Sims 4 Overthinking: Logan

By Bay Posted Friday May 5, 2023

Filed under: Epilogue, The Sims Overthinking 20 comments

The baby is here, the house is more or less done in time, and time can move quickly again, for both us and the new parents. The first two weeks go by as an odd liminal space. The nursery was stunning when they got to first bring their baby boy home, and it lasted all of two days. It’s still stunning underneath the tossed baby clothes and still-in-boxes baby shower gifts, but the mess isn’t the focus; Kelly and Michael are just trying to survive. They’re both young, first time parents, which is already exhausting, but they also had an odd situation. Kelly hadn’t even stepped into the house for longer than a few minutes when she came home from the hospital. She’s tired and disoriented already, let alone not knowing where the bathroom is, where the spatulas are kept, or how to turn on the shower.

Added to all of that, they got unlucky, and baby Logan is a miserable little guy, his stomach is always bloated and if he’s not sleeping, he’s crying. The nursery becomes a desperate space, furniture is moved haphazardly to make things easier, aesthetics be damned. Kelly is sleeping in the recliner next to the crib, rather than her bed, so that she doesn’t have to get out of bed sixty times a night. Michael offers repeatedly to take shifts, but Kelly is struggling to breastfeed and sleeping in the nursery feels like something she can control, Michael is turned down.

Lorretta helps where she can, making sure Kelly has the little things people don’t always think about. She does the laundry, takes out the trash, keeps Kelly’s water bottle topped up, keeps her in supply of ice-packs, and generally tries to stay out of her way. Kelly is strong-willed, and has already snapped at Michael’s mother for unsolicited advice and being generally a busy-body; Lorretta knows better.

Kelly’s father comes by to see the baby about once a week, and he and Lorretta have stiff, awkward conversations, full of weird little digs and tense energy.

“Place looks nice.” He’ll comment as she gets the door. “Have any trouble with water damage, then?”

It could be an expression of worry or interest, but words depend heavily on who’s saying them. In his case, it is a thinly veiled ‘I told you so.’

“Wasn’t bad.” Loretta says, trying not to grit her teeth. “I can take your coat.” She offers, moving on quickly before shouting up to Kelly that her father was there, cutting off the conversation.

Good and bad news is delivered at Logan’s next doctors appointment. The good news is; they know why he’s so fussy. The bad news is; he’s allergic to milk. Lorretta comforts her distraught daughter, who’d been struggling to breastfeed for weeks and had her heart set on it. Michael goes to the store to buy soy formula, his heart heavy with his girlfriend’s heartbreak.

Things get easier, though, as Logan is suddenly able to digest his food. Turns out, when he isn’t in lactose-induced agony all the time, he’s actually a pretty relaxed baby.

No one says it, but Michael and Lorretta are both relieved by the news. Not only is baby Logan happier, but Kelly is also recovering better, suddenly able to rest more regularly and not putting herself under undue stress. Kelly’s sadness over the situation is entirely valid, and no one has any intent to undermine it, but the house is happier for the change.

Lorretta, with permission, unboxes the baby-shower items that hadn’t made it to the house before Logan was born. She puts together the stroller, and organizes diapers by size. She puts them in storage with the bigger ones in the back to make transitions easy. Michael begins sleeping on the floor in the nursery to be close to his new family, and Lorretta offers to take the time the couple is out of the room to put away Kelly’s clothes so she can stop living out of a suitcase.

The third day of Michael sleeping on the floor, Lorretta catches him icing his back.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake.” Lorretta chides, pulling down the medicine box to get Michael a Tylenol. “Come on.” She takes Michael upstairs to the nursery, where Kelly is holding baby Logan. She points out, aptly, that moving the crib into their bedroom would take twenty minutes, and allow the slowly relocating couple to sleep in their own bed, with their baby right next to them. “And I understand a young couple wanting their privacy to get busy but-“

“Oh, we’re- not.” Michael stammers an unhelpful rebuttal, earning him a murderous look from Kelly before she interjects herself. “God. Mom.” She puts her hands up as best she can with a baby in her arms. “We can move the crib, you’re right, we get it. Fuck.” She had been going to agree anyway, but with her mom getting on the subject of her sex life, she has buckets of incentive to do so quickly.

The crib gets moved to their bedroom, and Michael gets a playful smack over the head by his girlfriend. “The point isn’t to tell her whether or not we’re ‘getting busy’, dumbass.” She laughs, bouncing Logan in her arms. “The point is to get her off the subject, entirely and forever, never to return.” She hands him the baby, requesting that he watch his son while she showers, something he’s been suggesting endlessly for weeks, and she’s said no to repeatedly. Michael is ecstatic, and Kelly finally gets to shower.


