Length: One-shot in the Dreaming of Us universe
Genre: I suppose self-insertion, humor, fluff
A/N: There will be a couple of side shots to go along with this story: calling Yunho and him talking to Youngjae and Youngjae and Oceana at nap time (some people might explode because of the cute.)
“Hewo Aunt,” said Oceana when I opened the door.
“Hello to you too Oceana-yah. You look really pretty in your hair bow today.”
“Fank you! Mum did i! Hai bows look bad when Appa does them. Mum teached him, but he still does i wong. Mum is the best hai bow puter-iner ever!”
Nikki Jo laughed. “Thank you Dear. I don’t know why Appa can’t figure it out either.”
“She even help me put a bow on Lulu! See?” She held up her doll.
I giggled. Lulu was her absolute favorite baby doll. I guess Kwanie wasn’t getting out of playing house today. “Jae-yah and Kwan-ah are in the living room if you want to go play with them.”
“Yay!” I stepped aside and Oceana ran inside.
“Oceana,” yelled Nikki Jo, “remember to take off your shoes!”
“Oh yeah. Sowy I forgot!” She came back and put her and Lulu’s shoes by the front door.
“It’s okay. You were just over excited,” Nikki Jo replied.
I turned my attention to Nikki Jo’s other girls. “Hi Chun Hei.”
She shyly replied from behind her mom’s right leg, “Hello.”
I waved at Jin Ae who was being held and said in a baby voice, “Hi. You’re so cute in your purple tank top with a flower on it.”
“What about me?” I heard Chun Hei pout. Kids almost always hear when another kid gets a compliment and want one too. “How do I look?”
I turned towards her. “I didn’t forget about you. You look adorable in that outfit Honey.”
“Thank you. Mum made me it!”
“She did? Well I really like it. Now come in. Come in,” I finally said. “Enough letting bugs in and all the cool air out.”
Nikki Jo walked in and laughed. “You and your green-ness Alicia.”
“I’m sorry. I can’t help myself. I blame my father. Which reminds me. The last time we talked, he was telling us about his garden and how great all the vegetables and fruits are that he gets from it. He even said he had his largest apple and peach crop to date! That’s so crazy to think about seeing as he’s constantly been getting bushels and bushels and bushels of peaches from his three peach trees ever since he planted them. He then went on and on about how Yunho and I should start a garden.
“How many times do I have to remind him that we don’t have space like he does for one? ‘But there are still things you can do! You could start a container garden,’ he said. ” Nikki Jo put down her diaper bag and set one year-old Jin Ae on the floor in front of the sofa. I sat down. “I told him, ‘We don’t have time for even that.’ ” I leaned back and rubbed my belly. “That was the wrong thing to say. He went on to gripe about how he used to have ten times more things on his plate, and yet he still got things done, not to the 100% best of his ability, but things still got done. Don’t get him started about that.” I laughed. “I still don’t think he understands how things work in Korea. You know my dad. He’ll talk to his family about being green until he is blue in the face.”
“You’ve told me as much. You still love how green your dad is.”
“Of course I do. He just needs to learn not to go on and on about things and listen when I tell him that Korea is different when it comes to backyard space in the area where we live. Somehow, even though he has visited us here, he’s simply not connecting it.”
“I think that’s just going to be one of your dad’s eccentricities that he has. Something your kids are going to tell people about their maternal grandfather like, ‘Grandpa Ludwig is great, but every time we talk to him, he tells us the same things about how we should have fruit and vegetable gardens at home.’ ”
“You’re right. I just have to think about this in a more positive light, and less with my issue I still have with him still not truly ‘listening’ to what I say. Dad always bringing up gardening is a delightful thing about him. Yes, delightful.”
“Grandpa Ludwig?” Youngjae asked excitedly hearing our conversation and walking over, Oceana following him. “He lets me plays in the dirt when we visit him! I like playing in the dirt; it’s lots of fun!”
“I not fun,” Oceana chimed in. “You get messy. My hai get all mess up. I don’t like i!”
“Nuhuh. It’s fun!”
I didn’t want the kids to get into an argument and had the perfect solution. “Oceana-yah and Youngjae-yah, I have something special to tell you.”
“Really?” “Weally?” they both exclaimed.
