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Xu Zhao remembered the first person to say that Siwa was ugly was Xu Fan. But now, he didn’t allow others to call Siwa ugly. He really had “double standards”, making both Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen speechless.
A moment later, Xu Zhao asked Cui Dingchen to bring candy from the east wing to coax Da Zuang. He pulled Xu Fan over and imparted some ideological education to the two children. They apologized to each other before forgetting the matter.
Not long later, the two children started playing with each other again. While playing, Xu Fan said to Da Zuang, “My little brother looks very good now.”
Xu Zhao shook his head helplessly. He turned to Cui Dingchen and asked, “Our Siwa fell asleep again?”
Cui Dingchen nodded.
Xu Zhao asked, “Do you also want to sleep for a bit?”
Recently, Cui Dingchen had been extremely busy. In addition to managing his own company, he also had to take care of Siwa everyday and even helped Xu Zhao when he had time. He slept very little every day. Cui Dingchen looked at Xu Zhao. His eyes were full of meaning. “If you sleep with me, then I’ll sleep.”
The tone of his sentence was full of suggestions. Xu Zhao’s face was hot. “It’s still daytime. Be more serious.”
“How am I not serious?”
“You’re not serious at all.”
“Fine, then I’ll show you what being not serious is really like. Let’s go. We’ll use the change while Siwa is sleeping and have a good sleep.”
Cui Dingchen dragged Xu Zhao upstairs and tightly closed the windows and door as they started their daytime exercise. When they were exhausted, Cui Dingchen finally reopened the windows and door. He went to look at Siwa, who was still sound sleeping in the cradle, then held Xu Zhao as they slept.
They slept until late in the afternoon. When they opened their eyes again, they saw a chubby child inside the room. It was Xu Fan. Xu Fan was sitting by the little cradle calling little brother. Small laughter came from the small cradle. The sound was made by Siwa.
Xu Fan really liked Siwa now. Xu Zhao turned his head to look at Cui Dingchen.
Cui Dingchen smiled knowingly.
“Xu Fan,” Xu Zhao called.
Xu Fan turned around and used his small, meaty finger to point at the little cradle and said, “Daddy, Siwa is also awake.”
Xu Zhao sat up and asked, “Mn, what are you doing?”
“I’m chatting with Siwa.”
Xu Zhao laughed and asked, “Can he understand you?”
Xu Fan insisted, “He can. I told him not to cry, and he didn’t cry.”
Xu Zhao instantly gave him a thumbs up. “You’re an amazing big brother.”
Xu Fan was obviously praised and his little face couldn’t contain his joy. He nodded and said, “Mn, I’m amazing. I finished sleeping and walked up myself. I saw Siwa was awake.”
Hearing Xu Fan’s small mouth blabber nonstop, Cui Dingchen didn’t feel sleepy anymore. He got up and went downstairs and made a bottle for Siwa. He held Siwa in his arms as he fed Siwa.
Xu Fan stood to the side and watched.
Cui Dingchen opened his mouth and asked, “Xu Fan, it’ll be Monday soon. Do you still need to go to school?”
Xu Fan leaned against the edge of the bed and said, “Going.”
Xu Fan really loved school. After attending preschool for a year, he never got bored. Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen wanted Xu Fan to attend another year of preschool since Xu Fan was still young and have him play some more. However, when the end of the year exams came and they were tested on addition, subtraction, and pinyin alphabet, they were all surprised to see him test first place with full points.
In this world and this era, they stipulate that primary students start at the age of seven. The minimum age was six, but Xu Fan had only just turned five. Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen could only find the school principal to have a talk and make them see that they couldn’t diminish the child’s sincerity in learning. The principal agreed and the teacher in charge especially made a table for Xu Fan and Da Zhuang.
They allowed the students to attend class in rain, snow, and heavy winds. If they didn’t want to attend, they didn’t have to. They had opened the back door for Xu Fan and Da Zhuang who loved attending school.
Originally they thought the two children wouldn’t want to attend the first grade, but Xu Fan still liked going to school. Cui Dingchen could only say, “Have you packed your backpack yet?”
Xu Fan looked at Siwa and said, “It’s packed.”
“Mn, study well.”