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20 thoughts on “Sims 4 Overthinking: Logan

  1. Kronopath says:

    he’s allergic to milk

    Not to take away from the lovely storytelling and worldbuilding, but out of curiosity, is this even a thing that can happen? I was under the impression that allergies tend to develop later in life, to the point where these days it’s recommended to expose infants to a little peanut butter to prevent peanut allergies.

    A quick Google gives a bunch of generic health websites saying it’s (nearly?) impossible for babies to be allergic to human milk, and a bunch of other sites that talk about cow’s milk allergies instead.

    1. Adam says:

      A friends baby has cows milk allergy currently. If the mother doesn’t eat anything with milk in it, the breast milk can be consumed without extra consequences. BUT if she eats or drinks cows/goats/sheeps etc milk (they’ve not tried any particularly exotic dairy products!) – even indirectly such as cooked cheese on top of something – then baby has a vomit-y day or two. Luckily this is their second child with it, so they were able to recognize the signs quickly, but it can be a tricky one to track down or even to realize that there’s a problem.

      However, for the story it’s not about _why_ to stop breastfeeding so much as breastfeeding stopping and it being beyond anyone’s control. That can happen for lots of reasons, even for the most invested parents – breastfeeding is tricky as there’s not much in life that can prepare a body or mind for it, and its hard to teach a newborn what they are supposed to do!

      1. Jonathan says:

        We had something similar with both boys. My wife also couldn’t make enough. The mother’s diet is a big part of it. Like, “If mommy eats broccoli, expect to be up with the baby having gas and screaming for the next 36 hours because he hasn’t figured out how to flatulate yet.”

        #1 could handle soy formula from Whole Foods, but no other formula that we could find.
        #2 couldn’t handle that. We tried everything we could find including goat milk, and ended up making do through donated breastmilk…there are people out there who do a hypoallergenic diet and pump extra, and a couple of them made enough that they had some to share.

        One of the barriers to having more kids is knowing that we’ll probably have to source milk to feed them with for the first year or so. In our case it’s related to my wife’s autoimmune issues.

    2. Randy says:

      Given that Kelly is having trouble breastfeeding (a much more common problem than many people believe, which leads to extra stress, as it makes mothers who can’t do it but want to feel like failures, especially in the face of people who recommend breastfeeding and think anyone who doesn’t is doing so by choice), and that Michael specifically buys “soy formula” thereafter, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that baby Logan is actually allergic to cows milk, and the new formula is meant to be made with water instead of the more common formula that’s meant to be made with cows milk. This makes Kelly feel even worse about not being able to breastfeed consistently, as that would have prevented the entire problem.

      That said, it is slightly confusingly-written, especially given the mention of lactose. Humans are generally able to digest lactose as babies but start to lose that ability before puberty, with the exception of a few populations who have inherited an adult lactose tolerance gene from northern European ancestors. Lactose intolerance in infants is rare but not unheard of, and lactose intolerance results in bloating, gas, and diarrhea after consuming anything with lactose, including both cow and human milk. (And goat milk, which some people think is some kind of infant panacea; there’s less lactose, but there’s still lactose.) People often mix up lactose intolerance (an inability to digest the sugar lactose, which exists in most mammalian milk) and milk allergy (an autoimmune response to certain proteins in milk, which often has similar symptoms, since the proteins are broken down in your digestive system and provide the strongest autoimmune response in the gut (plus some body-wide itching in some cases), as opposed to, say, peanut allergies, which cause a strong body-wide autoimmune response often resulting in anaphylaxis). It looks like Bay got this a little mixed up as well (she both calls it an allergy in narration and mentions getting baby Logan away from lactose), and it’s a little uncertain whether the breastfeeding problems are adding to the problem of an allergy or because of the problem of lactose intolerance, but the overall the narrative makes sense either way.

    3. Bay says:

      This would have been a result of the mother consuming cows-milk. But, remember, this is in 2002. This is actually loosely based on my mother-in-laws struggle with my husband when he was a baby.

      No, baby Logan isn’t allergic to human milk, but he is allergic to the cows milk his mother is consuming, and her doctor whether knowingly or not, short–handed it to ‘milk allergy’. Kelly’s sadness may have been avoided by her doctor suggesting she cut out milk products, but either he was ignorant to the truth of the issue, or didn’t bother. The first is more likely, though, because in 2002 US she would have been seeing her family doctor for that appointment, not an OB.

      1. Kronopath says:

        I was wondering whether this was based on personal experience! It’s a specific enough event that I had a hunch it was.

        This has been a very interesting and informative thread, thanks all you folks.

    4. MrGuy says:

      “Allergy” is technically wrong word in this context. An allergy implies a certain immune inflammatory reaction. While it’s possible to be allergic to milk in that sense, you’re correct it’s very hard to be allergic to milk at that age.

