Length: One-shot in the Dreaming of Us universe
Genre: I suppose self-insertion, humor, fluff
I was seven months pregnant and finding it harder and harder to chase after Yunho and I’s four little boys. I put my right hand on my lower back as I climbed the stairs in my search. Where could they be? They knew we were going over to Aunt Nikki Jo and Uncle Eli’s for a play date this morning. I could only hope that my oldest, Youngjae, wasn’t getting into trouble again.
Man was he a troublemaker. You would think with how much he looked like his father, they would share personality traits but so far they didn’t. I wasn’t sure who Youngjae got that from because I never really intentionally made trouble as a child, and Yunho was a responsible hardworking child who did his best to help his family. I smiled. Yunho was the same way as an adult, and I loved those qualities about him.
I found my second son in the middle of Youngjae’s room playing with toy cars on the mini town rug. “Yookwan, Honey, have you seen Youngjae-yah?”
He looked up at me and said, “He played trucks with me, but he didn’t wanna play trucks anymore.”
I had a feeling I was going to have to coax information out of him. “Do you know where he went after playing trucks?”
“I dun know.”
Oh the joys of trying to figure things out from kids. “Are you sure Honey? Think real hard and use big boy words. Mommy’s trying to find Hyung. Do you know what he wanted to do after playing trucks?”
“Ummm…” Yookwan puts his right index finger on his chin and had a thoughtful look on his face. It was so cute! “Oh yeah! I ’member I told him he shouldn’t play that ’cause he’d getted in trouble.”
“So I know Youngjae was going to do something that might get him in trouble, but I still don’t know what he wanted to play,” I said more to myself. “Do you remember what that is? I can probably find him if I know what he wants to play.”
“Hyung talked lots ’bout Appa’s concert.”
“Appa’s concert?” What could Youngjae want to do regarding that? I couldn’t think of anything and knew Yookwan probably wasn’t going to give my any more useful information. “What you told me was helpful. Now put your toys away and go watch TV in the living room with Hyunsu-yah and Shinil-ah before we go to Aunt Nikki Jo’s house to play.”
“No. Don’t wanna,” he said starting to whine.
“Jung Yookwan,” I said sternly, “if you don’t put your toys away and go to the living room, you will sit in the naughty chair.” I didn’t want to deal with one of his temper tantrums, especially this early in the day.
“I gonna play!”
“Do you want to sit quietly in the naughty chair for three minutes or are you going to be a good boy and listen to Mommy?”
“No naughty chair.”
“Then what do you need to do?”
“Put toys away and watch TV with nam-dongsaeng deul [younger brothers].”
“Thank you for listening to Mommy. We’re going to leave in an hour.”
I walked out of the room, checked the other bedrooms, and then Yunho’s work room to see if Youngie was there. He wasn’t in any of those places. Jiyool moved around and kicked me in the ribs. I sat on the office chair in front of the computer set up on the far wall and rubbed my belly in an effort to sooth her. “Come on Little One. Mommy loves you very much. I just don’t want you to dance right now. You can do that in two hours when I’m sitting with Aunt Nikki Jo and not running around looking for your oppa, okay?”
Yunho and I called Jiyool being active/kicking dancing because he nicknamed her his little “Dancer” on account of his own love of dancing and all the dancing he did in his job. The nickname was cute, but at the same time, I didn’t like it seeing as she being our “dancer” was more than slightly uncomfortable for me.
I wish Yunho understood what dancing felt like. I’m sure he wouldn’t be calling her his little dancer then. Our little girl just needed to calm down more often. “That’s right Honey, clam down.” Jiyool finally settled down a few minutes later, but she was in a position that was uncomfortable for me. Ugh. Why couldn’t she find a position that was good for both of us? I slid to the edge of the seat and stood up from the rolling chair.
Why did the nanny have the day off? I really could have used her help today. Then again it’s not like she or anyone for that matter could predict when Youngie was going to misbehave. Anyway, the boys and I were going to the Kims today. Nikki Jo and I could handle seven kids on our own even if we were both pregnant, right? Of course we could; we were both excellent mothers and thus, didn’t need the nanny.
I checked on Yookwan before going downstairs to make sure he was doing as told. He was and I was thankful for that. While he could be a whiner and throw temper tantrums, he was pretty easy to calm down and was a good listener.