“I know. I study very well. I’ll be the class monitor soon. I’ll be the class monitor again.”
Cui Dingchen turned his head to look at Xu Fan. He silently thought in his heart that his son was very excellent. The corners of his mouth lifted involuntarily.
Xu Fan stood to the side and stared at Siwa before saying, “Daddy, Siwa isn’t drinking anymore.”
There was still milk left over at the bottom of the bottle. Cui Dingchen shook it and said, “Siwa doesn’t want to drink anymore, do you?”
Xu Fan took the bottle, looked at Siwa, and said, “Little brother, give it to your big brother to drink.”
Siwa was feeling full and wanted to move around, but his clothes were too thick. He couldn’t move, so only his little hands could dance around.
Xu Fan said, “Big brother really is going to drink it.”
“Ugly baby, big brother really is going to drink it.”
Siwa didn’t mind being called ugly baby at all. His giggles became even louder.
Xu Fan drank the rest of the milk, then kissed Siwa. Siwa was so happy, he flailed around. Cui Dingchen tightly hugged him and said, “Baby, don’t get excited, don’t get excited.
However, Siwa was a chubby baby who got excited as soon as he saw his brother. He was even closer to him than his father. This made Cui Dingchen feel very aggrieved, and he could only turn to Xu Zhao to get comfort. After receiving Xu Zhao’s love, Cui Dingchen was satisfied as he watched his son grow.
Siwa was 3.4kg when he was born. It was just the right weight. After two months, he became even more chubby and looked even better. Xu Fan tok after Xu Zhao while Siwa had both of Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen’s best features. His little face was plump like a freshly peeled egg, very tender. His black eyes were like the stars, shining brightly. His personality was a bit like Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen’s, and was even a bit like Xu Fan’s.
In short, everyone loved him, but Siwa only loved his big brother, Xu Fan.
When he’d just learned to crawl, as long as he saw Xu Fan, he would crawl to Xu Fan. When he saw Xu Fan head to school, he would chase after him. If they didn’t let him go, he would cry a storm. At night, he wanted to sleep with Xu Fan. It could be said that he was a total bro-con. Even if he was beaten by his big brother, he would still love his big brother.
For example, at noon today, Siwa was supporting himself against the wall as he walked. Somehow, he’d touched Xu Fan’s little backpack and grabbed his color pencils and draw all over Xu Fan’s language books. Xu Fan got up and hit Siwa’s butt twice. After being hit twice, he cried out loudly. As he sat in Cui Dingchen’s embrace, he cried very pitifully as he said “bwoter, hit”, which meant that his big brother had hit him.
But in the blink of an eye, he walked toward Xu Fan again. Xu Fan was mad and ignored him as he carried his backpack to school. He cried once again. It was only after he cried for a long time did he finally settle down. He wore his big brother’s old red dudou and sat on the mattress, playing with the small toy car his big brother used to play with.
While he was playing, he heard his grandma say, “Siwa, your big brother should be out of school no.”
Siwa’s black eyes instantly lit up. He reached out and threw the car and raised his arms to be hugged by his grandma.
“Ah, how heavy.” Mother Xu carried Siwa out of the courtyard.
Walking to the entrance of South Bay Village, they saw a group of elementary school students walking over. Siwa’s dark eyes searched through the crowd and finally sounded Xu Fan, who was the shortest among them.
“Bwoter! Bwoter!” Siwa pointed at Xu Fan and called.
“It’s brother, not bwoter,” Mother Xu corrected.
Seeing Xu Fan, Mother Xu placed Siwa on the group then heard Xu Fan’s cheerful voice.
“Little brother! Siwa!”
It was as if the one who was angry at his younger brother this afternoon wasn’t him.
“Ah! Ah! Ah!” Siwa still didn’t know how to speak, so his frequency of shouting “ah” became more. When he heard his big brother calling, his excitement was comparable to winning the world cup. His small body fluttered toward Xu Fan.
Xu Fan carried his little backpack over and hugged Siwa.
Siwa happily hugged Xu Fan back.
Xu Fan held Siwa’s chubby little face and asked, “Did you come to pick up your big brother?”
Siwa called out.
