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The Toddling Sim
Changing Melody

Melody is now a toddler and following her transition, I felt that her hair style was somewhat bland. Previously in TS2, a mother would have to carry her toddler to the mirror to change its looks. Now, despite not being able to see into most mirrors, a toddler can crawl up to one and change their own appearance independently. The same goes to changing and planning their outfits. As with our grown-up sims, it brings up the appropriate part of Create-A-Sim and a toddler can change their looks as easily as any other.

This is less realistic again, I know, but it is more playable. After all, despite The Sims being classed as a life simulator, we do want it to be fun and not as boring or stressful as the real thing can be at times.

The Toddling Sim

To avoid giving every blow by blow description of Melody's toddling days, I will just point out the highlights of life as a toddler illustrating it with how she went through it.

Lifestage Duration - 7 days.

Positive Progression - In order to get a toddler to have as successful a lifestage as possible and progress positively into childhood, you need to teach them how to walk, how to talk and where to poop. If this is accomplished, the player is guaranteed to choose the simtoddler's third trait when they advance into becoming a child. If these are not done, a random trait is chosen. If the toddler has a generally bad time, then a negative trait will be chosen. On a good note, a week is usually long enough to accomplish these tasks. Also, if the toddler is happy, they learn faster. Plenty of snuggles are in order here.

Wishes, Skills & Opportunities - Like babies, toddlers do not have wishes, oppportunities or skills. However, the toddlers of TS3 can start accumulating LHPs from being in a good mood. Also, where a toddler could have reached Level 3 in Creativity in TS2, with there being no toddler skilling in TS3, it makes you question why play with certain toys. Do not be disheartened as those toys do have hidden benefits that pay off in a later life stage.

Parental Wishes for their Toddler - It does not come as a surprise to find that a sim parent's wishes are filled with doing things for their toddler. A xylophone is one of those toys that provide hidden benefits in that if a sim toddler plays with it a lot, they get a head start when they are able to play the guitar.

Movement - Toddlers originally crawl until they are taught to walk. Also, you cannot direct your toddler to toddle or crawl into town or into the middle of the road. They feel somewhat uneasy going away from their home lot unless they are with a suitable family member. It is almost as if there is an invisible forcefield around it.

Toddlers are as portable as babies and can be taken off lot by a capable adult from the household. They always go by taxi as at this stage in sim history, it must be assumed car seats for babies and toddlers have not been invented. There had been a rumour that a stroller or baby carriage might be included in The Sims 3, but it seems to either just have been just a rumour or it went on the cutting room floor.

Feeding & Toileting - Toddlers can be fed bottles on the floor. They can also be fed baby food in their high chair. They can have Grown-up food as long as a capable household member can liquidise it in the food processor. However, what goes in must come out. If you do not try to potty train your toddler, they will just fill their diaper. Yes, it is easy to change, but it is better to try and train them. This is because a toddler who has not been potty-trained may not develop as well as one who has been. It might be taken out of our hands as to what their next character trait will be.

Communication - As expected, the third "Teach toddler to ..." task has also been brought forward from TS2 to TS3 and that is teaching your toddler to talk. Again, like walking and being potty trained, this is a positive influence on their development and how they progress to childhood.

Learning - Toddlers learn through play or being read to. If they play on the xylophone, this gives them a head start on the guitar when they can get to learn. Likewise, if they play with the peg box, it gives them a head start on the logic skill.

I do not know if there is any longterm benefit from playing the block table and whether there is any effect playing with that. I am disappointed that toddling sims and simkids cannot draw at the activity table and can only play with the blocks. This is a letdown considering it merely seems to be a reworking of a similar thing.

The Miles Post - Kleptomania, Toddling & Transitions

In just a few realworld seconds from Melody becoming a toddler, Jonah got the desire to teach Melody to walk and also to buy her a xylophone. He quickly snapped up the latter. At this time, Bronwen was anonymously mailing back the objects she had pilfered from around town.

As we knew from the previous part, Bronwen is a kleptomaniac. However, kleptomaniacs do not have to keep everything that they take. They can actually send things back and that is what Bronwen chose to do after the party. She decided that the big statue somewhat dwarfed the house. After putting it in the "family inventory", which is found under Buy Mode, it means that they can be mailed back. After mailing things back, it makes the pilferer feel good.

In retrospect, she might have been better to keep things back and just keep mailing them off when she needs a positive moodlet or even sell bits from time to time in order to help the household funds.

It took four days to teach Melody how to walk, talk and poop. She had also learnt all that she could from the xylophone and was doing quite well on the peg box. Melody also enjoyed climbing in and out of her toybox. Although she played with the doll's house, she was more inclined to eat the furniture and toy people than play with them normally. Not unlike us playing with our virtual dolls house in some respects? She also enjoyed playing with the block table, but more on that shortly.

During these days, however, without much fanfare, Bronwen had aged from being a young adult to an adult with the only obvious difference being a few more wrinkles and a recommendation that she decides to have a family before it is too late. Jonah had already aged during the days that Melody was a baby.

Critical Note - I am disappointed with the Block Table being so limited. It is clearly based on the Activities Table that came with the FreeTime expansion pack for The Sims 2 which provided mechanical and creativity skill outlets for toddlers and children. This reincarnation still has pens and crayons laid out. Why have them laid out if they cannot be used? They should have been cleared off or made functional.

Written at 03:14 on Tuesday 23 June 2009 by Andy.

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