Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chapter 3.13- Less Than Frigid

*****Language warning… again. Or just skip the text below the 14th pic. ;) *****

            Making it to the school with 5 minutes to spare, Mariah glowed with unexpected pride. But today an officious little letter had summoned her, inviting her to a conference with Ms.Ponds and Mrs.Duncan about her darling little Dove.
            Most likely, they wanted to put her in the gifted program, Mariah thought smugly. She, herself, had never been considered for that elite class, a point she had seethed over it until graduation. Now was her chance to prove to Mrs.Duncan how wrong she’d been to overlook a Sixkiller.

            The grim cinderblock walls Mariah had been so familiar with were long banished, replaced with plaster and moldings, bright lights and cheerful colors. When they’d toured the building for Open House Dove had pouted over all the blue.
            “It’s a boys’ school!” She’d lamented, begging hard not to be subjected to the torture of walking these halls each day.
            Ms.Ponds had taken special time with Dove that evening, trying to coax her into a state of acceptance. She’d succeeded, barely, by assuring her when she went upstairs as a third grader, the halls were a light yellow instead. “But they can’t let you into the third grade unless you’ve passed kindergarten (reception,) first and second grades down here in the blue halls first.”

            “Mariah Sixkiller! Hi!” Mariah tried not to cringe. Jesse Ponds had attended with her and Roger and it irked Mariah to no end that she looked almost exactly as she did when they’d graduated. “The stroller might be a little too big for the door, again, Haha! But you can park it out here and Dove’s siblings can play on the carpet while we talk.”
            Mariah wrinkled her nose, barely managed to conceal her sneer. Jesse would bring up how she’d spent almost 5 minutes trying to wrestle the stroller through the doorway when she was here last.
            “The kids are all in Music right now, but when we’re finished here you’re more than welcome to walk down to the Music Classroom with me to fetch them. She’d love to see that you’re here.”

            Settling the twins as Jesse, er… Ms.Ponds, seated herself next to Mrs.Duncan, Mariah felt like Gulliver as he visited Lilliput the tables and chairs were so small. Taking a moment, she allowed her eyes to roam the classroom.
            It was then she’d realized she’d be expected to sit on one of those miniature chairs. All the adult sized ones were taken. Tucking her skirt, she sat gingerly and smiled broadly.
            “I’m sure you remember Mrs.Duncan,” Jesse... dammit. Ms.Ponds beamed. “Were you in her classes with us? I can’t remember…”
            “No,” she answered as civilly as she could. “But I do remember seeing her in the halls.”
            Mrs. Duncan smiled, almost, at her before returning her attention to Je-Ms.Ponds. “It’s been a while since I’ve been over the gifted program, though.”
            Jesse beamed back. “Too long. Mrs. Duncan is now an administrator here.”
            Mariah wanted to gag.

            Jesse faltered, a little confused as to how to turn the conversation to the issues at hand. “So you received the notification of conference in the mail.”
            Keeping her smile sweetly in place, Mariah nodded.
            “Of course,” Jesse took a deep breath. “Uhm, so the first month or so of our year we spend trying to figure out what each of our students come to us already knowing, uhm… Where they’re at so to speak.”
            Again, Mariah nodded. Dove was exceptionally gifted. She knew that already. Spit it out.
            “It takes us such a long time because we want to make sure the students are comfortable and performing as well as they can before we made decisions regarding their educational plan.”
            And Dove had astounded them on her very first day. They were putting her in first grade. No. Third. She was moving straight through the blue halls to the yellow and Ms.Ponds had lied to her and felt bad about it. Dove would understand. It’d be okay.

            Beside her, Ceeven pulled himself up on a chair, pushing it nearer his Mama. Ms.Ponds continued to drone on with the occasional glance at Mrs.Duncan while Mariah watched her boy. Of course, he too was exceptionally bright. Maybe he’d be one of those geniuses who graduated school while still a child.
            “We think a small group would be the best fitted for her. The students included in it would be carefully selected to make sure they’re personally compatible as well as all being about on par with each other so they’re all learning the same things at the same time.”
            Mariah tuned back in and nodded placidly.

            Mrs.Duncan cut her gaze toward Mariah briefly as she nodded. Seeing Mariah’s complacency she relaxed considerably and smiled warmly at her. It was the first time she’d ever been less than frigid and Mariah was suddenly on guard, her ears pricked and attention keen.
            Jesse also sighed and relaxed her shoulders at Mariah’s acquiescence.
            “With Dove we’ll be starting with recognizing her name. I know most parents would prefer we start with basics such as the alphabet or number recognition, but recognizing what your name looks like is really important right now and we can use that as a springboard to learning her ABC’s and the phonics of each letter.”
            Wait. Wait what?
            “Are you saying my Dove is STUPID?!?