      What it’s VERY possible to have is a milk SENSITIVITY. It’s not that the baby has an inflammatory response, but rather that the child can’t properly digest certain proteins in milk, usually due to lacking certain enzymes (and, yes, breast milk is less likely to have these issues, but I’m told it can). Bay is right on for the symptoms, with the addition to some poop-related telltale symptoms we won’t go into here.

      The solution is a special formula that’s “pre-digested” – it’s treated with enzymes the baby lacks to break down the offending proteins in advance. It’s EXPENSIVE. Like 4-5x the cost of “regular” formula. It’s also harder to find – you should be ok if there’s a Target or Walmart nearby, but it’s hard to find in a drugstore.

      And yes I know all of this from experience. Not good times. Bad times.

    5. Zaxares says:

      Yes, it is definitely a real thing, although allergy to human milk is indeed extremely rare. In my case, what happened was that my mother couldn’t produce enough milk for me, so she had to turn to formula, but she didn’t know (and what we wouldn’t find out for many, MANY years) that I actually had an allergy to casein, so baby me was constantly having the symptoms as described in this story; constantly bloated, crying and screaming all the time, throwing up very frequently, and driving my poor parents crazy. Even worse, because I could barely keep food down, I was very underweight and super skinny (something which made a lot of my relatives cluck their tongues whenever they saw me and whisper under their breath that my mother must not be feeding my enough, which made my mother pretty depressed.) My problems with diet continued until probably my 5th or 6th birthday, at which point my gut biome must have kicked in because I then started to eat (and overeat) until I became quite a fat little kid (and thanks to my love of reading and video games, I became the physical epitome of the stereotypical nerd :P)

      But I digress. Despite my allergy to dairy, I nonetheless had an unquenchable love for cheese, ice cream and other dairy products, so all throughout my life I continued to eat them. I suffered daily from rhinitis that, looking back, I now realize was actually symptoms of my allergy, but I never made the connection. It wasn’t until my 30’s that, finally tired of my daily runny nose, I started using a steroid spray to control it, but that made the allergy manifest in different ways, including eczema, and it was while trying to track down the source of my eczema that I FINALLY discovered my allergy and realized the source of my life-long ills.

  2. Olivier FAURE says:

    This is all incredibly wholesome!

  3. MrGuy says:

    I can imagine the “new baby fog” fighting the obvious, and times might have been a little different when this is set. And the punchline would be ruined if this was the plan.

    But most newborns I know these days sleep in a bassinet in mom and dad’s room for the first few months, for reasons this post makes obvious.

  4. Syal says:

    “Kelly has snapped at Michael’s mother”

    Are Michael’s parents involved now too, or is this a typo?

    The shower thing strikes a chord; I had a roommate move in, and about two weeks later they tracked me down to show them how the shower worked, and I went “Oh God, I didn’t think about that, have they been having to take full baths for two weeks?”

    1. Philadelphus says:

      Wow, I’ve lived in many different houses with several different shower systems in my life, but I can’t think of any that couldn’t be figured out in ~60 seconds of experimentation. What sort of arcane system did you have?

      (Or, on second thought, was this a case of someone only being exposed to one system their whole life and being confronted by a different one for the first time?)

      I’m guessing Michael’s parents are involved peripherally, they’re just not important enough to the story to get names and screen time.

      1. Philadelphus says:

        On re-reading, that comes off a bit pretentious, which wasn’t my intent. I’m just genuinely curious; was it a particularly complex system?

        1. Syal says:

          Not complex, just unintuitive. It’s a shower-bath combination; you turn on the water and the bath faucet comes on, and then you pull down on the faucet spout to stop it and start the shower. But the spout doesn’t stand out as something to pull, you’ve got to hold it for a second and it’s not particularly intuitive to pull on the spout of a faucet.

          1. PPX14 says:

            We have an annoying one now that will work only if the water is at full flow, otherwise the valve falls back down and the water comes out of the bath taps again. In terms of water usage though I did experiment with cold shallow baths last summer, perhaps with the energy prices I’ll try it again this year!

          2. Philadelphus says:

            Oh, I see. That does sound unintuitive.

    2. Sartharina says:

      Seems to me like Michael’s parents are peripherally in the picture. But this story is about the house, which they have nothing to do with, so they only get a passing mention as a foil for Loretta and Kelly’s relationship.

  5. skulgun says:

    Hey Bay do you or Heather get money from Shamus’s ebook sales on Amazon? Was reading through Chainmail Bikini again and he mentioned his other book which I hadn’t heard of.

    1. Bay says:

      Yes, we do! The money goes to my mom. Although the exact percentage I’m not sure, I know she does get something from sales.

  6. PPX14 says:

    Intense. Did the mother and daughter always swear around each other or is that new? Loretta doesn’t seem particularly strict come to think of it, you said she had a relatively distant relationship with Kelly I believe? Was she closer with her father?

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