“Youngjae, Honey, where are you!” I yelled at the foot of the stairs. I got no response. Typical. I sighed. That boy was a handful, and I could only sincerely hope that Kwanie was wrong on his assessment of what Youngjae was going to/wanted to do. As I got closer to the back rooms of the house, I noticed red feet and paw prints on the wood floor. Oh great. What did my troublemaker of a son do to cause this mess? I sighed and knew whatever it was; I wasn’t going to like it.
I opened the door to the storage room and was shocked at the sight before me. Taepung Jr., our pet Siberian Husky, and my naked son were covered in red paint, as were the floor and walls. “Youngjae, why are you and Taepung Jr. covered in paint?” Just what in the world was he thinking?
“Appa has a concert coming up. Taepung Jr. wanted to support him.” There’s the concert Yookwan said Youngjae kept talking about. Where is he going with this? “And I painted him the color of Cassie, but Taepung Jr. kept moving and paint got on me and the floor.”
So that is why he kept taking about Dream Concert. Omona. How could I forget Jung Youngjae’s undying love and support of his father? “Honey, it’s very nice of you and Taepung Jr. to want to support Appa. Now I want you to know that we don’t paint ourselves or anyone else because paint only goes on paper and canvas. We don’t get the paint out with asking an adult first either. Do you understand?”
“Please remember that in the future. Next time when you want to support Appa, I’ll help you do it in a better way. Now why do you have no clothes on?”
“I took them off.”
“And why was that?”
“Because you told me not to get them dirty before we go to Aunt’s house.”
“Oh.” Well you had to admit his kidie logic did make sense. “You are in trouble for playing with paint without asking.”
“Awww but Mommy Taepung Jr….”
“Don’t start with me; I don’t want to hear it. You know getting the paint out without asking and painting the dog is wrong. You and Taepung need to take a bath.”
“Bath?” Youngie sprinted from the room with his hands in the air running down the hall. “Noooooo!”
Of course he wouldn’t make things easy for me. Of course he would run away at the mention of a bath. Why would he make life easy for me? I loved all my children more than life itself. There were times, though, that my eldest antics got on my nerves. I put a hand on my belly and looked down. “You’ll like taking baths, won’t you Yoolie? Sure you will; you’re a girl. You’ll like getting all dressed up and pretty just like Mommy.” I smiled. I was so glad we were finally having a little girl, I and couldn’t wait to meet her.
As for Youngjae, I would run after him and catch him when I wasn’t pregnant. Stern mommy would do the trick now. “Jung Youngjae,” I hollered, “you get back here right this instant! Don’t make me count to three Young Man. You know what will happen if I do. One,” I counted slowly. “Two…” I saw him walk back this way.
My son stood in front of me looking down. “You will go upstairs to your bathroom and think about why using paint without asking and why painting the dog was wrong instead of going to the naughty chair while I call Aunt Nikki Jo to let her know there has been a change of plans. You will then have your bath.”
“Taepung Jr. needs a bath too.”
“I didn’t forget about him.” He’s already in trouble, and he’s being a smart alec? This boy. Omo, I swear… No, he’s only six (Korean age). He’s not being a smart alec right now. He’s just letting me know about Taepung. Deep breaths. “He’ll have one outside later. Go upstairs please.” I made sure to shut Taepung Jr. in the storage room so he wouldn’t get paint all over the rest of the house.
I massaged my lower back as I walked to the living room because walking all over the house had made my it sore and tired me out. I sighed. Youngjae… He, he just… Ugh! I took a deep breath again. Today’s mess was just another one of those instances where he meant well and didn’t mean to cause trouble/make a mess. (Though some of the messes simply came from him being a boy. What little boy doesn’t play in the mud every once in a while?) He was constantly bringing Nikki Jo’s oldest daughter Oceana in on it too. We didn’t like that (two little kids causing mischief were always more of a handful), yet we could see where that was leading: Youngjae and Oceana starting to fall for each other. It was so super cute! Nikki Jo and I could definitely see those two getting married someday. Our husbands thought we were simply seeing more than what was actually there. Could they blame us with how cute our firstborn were? No they couldn’t. Plus those two kids had their fathers in the palm of their hands, so if they were going to be together in the future, I’m 90% sure Yunho and Eli wouldn’t mind one bit. It was an added bonus that the Kims would make great in-laws as well.