            Jesse faltered at the look Mariah gave her. Finally, she gave up and allowed Mrs. Duncan to take over.
            “Of course not! All we’re saying is Dove came in a little behind some of her peers. We’d like to put her in a small group where they’re all working toward learning the same things. Many children are highly successful in such an environment and quickly catch up. But if she doesn’t, we can move her into a classroom where the curriculum is a little more remedial. If she’s willing to work hard, no matter which option is best for her, she’ll still most likely be ready for first grade right along with her peers.”

            “And if I say ‘no,’ Mrs.Duncan?”
            Bev, please. We’re all adults here.”
            “Fine, Bev, what if I say no?”
            Mariah, please. We’re all adults here.”
            Jesse took a deep breath and swallowed while Bev blinked rapidly at Mariah’s sour tone.
            “It’s a small group within our classroom. She’s not being pulled out, she won’t be singled out.” Jesse finally choked out.
            “This is a very common practice in kindergarten, Mariah.” Bev added.

            You’d have thought Mariah had dropped a bomb by the reactions of the educators sitting opposite her. But Mariah took joy in seeing them discomfited almost as badly as she’d been.
            “Neither of you seem to understand,” Mariah went on. “My Dove is a brilliant little girl. Exceptionally bright. I don’t think your testing is equipped for her.”
            “Mariah, please listen to me,” Bev pleaded. “No one is saying Dove isn’t an intelligent child. We’re not even insinuating that. In fact, what we’re saying is that if you allow us to educate her as we see fit we can ensure that she’s able to demonstrate just how smart she is.”

            Mariah stared stonily at Jesse. She was through interacting with Bev.
            “Dove? Doesn’t recognize her alphabet. Or numbers, Mariah. She can’t tell a 1 from a 5, an M from a C. If you don’t do this? She’ll most likely be repeating kindergarten,” Jesse said. “If you don’t do this? Her peers will notice she’s behind and they will avoid her.”
            “Are you suggesting you’d let her be bullied?!” Mariah’s eyebrows had shot up so high they’d nearly disappeared into her hair.

            “I’m not saying anything like that, Mariah!”
            Bev sighed, shaking her head.
            “I’m saying that if you don’t allow us to help her, you a-”
            “Jesse!” Bev warned.
            “Mariah,” Jesse said. “Please. Dove? Is an exceptional artist. We’ve watched her draw and doodle. She shows great capacity for learning technique and detail. If that’s not bright I don’t know what is.”
            “Clearly.” Mariah sneered.
            “Mrs. Sixkiller-”
            Mariah, please.”

            “We’re only wanting to help her,” Jesse’s tone had nearly become a pleading whine.
            “You’ve got to understand that we only want to help her, Mariah. We’re not the enemy here.”
            “And I am?” Mariah refused to look at Bev.
            “No! No nononono.”
            “So I’m a shitty parent?”

            Three things happened simultaneously.
            Bev winced so hard tears appeared on her cheeks, each quickly wiped away; Jesse’s hands flew up and she gasped out “Mariah!” and Vivia squealed at the top of her lungs as she sent pencils, papers, scissors and everything else within her reach flying.
            “Mrs.Sixkiller, I must ask that you please refrain from using such language in my classroom,” Jesse said, sternly. “I will also ask that you keep your children in check in here. Your daughter could have harmed your son when she pushed those scissors off.”

            “No matter,” Mariah’s voice dripped ice and fury. “We’re about to leave.”
            “Please, before you go,” Ms.Ponds was pleading again. “Please sign the Individualized Education Plan in front of you so we can help Dove.”
            “We only want what’s best for Dove,” Bev quietly chimed in. “Just like you.”
            “At least take it with you and read over it. You can sign it later and send it back.”
            “Please, Mariah.”
            Jesse stood as Mariah did, offering out the thick green folder in front of her.
            “All of our testing and her scores are in here. How well she did is written in black and white. See for yourself. Even the questions are there. Take it, please.”
            Mariah held out a single hand and the folder was placed in it. As soon as she felt the full weight she turned her palm sideways, allowing the folder and its contents to cascade to the floor mixing with Vivia’s mess.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

            When Dove arrived home from school that day she found a present from her mom. Though the easel was far too tall for her, a stool purloined from the bathroom was just about right and she delighted in the colorful tubes of paint and various brushes left in a case for her use.
            Mariah’s heart swelled to bursting. Of course Dove was a wonderful artist. She was wonderful at everything she did.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Those meetings suck. And you’d be surprised how many parents react exactly like Mariah.

