When we last left them, Mike was being an asshole, Charlie was being weird about this one kid, and Claudia was drowning herself in juice. She’s also pregnant.

Other than queasiness and morning sickness, pregnant Sims have very few restrictions. Claudia runs around with the lil’ bean nestled securely in the impenetrable barrier formed by her abs, abs that have no risk of splitting as she gives birth. She also won’t have to deal with postpartum depression, postnatal bleeding, incontinence, mommy blogs telling her to eat her placenta, horrific pain, or the risk of dying in childbirth. (Asshole.) Instead, she creates Tumblr-style moods like “pregnant bodybuilder eating doughnuts.”

Cut past a few days of Claudia trying to give the nooboo fetal juice syndrome, and Kendra Jeong-Espinosa is born.

Now, we’ve established that Claudia has a drinking problem, but only vaguely alluded to the reasons why that might be the case. Let’s visit Exhibit A: Claudia, former Miss Universe, interrupting her workout twice. Once to feed the baby, and once to change her diaper. Where’s Mike? Taking a siesta right next to the screaming baby.

Clockwise from right bicep: Blizzard, Claudia, Viper, Kendra

Claudia used to spend her day gardening, cooking, and then head off to the gym to work as a personal trainer. She went to the gym so often, all the actual personal trainers are her exes. She went to the gym so often, all the young adults in my game look like this:

They’re also all super-good dancers. For those of you who don’t play The Sims 4, when a lot is loaded, it’s also seeded with 10-20 NPCs. These guys were called to fill the lot every time Claudia went to the gym, which was every day. Newcrest is now mostly grotesquely muscular people.

But now, her top priority is her family. The old Claudia is dead. So what’s a girl to do?

The same thing anyone else would.

Meanwhile, Charlie is out alone in the wilderness somewhere.

He’ll be fine.

Charlie was never a rambunctious kid. He’s been a great helper to his dad, providing moral support for rocket building and occasionally beating him at chess. Fishing gives Charlie something to mentally focus on when his dad’s outside the house—it doesn’t hurt that he loves seafood, either. The only problem is that no one will join him.

He’ll get the chance to work on the rocket soon. It’s his birthday!

The problem with planning a child’s birthday party is that the only person who knows the child’s friends is the child themself, who is not allowed to plan the party—leaving the party planning to the parents, who don’t know any of the child’s friends. Charlie can’t invite Elsa or Max or even Cruz to his birthday party. But he’s in luck! Their close family friends have a kid, and as long as everyone can ignore the extremely messy divorce that happened less than a week ago, everything will be fine!

Aileen clearly wrote the book/Buzzfeed article on Shirts to Wear to a Child’s Birthday Party to Remind Your Ex-Husband What He’s Missing:

Looking real sharp!
From top down: SEVERE emotional discomfort, gloating, total obliviousness. Hi dad! Come to think of it, why do Sims hired as entertainers always pick the object they have the lowest skill in? Xiyuan was a professional musician and there’s both a piano and violin in the goddamn room. Shu would probably be less entertained if he were actually listening to the jokes.

Finally, Charlie blows out the candles on his special cake, rainbow glowies surround him while he floats, and he immediately gets upstaged again!

Classic younger sibling move, they always want to do what you’re doing at the exact same time.
Just ignore conservation of mass and shoot up to your parents’ height instantaneously

Welcome to puberty, please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle and try not to get a boner in class!

Charlie, perhaps unsurprisingly, grew into the Nerd Brain aspiration, giving him the quarternary trait Quick Learner. He also earned a love for the outdoors. In short, he’s going to be one of those 60-year-old scientists who tears his ACL and is off in two weeks riding his bike twenty miles to a conference.

Here he is post-makeover.

This is the outfit every teenage nerd wears. I have that shirt in white, so this is really more of a self-roast than anything else.

Charlie gets a new room to match his nature-loving personality, with a microscope, work bench, bookshelf, and fish tank. He also gets the upstairs to himself and a private bathroom.

Spot the tissues next to the bed.

Now Kendra!

Yikes. I was planning on making her weird anyway. Thanks for agreeing with me, GAME.
Take two—poofball with the curse of the big hair!

