Posted by : Global Minions 18 February 2015
Daddy must have heard me cry because he quickly got out of bed and stood right above my crib. Mommy must still be tired after watching a movie last night. She’s soundly sleeping in bed, huddled under a thick blanket. Daddy looks at her and smiles. Then, he looks down at me and asks, “Good morning, son. Why are you up so early? You know mommy is still sleeping. Would you like me to change your diapers?”
I stare at him and clutch my blanket tighter. Actually, I was sorry for waking him up. Daddy is always nice to me so I try not to make a fuss when he does it. Even if he was still sleepy, he quickly picked me up and proceeded to change my diapers. Quietly, I hear him sing, “tatatatata,” as he puts powder all over my bottom. He has a very soothing voice. He doesn’t sing as well as Mommy but that doesn’t stop him from trying. Last night, I heard her teaching him a new song. Lately, Mommy seems to be into songs by this kid called Justin Beiber. They keep singing and dancing to his song, “Baby.” I can tell that Daddy is slowly losing his mind when they practice. I wish she would be more patient with him. If I could talk, I’d tell her to just choose songs I can fall asleep to.
I was just wondering when I would be able to start talking when Mommy’s phone alarm went off. A man’s voice could clearly be heard saying, “Wake up, young lady.” Daddy glances at the little bundle in bed, looks at me, and whispers, “Ding, shall we wake up your mom?” He carries me in his arms and crosses the room to her side of the bed. He kneels down and softly nuzzles her hair. “Wake up, young lady,” he whispers in her ear. She makes a little gurgling sound and burrows deeper in the covers. He smiles and repeats what he just said, a little louder this time. “Oppa, let’s just sleep in today,” she suddenly answers. “Honey, I wish we could but we have a lot to do, right?” he calmly reminds her. She sighs in response and opens her eyes. When she sees me, she broke into a great big smile. “How’s my little Ding-ie? You’re turning 1 year old today.” She turns to Daddy and asks, “Do you remember the day we had him?”
“How could I forget? It was like a scene in a really bad drama. You were pulling my hair and screaming. If I remember correctly, you said, ‘What did you do to me, Namgoong Min? This is all your fault!’
Mommy gave a loud throaty laugh. “But you were so cool about it, nampyeon.” She remembers him constantly apologizing to her, telling her to hang in there, and reassuring her that he loved her. She laughed again though when she recalled him singing the national anthem in the delivery room to calm her down. “And do you remember the first thing you said to Ding?”
Daddy smiles sheepishly and nods his head. He answers, “Ya, Ding-ie, come on!” Both of them burst out laughing.
When the laughter died down, Mommy looks into Daddy’s eyes, puts her hand on his cheek and says, “Namgoong Min, come on.” They started the day with a morning kiss.
An hour later, we were all sitting in the dining room, about to finish our breakfast. My parents had some egg sandwiches, which took Mommy around 40 minutes to make, and I had my milk.
“Let’s make seaweed soup for Ding’s birthday,” she boldly declares. Most people who hear her would probably think she is an expert at cooking. On the contrary, she is simply brimming with confidence, even in things she knows absolutely nothing about. What she lacks in knowledge, however, she completely makes up for in determination. This is why she always manages to persuade Daddy to go along with her.
“Do you even know how to make it, honey?” he asks her sceptically. “Have you ever made seaweed soup before?” Mommy looks at him and smiles smugly. “Of course! It’s easy!” Daddy looks unconvinced. He knows she has a tendency to exaggerate. She persists, “Let’s get the ingredients at the supermarket after we buy Ding’s gift and some party supplies.” If he looked sceptical before, now he looks very concerned. I suspect he’s thinking of the last time they went shopping together. He always has to keep a close eye on her when they’re in a store. Despite being smart in many ways, Mommy is a total fool for shopping. I wonder how much she’ll end up buying this time.
Trying to keep disaster at bay, he asks her what else she is planning to do for my party. She suggests decorating the house and inviting some people over. She also asked him what theme they should have.
“How about something simple? Just some balloons and cake,” he calmly suggests. He also recommended getting some food delivered to save time. She quickly shakes her head at this and insists she’ll cook everything. “Oppa, we have to do this for Ding. I’ll take care of most of it. You can just relax in your chair and watch.” This does not reassure him. Based on experience, he knows what she really meant was that he will run to and fro doing whatever she wants him to do.
Shamelessly, she continues, “Since this is Ding’s special day, I was thinking we can do something different. How about a safari theme or a costume party?”
The word “costume” made Daddy grimace. He must have recalled their wedding day, wherein she somehow convinced him to dress up like Ken and Barbie. Not wanting to end up wearing something equally embarrassing, he immediately rejects her idea. He reasons that they already have many things to do that day so wearing a costume is out of the question. Disheartened, Mommy pouts at him. Daddy isn’t having it.
Then she looks at me and pulls me to her lap. She lifts me up and hides her face behind me. “Appa, I want to wear something cute,” says a weird baby voice coming from my back. “Please say ‘yes’,”. Daddy tries to hide a laugh behind one hand. I knew he couldn’t win against her. If I had only known that I’d end up wearing a Pikachu onesie, I would have cried a little bit when she took me out of my high chair.