I sat in the arm chair next to where I set my cellphone and looked over at my boys Hyunsu and Shinil. And awww… Poor little one year-old Shinil was still sitting in front of the TV where I left him looking very antsy. He must have missed me. He was a mommy’s boy after all, so I was surprised he was still there after forty-five minutes. “Shinil-ah, come to Mommy.” He looked at me and made excited baby noises. “Ma! Ma!”
“That’s right, Honey. Mommy didn’t forget about you.” He crawled over to me.
“Bye bye?” asked three year-old Hyunsu.
“I don’t think we’re going to go bye bye anymore.” I picked Shinil up and set him on my right knee and kissed his left cheek.
“Why?” asked Yookwan. When did he enter the room?
“Because your hyung got in trouble again, and I have a big mess I need to clean up. If Nikki Jo agrees to it, she and the girls will be coming over here instead.”
“Yay! No house with Noona!”
I laughed. “Maybe Honey.”
“She makes me the mean brother. That’s no fun. Am I mean Mommy?”
“You’re a very nice boy Kwanie-yah.”
I looked at the three kids in the room and was seriously hoping that now that Yunho and I were having a daughter, we were not going to have any more children, but who knows what God had in store for us. Still, I didn’t know if I could handle being pregnant and taking care of my children at the same time again. We had four boys six years old and younger, and they were a handful. I caressed my belly. Sure plenty of people have had more kids than us, but I knew myself and my limits. I felt like I would be put on bed rest if there was a next time, and bed rest would bore me to tears.
At least now Yunho was working less. Even when Yookwan was born in 2015, just over ten years after his debut, Yunho was still super busy. How did I ever get the courage to go have a strict conversation with the big wigs at SM to change that? I chuckled. “Mommy sure has become a strong woman, hasn’t she?” I whispered to myself and Jiyool. Youngjae was still all alone in the bathroom, hence I didn’t have time to think about said memory. I put Shinil back on the floor. “Mommy is going to give Youngjae a bath since he is covered in paint. You boys can watch TV or play with your toys down here. Kwanie-yah, can I trust you to watch your nam-dongsaeng deul while I’m upstairs?”
“I’m big boy. Big boys help Mommy!”
“That’s right; you’re Mommy’s big boy. Thank you. You are a big help.”
Aw, he’s so polite. I smiled. Our sons could be so darn cute at times. I slid to the edge of the seat, stood up using the arm rests for support, and grabbed my cellphone.
I had Jae settled and playing in the bathtub while I was sitting on the closed toilet; thus it was a perfect time to call Nikki Jo. I’m sure she was wondering where we were. The phone rang three times before she picked up.
“Hi, it’s me.”
“Oh, hi Alicia. I was wondering where you and the boys were.”
“Yes, about that. Youngjae got into paint this morning and ended up painting the dog and in the course of things, the back of the house and himself as well. I’m currently giving him a bath. I don’t think today would be a good time to come over; I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind coming over here instead.”
“Sure we could do that. Why did he get out the paint?”
“He said Taepung Jr. wanted to support Appa’s upcoming concert, so he painted Taepung Jr. the color of Appa’s fanclub.”
“Oh goodness. That is something he would do. It’s a sweet thought, but it could have been carried out in a better and less messy way.”
“Don’t I know it. That’s how it usually goes with him. Good intentions that end with trouble and a mess. So Taepung needs a bath of course, and I thought the kids could get their suits on and help give him one in the backyard, and then they could play in the sprinkler and kiddie pool.”
“That sounds like fun. Hm… It’s 11:30 now, so why don’t I get the girls ready and feed them lunch and then head over?
I heard Oceana yelling in the background, “Mum! Mum! Watch me do summersaul!”
“I’m watching Dear. Sorry about that. You know how kids can be.”
“I understand completely. I’m surprised I’ve been able to talk to you this long without someone interrupting me. The boys have been alone an awful lot this morning.”
“You’ll be back to playing with them in no time I’m sure.”
“Yes, I will. It’ll also be easier to play with them when Jiyool is born, not that I will have a lot of time for that.”
Nikki Jo giggled. “With three kids of my own and the fourth due in three months, I absolutely understand. I’ll be very glad when Yong Sook is born.”