Both Jeong-Espinosa children are starting to acclimate into their new roles. It’s often interesting to see what the AI decides to pick up on—for example, here we have Charlie, not in the mood to write jokes at all, thinking about doing something that fits his personality more. Yet, he decides on his own to write jokes, just like his father did several years ago.

Very neat. Hey! Your dad decided to pay attention to your mom for once!

Kendra is a constant delight. I’m not generally a fan of toddlers, but she’s like a prodigy of being weird.

Claudia’s been taking on the bulk of the toddler care again. Oh, she truly loves her children, of course, but sometimes she just needs to leave it all behind. She can’t go out anymore. She can’t drop everything to party all night like she used to. So what does she do to relax? Mix drinks. And now Kendra’s checking out the area.

Don’t do it. Don’t end up like Mommy.

We still have two Sims in this family with a rock-solid relationship. MJ and Claudia definitely don’t fight, they get along great, and they haven’t run into anybody else in their world better suited to themselves. And yet, while we’ve collected some evidence that Claudia might be deeply unhappy with the way her life turned out, let’s talk about Mike.

Mike has always been a fun guy. That’s what attracted Claudia to him in the first place. He’s Gregarious due to his popularity aspiration, and Self-Assured, which makes him a great conversationalist. But is Self-Assured really a positive trait to have?

There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and, given the way he acts, Mike barreled over it without anyone realizing.

boop tiny guitar

Mike has maxed out more skills and completed more aspirations than anybody else—but how? By only doing the fun parts of parenting and leaving Claudia do most of the work. Here he is, reinventing himself again. (Going out to do BUSINESS every weekday is far more hours than any other top-level career.)

No wonder Claudia drinks; the closest person to her in the world is too focused on himself to talk about her problems, let alone notice them, and making the natural decision to marry him is what put her into the situation in the first place. How was she supposed to know? In the context of normal Sims gameplay, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Mike. In a real relationship, he would be a nightmare. But! He’s still a Sim, and Sims are idiots.

Welcome to the Millennial Club, please try to remember pants next time.

Charlie is feeling heteronormative social pressure to go out and find a partner and stuff. Unfortunately, I am also an idiot, and tried to force him to talk to Yuki for a full two hours before realizing she was behind a locked club door. Charlie somehow knew the door was locked without even looking, or trying, and from several yards away.

Coffee, the lifeblood of all academic pursuits

Hopefully he won’t strike out too many times. Ah well, go play chess with your dad, that’s cute.

Does nobody in this universe ever let their child win at chess?

Meanwhile, Claudia is going bonkers with the amount of work required to get a toddler to level 5 in all skills before the end of the week. Her two best friends also got a divorce! She’s worried sick, and the only cure is details. Stat!

“How was I supposed to know I wasn’t MALE or DEAD enough for him?!”
“That’s horrible! Tell me more.”
“I’m trying, but there are no good men in this town!”
“Don’t get me started, love.”

Yet, as everyone knows, there are two sides to every story, so the only way to win is to play BOTH SIDES. Hence Sporty/Posh Spice spa day.

“I feel awful, but it was the right thing to do to avoid more pain for both of us.”
“Uh, maybe don’t say that to Aileen.”

What’s Mike doing while his best friends need emotional support? Well…

Recall that my Sims never perform mean or mischievous interactions under my watch, so this Gustavo thing came out of nowhere. He does seem hella cheesed about whatever happened.

We’re reaching the end of nightmare toddler boot camp. Here’s Kendra getting her last darned skill point. I had to Groundhog-Day her last 12 hours as a toddler, using harvestables, to get it.

thank fuck it’s over

Thankfully, it’s time for Kendra’s birthday! Charlie knows some kids, so he threw the party, but secretly sabotaged it by inviting the whole now-defunct Liu family again.

Bottom-left Charlie is happy his sister’s birthday party was ruined by being as awkward as his was.

Kendra is a dream come true. If there’s one thing I enjoy more than giving my Sims expansive out-of-game identities, it’s when they themselves unexpectedly develop a strong personality. What’s magical here is the AI perfectly matching my idea of who Kendra is—her first two actions as a child are to play with her monster doll, and to side-eye the absolute stuffing out of Shu. I couldn’t have planned it better if I tried.