We arrived at the shopping mall a little after 10. Once inside, Mommy and Daddy went straight to the party supplies store. Just like he predicted, she didn’t stick to their shopping list. She picked out several items to decorate the house with. One of them was a huge banner with “Happy Birthday” printed on it. They had fun trying on some silly props and party hats. Mommy couldn’t help but pull the string of Daddy’s hat. He smiled through the pain and tried to return the favour. She runs away quickly and hides behind a giant action figure.
“Honey, come here. We should get going.” He tries to coax her out of her hiding place. When she refused to budge, he quickly grabbed her and held her in his arms. Trapped, she opens her mouth and a voice like a chipmunk’s comes out.
“Oppa, I’m sorry. Saranghae,” says Mommy. She had a naughty look on her face and pink balloon in her hand. Connecting the dots, Daddy took it from her and inhaled some helium too.
Also sounding like a chipmunk, he responds, “Honey, when we get home, I’m gonna look for the broom.”
2 chipmunks could be heard laughing in the store.
Sometimes I’m really grateful that I’m too young to be embarrassed by my parents.
When we got home, they both went to the kitchen to start making seaweed soup. As expected, Mommy started issuing orders like a general.
“Oppa, please chop the seaweed and I’ll season the soup.” As he begins to find the seaweed in their shopping bags, she adds, “But before you do, please make Ding take a nap and check for any dog poop in the living room.” He gives her an agonizing look behind her back but dutifully does what he was told. He just finished throwing out Jolie’s nasty little present when Mommy called him to taste her cooking.
“Oppa, hurry up and try this! It’s so good it’s crazy!” She shoves a spoon in his mouth as soon as he was beside her.
“Aaaah! It’s too hot! My tongue!” Daddy protests.
Full of remorse, Mommy cups his face in her hands and starts blowing on his burnt lips. “Is it still hot, Oppa?” she quietly asks while looking at him. Daddy sees me watching them and pulls away. Needless to say, he can be very shy at times. Especially when he’s caught thinking of something he shouldn’t.
With no more accidents, the seaweed soup was done in about an hour. While waiting for it to cool, they both headed to the living room to start with the decorations. One of the balloons popped while they were trying to attach them to a beam. This woke me up from my nap and I started crying. Mommy walks towards me and starts singing the 3 bears song. Daddy stands next to her and does little funny dance movements. Anyone watching the 2 of them would instantly smile. I stopped crying and went back to sleep.
As they were taking selfies of themselves with the decorations, the doorbell rang. Daddy welcomed my Grandpa and Grandma Hong. They greeted me first and gave me a nice big present. Right behind them were my Grandpa and Grandma Namgoong, along with my Uncle and his wife. Even my older cousin Sol was with them.
“Ding is so cute. He reminds me of Jinyoung when she was a baby,” Grandma Hong proudly states.
Cheekily, Mommy asks, “Is it because of the bright expression on his face?”
“It’s probably because of his chubby feet and hairy arms,” says Daddy with a straight face. Mommy promptly smacks him on the back. Everyone laughs.
“Well, Ding seems to have grown a lot since the last time we saw him. You have to treat him well,” Grandpa Hong then gave a long lecture about how my parents should raise me.
Unwilling to listen to him any longer, Grandma Hong suggested we move on to the tradition of choosing an object to represent a child’s future. Mommy placed a small mic, a book, something called a “script”, and other random things. Then, everyone was looking at me as if expecting me to do something. Not liking the attention, I tried to distract myself with something I could play with. I took a soccer ball sitting on my right and held it up. I don’t know why but my parents started clapping and cheering. Little did I know that they both wanted me to be an athlete.
“Now that that’s settled, how about some cake?”, suggested Mommy.
She goes to the kitchen and Daddy quickly follows her. They both bring out a huge birthday cake with 1 candle on top. They told me to blow out the candle and make a wish. I didn’t understand what they were saying so I just stuck my hand in the cake. I pulled out a chunk and ate it. It was so good!
Mommy and Daddy then starts slicing the cake and putting them on little plates. They gave everyone a slice before they started eating.
“Oppa, aaaahhh!” she says as she tries to feed him a piece of cake.
Daddy watches that piece like a hawk and moves wherever her hand goes. After doing this for a half a minute or so, that lovely piece of cake finally makes its way into his mouth. My parents have done this so many times even my grandparents are used to it. They steadfastly ignore my lovey-dovey parents and attempt to keep their food down.
After all the food was consumed and all the presents were opened, the guests started saying their goodbyes. Everyone congratulated Mommy on her delicious albeit suspicious-looking seaweed soup. Daddy was proud. He put his arm around her and said she is the best cook he knows.
Later that night, when they were both in bed, wrapped in each other arms, they talked about how the party was.
“Did you make a wish when you blew out Ding’s candle?” asks Mommy
“Yes, I did.”
“What did you wish for?”
No answer from him.
“Oppa, what did you wish for?” she asks again.
Again, there was no response.
“Is it something red?” she guessed.
He laughs. “No, I don’t need to wish for that. I can have that anytime I want.”
She snorts and mutters, “Punk”.
He looks straight at her and asks, “Do you really want to know?”
She nods her head vigorously. “Tell me.”
He hugs her tight and says, “It was your mother that gave me the idea.” She gave him a curious look. He finally confesses, “I wished to see another little you.”
She gasps and her eyes open wide. “Oppa, you know what? It’s scary sometimes how similar we are.”
He gave her that look that only she has the power to make him to. “Didn’t I say we were soulmates?”
PS: this is the original story of essay contest. unfortunately we have to cut despite of 2000 maximum words.