The Cross Over Of A Loving Wife - 15
Ding-Xiang looked at the robe that he had just completed and sighed; he folded it, wrapped it in cotton with the other two, and then set it in the basket to be taken to town the next day. It had been a month since he had received the work from Aunt Lan, and after working tirelessly for a few days he was able to finish ahead of time and now all he wanted was to rest.
He massaged his shoulder as got up and went over to check on Hui-Liang, the tiny milk bottle was wide-awake and laying on his stomach as he played with the cotton doll that Ding-Xiang had made for him. At seven months old, he was bigger and healthier than the other children of his age. Thus, he was able to do things that the others could not because of their poor circumstances.
For one, he started showing signs that he was going to begin crawling soon. Every time he saw his older siblings, he would greet them with a cute “ahh”. When he spotted Ding-Xiang, he would reach out and tried to grasp him even if he was far away. He had started to eating plain porridge and mashed potatoes, but most of all it was only a few days ago that Ding-Xiang noticed a little canine that had poked out of his gum.
At first, he was puzzled why that tooth started coming out first; but he stopped worrying when he saw that the little milk bottle was fine. Hui-Liang was not the only one that had grown well over the last two months. Hui-Zhong and Hui-Ling had also shown improvement. Not only in their health but also in their learning abilities. After observing the two for a while, Ding-Xiang could see that they were both born to learn.
It was just that their talents are different from each other. Hui-Ling was good in words, literature, and writing; while, Hui-Zhong was good with numbers. The second milk bottle had trouble learning words and would often forget them, even after writing them down. However, when it came to numbers, he had already started on addition and multiplications. Hui-Ling did not seem to have much of an issue with math. It was more of a lack of interest. Nevertheless, when it came to writing, reading, and her calligraphy she seemed to enjoy it and thus learned faster.
This made Ding-Xiang a bit upset because if she was born around his time then she would have been able to go to school, then her learning talent would not have gone to waste. He would have been ecstatic to take in a student such as her. However, sadly, she was born in a time where her skills would not be much appreciated, but it would not stop Ding-Xiang from using the knowledge he had to teach her.
Ding-Xiang smiled and turned Hui-Liang onto his back. At the sight of his mother, the tiny milk bottle gurgled and reached out excitedly. Ding-Xiang picked him up and bounced him.
“Look at you. You seem excited to see me. Does it mean you’re hungry or you really like me?”
In response to his soft voice, the baby cooed and held onto him, he opened his mouth and nibbled on his shoulder causing Ding-Xiang to laugh.
“I guess you’re hungry, okay let’s go.”
Ding-Xiang held the milk bottle to his shoulder and went to the kitchen. As he braced his stomach with his other arm, aside from the children, the other two that were on the way were also growing swiftly. Because of that, his stomach was quite large for someone that was just five months pregnant. Aunt Ming was worried for him and would often come over to check on him. She even told him that he should eat a little less, but there was no way Ding-Xiang would do that especially since he was eating for three people.
The babies would come out bigger than expected and this might put both them and their mother at risk because it would be a natural birth. For people of this era, they try not to eat too much while they are pregnant, to ensure the life of both mother and child. You could always make up for it when the child was born. However, that was not how Ding-Xiang thinks. He felt that it was very crucial for a child to develop properly in the womb because no amount of effort could make up for what was lost.
Hui-Ling and Hui-Zhong were born under the same circumstances. Not to mention that during his pregnancy, the original was overworked, and even with the husband around the so-called ‘making up’ did not happen. Ding-Xiang thought that if the original had eaten and taken care of himself properly during his pregnancy, then the two talented learners would be geniuses.
He placed Hui-Liang in the small baby chair and went to make his meal. A few days ago, when it became hard to carry Hui-Liang while feeding him, he had asked Ming Shi to make the chair for him. It was made with some bamboo and was very sturdy. He had made two cushions to put in it and then let Hui-Liang sit in it. The milk bottle did not have an adverse reaction to it and seemed to like it a lot so they had been using it ever since.
Ding-Xiang took out a bowl that had berries, put some in a small bowl with a bit of milk, and then crushed it together. He stopped when it was completely smooth. Then, went over to feed Hui-Liang. A few days ago, he had taken the children for a walk in the woods and had gone a bit far. They had found a little area with some berries. At first, he could not tell if it was okay to eat. Then, the children told him that the other Yu family’s children taunted them by eating these berries in front of them.
Ding-Xiang was a bit annoyed but let the milk bottles pick to their hearts’ content. When they came home, he used them to make snacks for the children and even made berry steamed cake. It became the favorite snacks of the children. He brewed some into a sweet tea and it was well-liked by Aunt Ming and her daughter-in-law.
It was not time for Hui-Liang to eat any of these things, so he had pureed some with milk and the tiny milk bottle liked it. Since then, he would feed it to him as a snack. He only wished he could add ice to it, if it was a bit cold then, it could help relieve the teething pain that the milk bottle suffered from once in a while.
As he thought of that, the tiny milk bottle knocked away the spoon and whimpered as he tried to hold his face. Ding-Xiang felt pain as he picked up Hui-Liang and tried to calm him down. But the milk bottle wasn’t having it and began sobbing loudly. Ding-Xiang went to the room, got a clean cloth, and wet it before using his little finger to press on Hui-Liang’s gum.
A while later, the milk bottle had calmed down but was huffing, his puffy tear-filled eyes made Ding-Xiang bite his lip and sway gently as he tried to calm him down further. A few minutes passed, the milk bottle had stopped whimpering and laid drowsily on Ding-Xiang’s shoulder. Ding-Xiang walked around and gently patted Hui-Liang until he was certain he had fallen asleep.
Ding-Xiang took him into the bedroom and placed him on the bed. Then, after making sure the pillows surrounded him, he went back to the kitchen. Since he had been focused on his embroidery. He had been neglecting a few chores. He filled a tub with water and soap, took a cloth, and started wiping down every surface, crook, and cranny. Then, he took a broom and swept the floor.
He took a cloth soaked it and dropped it on the floor before using it to wipe the floor. Then, he threw out the water, changed the cloth, and went to the room to do the same. While Hui-Liang was sleeping and Hui-Ling and Hui-Zhong were out he took the time to clean through the whole house. Finally, when everything inside looks sparkling and neat, he decided to clean the bathhouse.
He stood up a stretched his back, then massaged his stomach before filling a different tub with water, and slowly took out the clothes to wash it. Since he was now in his mid-pregnancy stage, it was not easy for him to do many things. However, since he was the only adult in the house, he did not have a choice. So, as he cleaned, he made sure to take breaks. Therefore, it took longer to complete but he wasn’t too tired after.
He went to the room and checked on Hui-Liang. When he saw the baby was still fine, he got a clean set of clothes and went out to the back. He filled the tub and then sat down to have a bath and wash his hair. As the accumulated sweat was washed from his skin, he felt much better and gave out a contented sigh.