Kendra gets a look stronger than most adults are comfortable pulling off, and to finally go to sleep.

That’s what the androgynous trend needs—green and orange knee socks.

Watching these two grow up is going to be interesting, that’s for sure.

The Jeong-Espinosa Family: Everyone Grows Up Except Mike
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18 thoughts on “The Jeong-Espinosa Family: Everyone Grows Up Except Mike

  • October 19, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    I am really here for Claudia and all her hot mess choices (but are they choices? I mean, I blame Mike…but also Kendra, who I don’t trust, despite her being a small child).

    • October 20, 2019 at 1:20 pm

      Ah yes, Claudia. “La Desastre Caliente,” they call her. The one who can roll homemade tortillas while drunk off her ass.

  • November 28, 2019 at 4:41 am

    Hell yeah, green and orange socks! Stylish as hell, Kendra.
    Can you really have a drinking problem if you’re just drinking… “juice” wink… ?

  • January 5, 2020 at 8:46 am

    Hope I’m going off the right order of things here… I’m just clicking next everytime.

    First of all, can I live with this family too? My entire tiny house can fit like, at least 5 times in that bedroom Charlie was given. I’m properly jealous.

    This sentence: “If there’s one thing I enjoy more than giving my Sims expansive out-of-game identities, it’s when they themselves unexpectedly develop a strong personality.” I felt this so much. Sometimes you just get that kid and they’re just so great. It’s like winning the jackpot. Was glad to hear Kendra was that to you. This family, though, man. It’s a right mess! And I’m feeling it’s only gonna get messier. I feel like Claudia’s right there on the slippery slope of everything falling apart (which it already did with her best friends’ family), and Charlie… Charlie is just too good to be true. I don’t trust him.
    Mike is an asshole who doesn’t deserve Claudia from what I’m gathering – not that surprised about that one. He’s a man after all (I’m kidding!!!).

    • January 5, 2020 at 1:00 pm

      Clicking ‘Next’ will get you through the story in the right order, but it’ll occasionally be interspersed with posts by my co-author Simister. By ‘occasionally’ I mean I outpost her by an order of magnitude. You’ll know: the style will just switch without warning from “uncompromisingly bleak technical author who needs to cool it on the David Foster Wallace thing” to “half-satirical-take-on-organized-religion-and-oppositionary-extremism, half-13-year-old-at-2-a.m.-on-Halloween-who-got-into-the-coffee.”

      Do you want to guess how many people read a particular chapter where Mike was being a raging asshole to everyone and thought something like “what a funny story!/what a cute family!”? It’s nonzero. This was still in the early chapters, too, where readers are repeatedly bashed over the head with bricks displaying the message “Mike’s an asshole and we don’t like him,” as opposed to the later chapters where the reader has to dig deep to figure out who to root for.

      • January 5, 2020 at 6:48 pm

        Alright, sounds easy enough to differentiate then. 😂

        Oh man… Again, I wish I could be surprised but I’m not. Can’t wait for the ever deepening moral complexities of not knowing who to root for, though… those are without question my favorite kinds of stories. Both my stories kind of have that not knowing who to root for thing… but that’s mainly because literally every character sucks so you don’t really want to root for any of them. 😂

  • July 5, 2020 at 3:52 am

    Ah Claudia, on the surface she has it all, but deep down she seems to be pondering what life could have been. I still find her very relatable.

    I agree about the self-assured trait, I tend to read it as arrogant too – after all there’s only a thin line between confidence and arrogance.

    Kendra looks like she’s going to be a lot of fun.

  • July 18, 2020 at 11:36 am

    rofl, I’m loving Kendra’s dapper-schoolboy-meets-Avril-Lavigne-circa-2003 look, and it seems fitting — I feel she’s got a whole lot of latent chaotic energy and will someday blow this trainwreck-of-a-family storyline off the rails. And I can confirm Charlie’s outfit is the outfit every teenage nerd owns… because I owned that exact outfit as a teenage nerd. More than kinda wish I still had the shirt, actually.

    • July 18, 2020 at 12:31 pm

      There’s a joke in that comparison somewhere—maybe a riff off of Sk8er Boi?—but I can’t find it at the moment. Kendra is the shit.