To go a little more in depth about that meeting, Mariah’s reaction there was a knee jerk. She’s desperately wanting something to go right and so was extra hurt when she finally grasped what the meeting was about. She didn’t act wisely, and will probably figure that out on her own at some point. When? That remains to be seen. Further clarification? Dove is NOT a child with special needs of any kind. I have NO plans to ever delve into that in story.

I’m not going to spell it out just yet, but anyone wanna take a stab at the roll here? :)

My apologies for the long break between the last and this one. Unfortunately, there will be at least an equally long break before the next is out. Life, the universe, and everything. You get it. ;)


  1. Oh no! My heart hurts for Mariah! There's that age-old adage about not living vicariously through your children! I loved this update & I loved your school set! It looked so bright & cheerful!

    1. Yeah, Mariah was so hoping Dove was the prodigy she never was. But you've got to *do* something toward making them a prodigy too. ;)

      Thank you! That set is why this took so long to get out. Ha!

  2. Sorry but I'm all with Mariah here, and I loved the way she reacted. It's so fitting for her, and that attitude towards Bev and Jesse all along; priceless. She's always had to take care of and fight for someone throughout her life. Her mum, Roger, and now her kids, makes me wonder if she's actually capable of taking care of herself when they don't need her doing it anymore.

    But, maybe it's not all bad to see that your little baby isn't all perfect there Mariah ;) Ceeven is adorable, and Vivia is.. .well... Vivia. And they do think she's a shitty parents, since they ask her to keep her kids under control. Like having a meeting and keeping an eye on two toddlers is a piece of cake. The school looks great btw.

    1. Lol. Mariah was *all* reaction there, wasn't she? Ha! And yup. She's inherited that 'caretaker' role from her father and takes it very much to heart. She'll do it all for everyone if it saves them the worry and bother. Nevermind her kids might actually need to learn to tie their own shoes one day. ;)

      Yeah. No one is perfect. Accepting your kids for who they are, instead of who you want them to be is as good for them as much as it is for you. But Mariah only sees that her kids might have it a little harder since she's on her own and goes overboard. Ah well.
      Thank you! I'm kinda down it's only going to be used this one time. Ha!

  3. Wow, the set you did for this is very impressive! Where did all the classroom furniture come from?

    I suppose you've rolled Deadbeat Parent then? If so, really neat way to go about doing it. I've never rolled it but I always hope I don't. I do think both the teachers were judgmental in a passive aggressive, patronizing manner.

    1. Thank you! ... *hangs head in embarrassment* I made it all. It's why it took a month an a half to get this out. xD The drinking fountains were started for this chapter and I kinda kept going with them. Then the tables and chairs. And I had to make the adult sized chair functional as a dining chair for reasons that are only in my head. lol. There's also bulletin boards and artwork I don't think were even shown. Rofl!

      Yup. Combined with the No Strangers it was a hoot trying to figure out why Mommy is single, way over protective and rather negligent all at the same time. Paranoia was a fun idea to toy with, but the story probably wouldn't have been as good in the end. =D

      And you don't want it. It's so weird deleting wishes to train toddlers, and then having to cancel autonomous training actions. Immediately deleting homework is the only way to keep Dove from actually doing it. On the days Dove has to skip it takes hours for me to repair her and Mariah's relationship after the autonomous scolding. And on the days she skips SP still pushes her to go every couple of hours so you've got to have her actually *doing* something so she doesn't sneak off to school. It's like having a profession. lol

      Oh, they absolutely were. =D Jesse was kind of enjoying rubbing it in. *Bev* was more frightened of Mariah's reaction than anything, but it made her the more judgmental of the two by far.

    2. Wow! I'm super impressed by all that work. I hope that you share it at some point!

      There's a mod on MTS that allows you to control scolding, which might make your life a little easier. Not sure about the SP push to school though. Would probably still have to manage that. Here's the link for that mod (if you're not aware of it already):

    3. Thank you! The textures are pretty crummy on most of it right now (then again, I'm not too sure tables need a ton of detail work. lol) But once I can sit down and work on some of the funky seams and wonky smoothing groups I'd like to release it all. As it is, on the chairs I think I only spent like 2 days on the textures and it shows, IMO.

