Before she even entered the apartment, Tresa didn't have high hopes for it. About all it had going for it was the low rent and deposit. She hated the necessity of the move, but there was no way she could have afforded the rent on the apartment she had shared with some friends on her own. Even before the landlord raised the rent she had been looking for anew place for herself, her daughter Marilee, and their two cats, Angel and Oreo.
Tresa hoped no one here would object to a half-alien child. She knew there were anti-alien protests in the city, though fortunately they hadn't passed any on the way into the building. She had had to cover Marilee's teal skin on the way out of their old place int he Arts Quarter, hoping no one noticed them.
She took a deep breath. "Let's have a look at our new home," she said, taking Mari's hand.
"Mouse holes, that's just great," Tresa muttered, spotting them almost immediately during her tour of the apartment. At least there were only two, one in the master bedroom and one in the living room, and she hoped they were empty. Her two cats weren't the greatest mousers, Angel being too lazy and Oreo was not a very good hunter.
Having decided she had been patient long enough, Marilee demanded to be fed, and Tresa obliged, bringing her a bowl of cheese crackers.
After snacktime, Tresa decided it was time to work on Marilee's communication skills, though they seemed to instinctively understand each other, oddly enough.
Marilee babbled cheerfully away, her words tumbling over each other, but at least she seemed to be enjoying the lesson and at the end had picked up some new words.
When Marilee's attention waned, Tresa ended the lesson, letting the inquisitive toddler wander around on her own. Though Tresa had the television on, she paid close attention to Marilee's movements.
Marilee decided to pet the cats, first toddling up to Angel, who was nearby and very receptive to her attention. She had to look for the roaming Oreo, who could be more aloof. When the black and white cat was finally tracked down in Tresa's room, he submitted to being petted for a few seconds.
Done with the cats, Marilee decided to see what her mother was up to and found her still watching TV. She climbed up onto the other end of the couch to watch too, curious. Growing bored with the grown up movie, she demanded attention. "Hold me!"
Tresa quickly obliged, swinging Marilee up into her arms and snuggling her. The moment was interrupted when she realized someone was knocking on the door.
Still carrying Marilee, she answered, surprised to find two people waiting. Once introductions were made, she let tem in. "I'm sorry I didn't answer sooner, I didn't hear you knock over the TV," she apologized.
Jesminder Bheeda waved off the apology. "That's all right. Isn't it, Raj?" she nudged her companion.
The man only grunted and shrugged, looking around. Tresa hoped he wouldn't cause any trouble.
Sending Marilee off to play, she sat on the couch with her guests, hitting it off with Jesminder, who promised to become a friend.
They got so busy talking that Raj must have felt left out, though bizarrely, instead of leaving he wandered into Tresa's room and made himself at home on her computer.
Tresa had just gone after him and brought him back into the living room when Marilee came out of her room and joined them.
"Potty, Mama," she said distinctly.
"All right, we're going," Tresa said, standing and picking her up. "I'm sorry, I need to deal with this. I won't be long," she told her guests, leaving them alone to chat with each other.
After a successful potty training session, Tresa put Marilee down for a nap until dinnertime, though it was already early evening.
Turning from the bed, she found Oreo blocking the way to the door, and stopped to pet the cat. Once back in the living room, Tresa saw that her guests had left. Feeling both relieved and guilty, because she wouldn't have to figure out how to socialize any longer, she decided to make a garden salad for dinner.
Marilee had a pair of feline guards during her nap, at least until Angel fell asleep instead, But Oreo remained on duty outside the door for a bit longer before wandering off.
Finished with her salad, Tresa took advantage of the fact that Marilee was still asleep to work on a painting, which she later sold to a collector for 46 simoleons.
Marilee woke and sought out Tresa's company, chattering cheerfully away.
Then she noticed the full-length mirror nearby and turned her attention to it, distracted by their reflections. Waving her arms around, Marilee babbled to herself.
Not long after, Tresa finished her painting then decided to get Marilee fed before she got tired and cranky.
Marilee was delighted with her dinner of chicken nuggets and actually ate them instead of decorating herself, the high chair and the floor with them.
Bedtime and story time followed, and Tresa had nearly finished the story, Marilee's eyelids drooping heavily, when a sudden loud noise from next door startled both of them.
"What are they doing over there, having a fight to the death?" Tresa demanded aloud, jumping to her feet. "Mari, stay here, I'm just going to ask our neighbors to quiet down so you can sleep." She would try to be polite, since she was new, though she felt like yelling at someone. Maybe if it was just here she would put up with the noise, but Marilee could become impossible if she was overtired.