'm properly into the legacy now!  From a challenge point of view, it was difficult as I'd hoped to keep both Lawrence and Anastacia in work whilst keeping to the whole No Strangers roll, by having Miles take on main responsibility for skilling the triplets up, but he literally died a few hours before they aged up so that went out the window.  Then I figured I could probably still do it as Lawrence finished work an hour after Anastacia officially started and where she was working from home, it was unlikely she would be called out to an emergency immediately.  But then Lawrence got promoted the next time he went to work and he started working much later hours, so that went out of the window too.  I did consider having Anastacia take the time off, but the family are still saving for their big move and Anastacia just earns so much more than Lawrence for each job she does that I couldn't justify it, even though Lawrence genuinely hated being with the kids (seriously, negative moodlets every damn time he had to interact with them, agggh!)  But they all grew up perfectly with all three skills taught, so he must have done something right.

I'll try not to be so long with the next chapter!  Would be interesting to know what your initial thoughts on the triplets are. :)

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Chapter 19: You Can Wrap Your Fingers Round My Thumb

Anastacia found herself going into full on 'expectant mother' mode now she was pregnant.  She had  been working hard for most of her adult life, so kicking back and relaxing was odd to her, but not as boring as she'd assumed it would be.  She watched a lot of TV but inevitably found herself gravitating towards the children's channels.  Now she was pregnant, her mind just seemed like baby mush, and The Adventures Of Wolfman was right on her intellectual level.
She also spent a lot of time rocking back and forth in the new rocking chair, simply daydreaming and listening to children's music, planning out her unborn child's life.  She thought a lot about getting a bigger house, but money reserves were still low since they'd bought the Dog Day Plaza.  The stream of cash from this and the diner was more than sufficient each week, but it would take some time before they started making their money back on it.  Lawrence had also recently become a partner in the grocery store - a far more low-key investment, but a significant enough cost to prevent a new home being a possibility for a while longer.
On her final pregnancy trimester, Lawrence's parents invited them round to their large house on the other side of town for a pool party.  It was the last thing Anastacia wanted to do - it was so hot and humid outside and she felt grossly huge in all her clothes, let alone a swimsuit - but she knew it was important to Lawrence that his parents saw how he was getting on in life, so she reluctantly agreed.
Still, just because she was here, it didn't mean she had to be particularly sociable.  There were plenty of people around to keep Lawrence's parents busy, so she waded into the cool, refreshing pool water and climbed onto a lilo where she floated aimlessly for about twenty minutes, until Lily, Lawrence's mother, got into the pool and made her way over.  "Annie, there you are!  Let's get out of the pool, I want to see that bump of yours properly."
Anastacia still found it weird, random people wanting to rub her stomach, but she was used to it by now.  Lily gasped in delight when she felt a kick.  "Oh, my goodness, what a kick!  That's quite a big baby you've got in there."
"Really?" Anastacia frowned.  A few people had remarked on how big the bump looked.  She hoped the baby weight wouldn't be a pain to shift once she'd given birth.
"It's a good thing, my dear.  A big baby means a healthy baby.  Lawrence was such a tiny little thing, barely five pounds, and he was sickly all the way through his first year.  No chance of that happening with this one!"
"I hope not," Anastacia agreed.  She hadn't really thought about things like the baby's weight, or health, or anything like that.  So far, pregnancy had been a bit of a breeze.  She'd not expected to enjoy it as much as she was, and the science stuff made it all seem a bit daunting.

 Inside the house, Lawrence was networking with one of his mum's friends who had some experience soundtracking movies.  Truthfully, he thought she was a bit old to be working on a film, and her ideas were kind of outdated.  But as he had been taught by his parents (to the point of excess) to be polite to everyone, he duly listened to her ideas, trying not to look too bored.

"Of course," she said, her demeanour becoming a little more... flirtatious, "my other great passion is acting.  If you needed a more mature leading lady, well," she eyed him up and down, "I'm sure I could do my best."

Lawrence gulped, wondering what to do, but his mother luckily appeared at that point.

 "Oh, hello Matilda, are you having a nice time?  Lawrence, darling, I was just talking to that beautiful wife of yours.  She's positively glowing!  Imagine, you're going to be a father.  I'm so proud, sweetheart."

Matilda seemed to get the message, and Lawrence shot a grateful smile at his mother.  She was a bit of a busybody sometimes, but she was good at handling difficult social situations.  Lawrence was always at a complete loss when people tried to flirt with him; it happened occasionally, but he'd never viewed anyone that way apart from Anastacia.  He was completely devoted to her, as she was to him; they both had the Eternally Faithful reputation to prove it.

Anastacia had made her way up to the roof terrace where her sister and a few others were sunbathing.  Jennifer had been invited because she worked with Lawrence's father, and it was a pleasant surprise to see her here.  They greeted each other with a hug before Jennifer's eyes travelled to Anastacia's stomach.

"Wow, you're huge!  Much bigger than Chloe was."

"Everyone keeps saying that," Anastacia replied, shrugging.  "Guess I just got a heavyweight in here.  How is Chloe?  And Edwin?  I keep meaning to pop round but, well, the sofa is way too comfy these days."
"She's okay.  The father has been sniffing round, literally.  Did you know it was Benjamin Schmidt?"
"No!  Isn't he... isn't he a werewolf?!"
"'fraid so."
Anastacia held her hand up to her mouth, eyes widening.  "So... is Edwin...?"
"Too early to tell.  Chloe keeps asking me whether I want them to move out, in case he does turn out to be one, but I don't know how she's going to cope if she does.  Besides, Edwin is probably the closest I'm going to come to raising my own child, so..." she shrugged, trying not to look too sad, and Anastacia quickly changed the subject.