  • May 5, 2021 at 1:47 am

    “How was I supposed to know I wasn’t MALE or DEAD enough for him?!”
    “That’s horrible! Tell me more.”

    Ok I now understand why you like captions.

    Also I actually have a lot to say about Mike and Claudia but since I’ve read on I’m just going to nod head or hold breath and look at all the cute stuff in the room. Like monster doll and Kendra’s face. I want to argue that Charlie’s shirt is not nerdy, but I’m a nerd so. XD

    Did not realise Sims can drink while taking a bath. Holy. 😀

    • May 5, 2021 at 9:01 pm

      (I love the captions)

      I also have that shirt, and am a nerd, and my friend has that shirt, and she’s a nerd. And my spouse, who is a nerd, also has that shirt. But this is all circumstantial and we should start looking for nerds who don’t have that shirt.

      We all have a lot to learn from Claudia when it comes to drinking in the bath.

  • January 6, 2022 at 7:32 am

    They need a temporary nanny or a babysitter. Not sure how much I can blame Claudia’s self-sacrificing (if that’s what it is) on Mike. I wonder what putting Kendra through the nightmare toddler bootcamp is actually even worth. She’ll skill faster, but sometimes life might be better in a slower lane where there’s enough time to enjoy developing skills.

    • January 7, 2022 at 12:13 am

      You’re… much nicer to my Sim children than I am. Maybe this whole situation is my fault—maybe if they had a nicer mommy, they wouldn’t have turned out all, you know, like they are.

      At least they can dry their little tears on that shiny Top-Notch Toddler moodlet, and the uncooked fruit they had to eat to earn it.

  • June 14, 2022 at 10:44 am

    Either I forgot/was horribly pulled from commenting after initially reading this, or I did and my stupid internet sabotaged it from posting.

    I have no words for Claudia’s situation. Actually, I have PLENTY, I just don’t have the energy, much like being drained from childbirth, nursing an infant-baby-toddler throughout the day/night, and just trying to keep the tiny human (er sim) alive.

    Mike, get your shit together before you lose your hot-ass-wife.

    All that charismatic sex appeal falls flat when you only pull your weight by lifting weights at the gym. I.JUST.CANT.
    Claudia, leave your kids, leave your husband, and run off with some hot dude from your gym. Run away to Cancun or The Bahamas (or w/e the equivalent here is…Salami? Yeah, the island of sun and sausage). Also, once you have banged it out rebound-style with hot dude from gym you drop him faster than a wormy-apple). That’s my sage advice for Claudia, which won’t matter b/c this story has already happened.

    Geeze this game-simulation makes me feel stressed READING ABOUT caring & skilling these tots. I need a drink. Thank you for reminding me why I don’t want children in my game >.< no matter how much EA drives home these ADORABLE AF custom packs designed for rug rats.

    Claudia talking separately to Aileen and then Yuan was HIL-AR-I-OUS.

    I love your humorous insight, and you KILL IT with the photo captions. LOVE-LOVE-LOVE. I DIED. I RESURECTED AND I STAN.

    Great job, Dr. BJ, Dr. Llama, Dr. Dolls. <3

    • August 2, 2022 at 11:22 pm

      Mike, get your shit together before you lose your hot-ass-wife.


      Claudia, man. I tried dating as Claudia for a while and it was the worst. No one is good enough for her; she is a damn goddess. All her exes have abs and shitty traits. One slapped her in a jealous rage because he saw her kissing her husband! She’d be better off be doing what Aileen is, forgetting the boys and chasing after a piece of mystery man-meat instead, which this town is full of b/c the player characters spend all their time at the gym.

      Gah. Sim guys suck. She should have had a friend like you or DJ before she met Mike. I can see the text chain now: “!!!! lick his quads and then dump him!!!” Correct, text chain.

      I have no experience and yet just thinking the word ‘childbirth’ makes me tired. And then keeping the thing alive? Haaaard passss. At least now it makes sense to me why toddlers are given crudité: between the 1-energy toddler beds and the constant skilling, they have to settle for harvestables instead of prepared meals.

      HAHAHA THANK YOU FOR THE CAPTION APPRECIATION. And I know you caught that Mike and Claudia’s phone call in Haunted was her trying to be there for her best friends through the divorce, I mean squeeze them both separately for details!


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