      Oh wow! That will indeed help quite a bit! Thanks!

  4. Ha! You have a gnome hoard too! :D

    Poor Mariah. Those meetings must be horrible. I winced when I saw the mentioning of small group, getting an inclination of where the conversation was going (we have a similar thing at my school, the bottom sets are substantially smaller than the rest and there used to be a group of 5 or 6 students in English who were taken out for "special help") Poor Mariah though. It must be awful to hear that, and poor Dove too :( At least she can draw though? Is that an inclination on a future roll?

    I hope school will be alright for Dove, make it nice for her please? Despite her thinking that the school is boyish?

    1. Oh yes. I love those gnomes. I follow them around the lot and take pictures of them. lol. *stalkstalkstalk

      Oh yay! I'm glad someone has seen how they do that now. She's not bad enough to be pulled out. It's just Mariah didn't teach her a darn thing before she got there. Ha! Dove's ability with drawing/art is only supposed to be that she's not stupid or slow or anything like that. She's has abilities just like everyone else and is capable of being taught new things. As to weather it will feature in the future to more purpose remains to be seen. ;)

      I think I can safely say that Dove will be alright at school. =D At least, I have no plans for school to be awful for her... when she attends that is. Ha!

  5. Oh wow, what a unique way to go about the Deadbeat Parents roll! I didn't even realize that's where it was leading until heaven pointed it out. I loved the way the adults all tried to be civil to each other, but still tried to insult each other in whatever subtle way they could. The easel at the final part was a good touch. Mariah might be stubborn, but she still tries to do what's best for her children.

    I agree with everyone - the sets are amazing! I love the amount of detail you always put into your sets. It really makes the sets come to life.

    1. Thank you! I had a lot of fun trying to make sure they were all insulting each other equally. >:D Except for Bev and Jesse. They would never insult each other. HA!

      Yup! Mariah ain't going to do what she doesn't want to do. And while there are for sure things she could have done with Dove, it isn't as if she neglected her or purposely set about to make sure Dove didn't enter school as prepared as some of the other kids. She just loves her babies very very much and can't stand the thought they might be less than perfect.

      Thank you! I really enjoyed building this set too. We spend lots of time in classrooms lately and I had even taken a camera to school on the last day to take reference pics of all kinds of things. It was totally worth all the weird looks from the other parents. lol

  6. Wow, you made all that for just one chapter? I shouldn't be all that surprised considering how you have made several other great sets and poses already, but damn you're good!

    Poor Mariah! That must have been quite a wake-up call for her. Or not. ;) Gotta love (or hate) the deadbeat parent roll!

    Ugh, I remember the small classes from school, I was in the speshul math class for a few months but was then "upgraded" to normal math. You do feel singled out and really stupid, so I see Mariah's point there, that maybe it's not just hurt pride but also consideration. Loved how she just stubbornly refused to take the folder though! Hah! So funny and fitting for her.

    1. Of course I did! Just wait. In... three? two? Yes. Two chapters I've got a mega set to build that will probably need lots of little incidentals built to flesh it out. It's going to be so cool. <3

      Lol! I don't know if that was a wake up call for her. Ha! I think she went in expecting glory and when she wasn't handed that she went straight for revenge. lol. The roll is proving to be way more fun than I'd anticipated. It's work! And I like that. I can't do my usual (School, homework, honor roll) autonomously. The biggest shocker for me was that you really do have to force them to skip or they can still get a B. And forcing them to skip with SP in is tough! Ha!

      Ah ha! There it is! They say the kids in the small groups aren't being 'singled out,' but the other kids still see. And it's still different, thus 'singled out!' Once Jesse scolded her for Vivia's behavior Mariah had had enough. I think she would have put chewing gum on Jesse's doorknob or something if she hadn't had an opportunity to wound her in any other way. She's certainly not above revenge!
      *hugs for you sweetie. Hope you're doing well the day you look at this.

  7. I could have sworn I already commented on this, but I don't see it. ?!

    Scary gnomes! O.o

    I loved how nonchalant both sides were, as they were both thinking the other one was agreeing to their position, until it became clear they were on opposite sides, lol Then the kid gloves came off, ha! Mariah was true to form there, stubbornly resisting the truth that is in front of her, in the end it will be Dove that pays for it though, poor girl.

    If you have NRaas Careers mod, with the Schools module, you could make them homeschoolers, that one is easy to fail, because you have to go on the computer and *download* the homework everyday---which they usually don't do on their own, nor do they get pushed. Downside--they are home all the time, lol Just an idea. =)

    1. *kicks blogger for eating yet another comment.