Xu Fan kissed Siwa’s chubby little face.
Siwa happily exclaimed.
Xu Fan’s small, meaty hand held Siwa’s small, meaty hand as he said, “C’mon, follow big brother home. Big brother picked up a lot of chalk from the podium. Big brother will draw a picture for you later, okay? Okay? Siwa, say okay.”
“Okay.” It was only one word, but it was soaked in a fresh, milky flavor that was especially nice to listen to.
Xu Fan and Mother Xu each held Siwa’s hands as they strolled home. They placed Siwa beside the big stool and had Siwa support himself against the stool. Mother Xu grabbed the milk bottle, cookies, rattles, and rubber toys on top of the stool. She told Xu Fan to play with Siwa for a bit while she cooked.
“Where’s my Daddy and Big daddy?” Xu Fan asked.
“They went to the county town to take care of some work,” Mother Xu said, “Your grandpa and Uncle Li are looking at fertilizer in the big greenhouse.”
“Then did my daddy say he’ll buy me and my little brother pig trotters when they come back?”
Xu Fan was very happy.
Mother Xu entered the kitchen and began cooking.
Xu Fan pulled out the red, blue, and white colored chalk heads from his bag. He was the first to run up to the podium after class and took them all home to show off to Siwa.
Siwa was curious about everything, so he reached out to grab it.
Xu Fan immediately clenched his small, meaty hand and said, “Little brother, you can’t take it.”
Siwa stretched out his small, meaty hand and said, “Take!”
Xu Fan insisted, “You can’t take it!”
Siwa’s eyes were filled with the question “why” as he stared at Xu Fan.
Xu Fan said, “You love eating too much. If you eat the chalk heads, you’ll die. If you die, you won’t be able to see Daddy, Big daddy, or big brother anymore. You can’t take it. Big brother will draw for you.”
Siwa didn’t dare move.
Xu Fan held the chalk heads and started drawing on the wall. Xu Fan’s flexible fingers drew in a line as he explained about Sun Wukong’s hair, the primordial spirit, White Bone Essence, the tower of the tower barer, Li Tianwang, and Samadhi Real Fire created by the taoists. His words completely confused Siwa.
When Mother Xu came out of the kitchen, she saw the clean wall ruined.
Xu Fan stopped.
Mother Xu made a face. “Who said you could draw on the wall?”
Xu Fan said, “Nobody said I couldn’t draw on the wall.”
“You’re talking back? You’re not afraid of your big daddy hitting you when he comes back?”
Mother Xu angrily walked toward the base of the wall, wanting to see if the traces could be rubbed off or not.
Wearing the red dudou, Siwa used the stool to support himself. He thought his grandma was going to hit his big brother, so he used his small, meaty hand to throw his milk bottle. It fell to the ground with a “crash.”
Mother Xu was startled.
Xu Fan also looked over to Siwa.
Siwa’s small mouth formed the words, “Not hit!”
Which meant that she shouldn’t hit his big brother. However, he probably thought his words weren’t enough, so he fiercely stomped down his little feet. His little appearance was the same as Xu Fan’s when he was two or three years old. However, he was only one year old, so his center of gravity was still unstable. When he stomped his little feet, he became even more unstable. s
Hearing a “crash” sound, his tender little butt firmly sat on the ground. Soon after, his entire little body became crooked and fell to the ground. His small hand grabbed the stool but missed. Instead, he caused the cookies and rubber toys that were on top of the stool to fall directly on his small, meaty face and the ground.
There was a crash.
However, the strong Siwa didn’t cry. He smoothly turned over and sat on him. He grabbed the legs of the stool and stood up as he mumbled then stood the stool back up. He slowly walked to the edge of the stool and suddenly released the stool. His steps were unsteady as he rushed forward. Just as he was about to fall, he hugged Xu Fan’s arm.
Only when he was steady on his feet, he stared at Mother Xu with his dark eyes and fiercely stomped on his little feet. “Not! Hit!”
Mother Xu: “…”
The author has something to say:
Author: Sanwa, who’s better looking, you or Siwa?
Xu Fan: Me.
Author: Siwa, who’s better looking, you or Sanwa?
Siwa: Big bwoter.