"I've heard you're getting on amazingly at work though, right?  You'll be CEO in no time!"

"I suppose."  Jennifer plastered on a smile, trying to take comfort from her success in business, but Anastacia knew there was a sadness there that she wasn't able to shake.   Jennifer was hardly on the shelf yet, but she seemed to believe she was.  Anastacia hoped it wouldn't stay that way.  If anyone deserved to be in a committed relationship, it was her sweet younger sister.


Just a few days after the pool party, Anastacia was watching TV on the sofa when she felt it... the baby was coming.  It took her completely by surprise, and there was no time to get to the hospital.  She was going to have a home birth.

"Lawrence," she puff out.  "It's happening."

Her husband dropped the laundry pile and stammered, "I... let me go and tell Miles!"  With that he rushed off, and Anastacia was kind of relieved; it would surely be easier to do this on her own. 

Giving birth was pretty simple, and soon Anastacia was holding her new baby girl Alexis.

But then she felt the pain of childbirth return, and she groaned in surprise.  Surely not?  Not two of them?   She breathed her way through the second birth, screaming out for her husband and her father to get here and help!

By the time they had arrived, the second baby girl had arrived, as well as the third and final baby boy.  These two she named Aidia and Leith.

She turned to Lawrence shakily.  She didn't think she'd ever seen him look so pale.  "Surprise! Triplets!" she said with all the enthusiasm she could muster. 

Her husband looked like he was about to pass out.


The next few days were a blur of nappies and bottles and crying... endless crying. 

Miles was content to help out - in fact, for the first few days he barely let either parent near his grandchildren, such was his enthusiasm and joy at having three new babies around the house.  Anastacia knew it meant a lot to him to hold his grandchildren before he departed as an elder, especially as Chloe was reluctant to bring Edwin round to the house.  She was desperately relieved that she was able to give him something back for all the love and attention he had given her over the years.

Anastacia loved being a parent, just as her own parents had.  As she put Leith to bed one evening, she felt his tiny fingers wrap round just one of hers, and she swallowed away tears.  This was the most amazing feeling in the world.

There wasn't enough space in the newly decorated nursery to fit all three cribs, so Leith lived out in the hallway.  Miles had been reluctant at first, saying the youngest of the triplets should go in his room, and he would sleep on the sofa, but Anastacia wouldn't hear of it.

"We'll make some space soon, dad, it's fine."

She saw his mouth tighten and she sighed, realising what she'd just said.  More space would only become available when her father passed away, and they both knew it.  She tried to apologise but he shook his head.  "No, you're right.  I haven't got long left, Ana, so let's make the most of the time I've got left, eh?"

Anastacia nodded, trying not to show her emotions at how easily her father was accepting his inevitable fate.

 She felt exhausted all the time.  Most of the time she stayed up most of the night, feeding or changing the triplets, or simply playing with them to keep them happy.  When she crawled into bed in the morning, whilst the babies dozed off, Lawrence would inevitably be getting up to go to work.  Anastacia wasn't allowed to go back to work yet, as she was still pretty weak from the strenuous birth, so Lawrence was the main breadwinner, temporarily.  She understood that he had no choice, but she still felt slightly resentful when she saw him heading off each day.

Still, she had to admit, he was trying at the whole fatherhood thing.  The first time she'd handed him Aidia to hold, he'd stared at her blankly with a 'What am I supposed to do with this thing?' expression on his face.  She sighed as she attempted to burp Alexis.

"Feed her, she looks hungry!"

 So Lawrence awkwardly attempted to feed her, and though a lot of milk splashed over her chin, most of it went in her mouth and Anastacia had to smile at the proud expression on her husband's face when he put the baby back into the crib.  No sooner had he put her down, though, did she start to cry again.

"Someone's a bit smelly," Anastacia pointed out in the baby voice she'd perfected over the last couple of days.  Lawrence sighed.

"Does that mean what I think it means?"

"I expect so.  Best do it quickly, those screams are only going to get louder."

Lawrence suppressed a grimace.  "How many years until they're teenagers?"

"Thirteen, Mr Genius.  Come on, quit stalling!"


One night, Yumi came out for the first time since her death some months earlier.  Miles saw her across the garden as he took out the trash.  She glimmered in the darkness, resting on the ground leisurely, and Miles smiled.  "Not long now, Yumi-dog."
Notes: Triplets!  Yes, triplets!  I was looking forward to a quiet Gen 3, with just the two children that the roll had dictated, but then Anastacia had to go and have triplets. :-/  Well, at least this generation won't be boring, I suppose.... >_>
Alexis was the first born and has the Perceptive and Light Sleeper traits, Aidia is the second born and has the Insane and Loves The Heat traits (good combination, lol!) and Leith is the youngest and has the Genius and Grumpy trait.  I've decided to start randomising traits this generation with just a couple of rules I've set for myself: 1. If any children from the same generation acquire the same trait as one of their siblings, I reroll, and 2. The final trait when they become a young adult is free choice, so that the heir has at least ONE helpful trait for whatever career I've rolled for.
I thought it was neat that Lawrence and Anastacia both got the Eternally Faithful reputation.  I've never seen that happen before.  Apparently they get it when they've only been in one relationship in their life and have been in the relationship for 20 days or more.  I thought it was a bit strange as Anastacia was in a sort-of relationship with Locke when she was a teenager (although I don't think they ever went steady, so maybe that's why), and  Miles and Hailey never got it despite both being faithful for their entire relationship, so I don't know if it always works properly, but it gives them a nice little positive moodlet so I approve.