      Lol. I love my gnome hoard and hope to get many more. xD

      Yup. Everyone thought they were on the same side, Dove's side. Only they didn't have the same side of Dove. And she's for sure going to be the one to pay for their differences.

      Thanks for that tip! That will for sure come in handy for ... *one* of them later on. ;)

  8. 42

    I've been through that testing. They discovered that I actually have a high IQ but have ADHD coupled with it. My uncle, a psychiatrist, told my mom not to put me on meds because I would "lose IQ points." Instead, I lost letter grades. I almost failed 6th grade, if I remember correctly. Finally, at the pleading of my pediatrician, my mom put me on meds my 2nd semester senior year. I went from C, D to A, B almost overnight. Go figure.
    Luckily, as a parent, I haven't had to attend that kind of meeting in elementary school. Middle and high are different stories, but yeah.
    Anyway, I remember, now that I know what was happening, my mom getting very upset with the school. I can only imagine the frustration and heartache when your child doesn't match a standardized definition of academic aptitude. Your child, the light of your life, your reason for living, and you're being told they aren't up to snuff. Grrrr.

    Hopefully, Dove can find her own road and make it work for her.

    1. The answer! But what is the question?

      OMG. I could hug you. I've got the same, only with out the H. Absurdly high IQ and Attention Deficit Disorder. My mom refused the meds because they were 'poison' and she had no need for such stuff when she was growing up! *eyeroll However, I have a brother with severe dyslexia and using that fairly useless high IQ I could easily transfer the skills he had to use to focus to keep Cs and Bs. A's didn't happen until we moved to Mississippi and the work we did senior year there was the same we did freshman year in CO. I just handed in old papers and made honor roll. Dunno if I can blame the high IQ on noticing/exploiting the patterns there though. xD

      There's a ton. And so many parents misinterpret what's going on because they tend to use huge specialized words to describe simple things like "Johnny only wants to talk about trains even when it's not his turn." Instead it's "Johnny tends to perseverate when required to sit through an entire lesson instead of listening." And look at that! Spell check doesn't even recognize perseverate it's such a new and specific word! Gah.

      I've had the privilege of working with our local school system as a parent resource for the parents they're trying to convince- Well... I don't know if privilege is right. I have been in those meetings on both sides. It's pretty awful for the new ones and you just ache for them and their kids.

      Dove's got a pretty tough Mama to help guide her, thankfully. She should do alright. =)

    2. The question:
      It's a trick question.
      42 is PART of the question and the rest cancels itself out.
      Life is meaningless when you have everything cancel everything else out. If everything is balanced, everything ceases.
      Oh, how the f--- do I know?
      My head hurts.

      Now to read the rest of the reply...

    3. LOL. Have you managed to forget to fall yet? I can't seem to get the hang of it. Ha!

    4. I dream of one day figuring that out. However, I have no interest in talking to the birds. Their conversations are boring and circular. :P

  9. For a moment I thought that Dove wasn't a genius after all and that Mariah was just projecting what she wanted to see. I thought you dropped a couple of hints for that - Dove not understanding that there was going to be a new baby (during that picnic at the cemetery) or not recognizing Roger after he came back. But then I remembered her character sheet thing and how it definitely mentioned genius... hmm... then I thought that maybe she's autistic, you know, being able to draw with accurate detail but lacking the will to do social things, but nah. As you said, that's something you wouldn't delve into with a sims story.

    So now I'm at a loss! Maybe Dove is just being rebellious? Understimulated at school and therefore appearing to be not as bright? Well, luckily I don't have to wait for updates to clarify :D I'll just keep on reading!

    1. Ok. This is probably a very American thing. But at least you can keep reading! Though this roll hasn't been revealed just yet... it's coming, but not yet. So it's tough to explain.

      *Mariah* thinks her children are little angels. They can do absolutely no wrong. On top of that, she is out to be their friend. If her kids were being told to do something and not want to do it, she wouldn't make them do it and would in fact take joy in helping them get out of it. Extreme overindulgence and helicopter parenting all rolled into one. Kind of. lol Keep reading! HAha.

    2. So I got too curious and went and read the other comments. ADD, now things make sense! And now I wished I hadn't read the comments because I like to be surprised by the story :x

    3. I'm sorry! But I *am* glad it makes more sense now. Thank you for *saying* it confused you though. Means I need to do better when things are vague to make sure there are still enough hints to get a reasonable deduction. =)