“Yes. I’ll be happy when Jiyool is born too. No more kicking me in the ribs or sitting on my spine.”
“Yong Sook sits on my spine too, and it seems like he’s always sitting in the wrong spot for me. Now as I was saying, the girls and I should be ready to go by 1:00.”
“Sounds like a plan. Nap time at 2:30, 3:00?”
“That works Dear. It’s a late nap time, so the kids may be tired before then.”
“If they are, it could always be sooner; we’ll play it by ear. Oh you know what? We could have the kids do art projects to support DBSK and U-Kiss at the Dream Concert next week.”
“Oceana and Youngjae will love that!”
I giggled. “It’s what I’m hoping for.”
“I’ll text the other girls so their kids can make projects too. You know they’ll all be envious if our kids have support things and they don’t.”
“I agree. It’s like there’s some sort of competition between them, which is weird considering how young they are.”
“I know, but look at how competitive their appas are!”
I laughed. “You’re right. How could I forget about that?”
“I’m sure it’s just the hectic day. Okay, we’ll see you later then Alicia. Bye.”
“Bye Nikki Jo.” I hit the end call button, and set my phone on the counter. I looked at my son. “Time to get out of the bath Little Man.”
“Can I play in the bath a little longer Mommy?”
“You can do that, but you’ll miss lunch,” I said knowing what Youngie’s reaction would be.
“Lunch!?” Youngjae looked excited. “I don’t wanna miss lunch.”
“Well then you are going to have to get out of the bath.”
“What’s for lunch?”
“I don’t know. What do you want to eat?”
“Macaroni and cheese with lots and lots of cheese!”
“We will have to see what your nam-dongsaeng deul want to eat too, but I might make macaroni and cheese.”
“Now it’s hard for Mommy to reach over, so pull the plug for me please and let all the water out of the tub.” I waited until most of the water was drained before I got up and grabbed a big, fluffy towel from a hook across from the sink to dry off Youngie. I saw he was shivering a little. “Are you cold Youngie-yah?” He nodded his head. “Okay. Let Mommy help you out of the tub so you don’t fall, and then I’ll wrap you up in this nice warm towel.” I draped it over my left shoulder and held his hand has he stepped over the lip of the tub. I then wrapped the towel around my son. “I’ll put you back in the clothes you were wearing earlier once you’re dry since they’re not dirty. Then we’ll go downstairs so I can start lunch.”
“Am I still going to see Oceana-yah today?”
“I was talking with her mom on the phone just earlier, and Oceana and her sisters will be coming over here to play this afternoon instead of us going over to her house.”
His face lit up into the biggest grin I have ever seen on his little face. “Yay! I really, really, really, really like seeing Oceana-yah!”
I couldn’t help but smile and giggle at how cute my son was being. “I know you do Honey.”
“We’re going to play trucks, and um, um if she wants to play house I’ll um I’ll, I’ll play it with her, and we’ll play on the swing set in the back yard, and um I’ll push her on the swing! She really likes when I do that Mommy!”
“Does she now? Lift your arms up please so I can put your shirt on.”
“Yeah she does! I’m her big strong oppa; I push her really high! Oh and um I’ll read to her too! Well I’m not that good at reading, but I can read her Where the Wild Things Are ‘cause you and Appa read it to me all the time. I know all the words to that book!”
“Yes you do my little monster.”
Youngjae lifted his arms up pretending to be one of the monsters from the book. “Rawr! I’m gonna get you Mommy!”
“Oh no! Don’t get me!” I hurried from the bathroom laughing. “Who will make lunch today if I’m not around?”
Youngjae stopped to think. “I’m a big boy! I can do it!”
“I thought you were a monster?”
“Monsters eat lunch too.” He started chasing me again. “Rawr!”
“Monster-ssi, my son wants macaroni and cheese,” I said looking over my shoulder, “and you have to use the stove to make it. How old are you?” I stopped running (well as much running as I could do while pregnant) and turned around looking at my son.
Youngie held up his hands. “I’m six!”
“I’m sorry Monster-ssi, for safety reasons, you aren’t old enough to use the stove by yourself.”
“Oh yeah.” He stopped again. “I forgot. I won’t get you today Mommy.”
I put my hands over my heart. “Thank you oh kind monster for sparing me.”
“Now let’s go back in the bathroom and finish getting dressed.”