“Yes. One thing that makes boys and girls different is that most boys like being messy and getting dirty and girls don’t like getting dirty. It’s okay to be different in that way, but boys named Youngjae…”
“Yes, like you Honey. Boys named Youngjae need to remember they still have to listen to their mommies and appas and takes baths and be clean. Youngjaes want to smell as good as their appas, right?” Mentioning Yunho was always a good way to get Youngjae’s attention.
“Yeah! Youngjae wants to smell as good as Appa! Mommy likes the way Appa smells too. It makes Mommy happy; I want to make Mommy happy too!” Aw well wasn’t he just the sweetest! I just prayed that he would remember this.
“Yeah, appas smell fe best!” said Oceana.
It so cute how she said that like it was one of the most obvious things in the world. I giggled. I recalled the one show where Eli showed the inside of his wardrobe where he had some Victoria Secret body spay or something. I always assumed some fan sent it to him, it was one of sisters’ or his mother’s or he was weird, liked it and got it for himself. There was also a good amount used bottles. Oh Eli. I giggled again.
“What’s funny Mommy?” asked Youngie.
“What? Oh I just remembered something funny about Oceana’s appa from a long time ago.”
“We’re gonna go back to playing,” Youngjae said.
“Go right ahead.”
“So,” said Nikki Jo, “what was it that you remembered about Eli?”
“There was a show years ago where he showed the inside of his wardrobe, and he had a half empty bottle of women’s body spay. I think it may have been Victoria Secret or something.” I started giggling.
“I can barely believe you remembered that.”
“I agree. I have a memory for the oddest things. Appas smelling good happened to bring it up. Why would Eli, a single male living alone, even have women’s body spray back then?”
“Maybe a fan sent it, or it was his mom’s or sisters’.”
“That’s what I was thinking too. He certainly is an odd one.”
Nikki Jo smiled. “You’re one to talk. Look at Yunho.”
We laughed. “You are right. He’s strong and manly with a huge cute side and lots of ageyo, not to mention moobs. Oh his moobs.” I started laughing hard. Those were definitely interesting things the fandom had talked about over the years. The Ya Shim Man Man story didn’t help.
“We both have weird husbands,” Nikki Jo said, “and that’s what we love about them.”
“Indeed we do. Life is never boring with them or our children around.”
“Yuppers. What did you want to do for support projects?”
“I thought…” I noticed out of the corner of my eye Oceana talking to Youngjae very animatedly. Oh gosh could those two be cute together.
“I gotta visit Appa at wok two days ago. Fat was Monday! I was lotsa fun!” said Oceana throwing her hands up in the air to emphasize her point.
“I like seeing Appa at work too. He lets me sing into the big microphone sometimes! The ahjussi deul who sit at the table with all the knobs say I’m really good.”
“Yeah, you a weally good singer like Uncle!”
“You welcome. Oh yeah. I saw Hawang Oppa! His appa was teaching Appa and Uncles dance. Oppa a weally good dancer.” Youngjae didn’t like what he was hearing. Harang was one of the mean big kids! He didn’t like Harang. “He danced a funny dance,” continued Oceana. “I no gonna dance i ‘cause I no good a i. I laugh lots. Appa ask wha so funny. I told him i was Oppa. He fe cooles big kid ever!”
The more Oceana talked about Harang, the more upset Youngjae was getting. He crossed his arms and pouted. Harang wasn’t cool! He was mean! Oceana finally noticed something was wrong with her oppa.
“Wha wong Oppa?”
“Nuhuh. Somefing no wigh. You sad? Why?”
“I’m not sad.”
“I’m not mad! Stay away from Harang.”
“Bu we fwiends. Oppa play wif me when I visi Appa at wok.”
“I don’t like him. He’s a big meanie!”
“Oppa no meanie! He weally nice. He teached me dance. He weally, weally good dancer like Uncle Yang!”
“Appa says I dance really good like him. Appa dances better than Taeyang Ahjussi. I dance better than Harang! Only watch me dance.” He started to dance to his appa’s coolest song ever.
“No. You no my appa.” Oceana turned around.
“Watch me dance!”
“No. I dun wanna. I can watch Oppa dance if I wan!”
“Nuhuh, he not good dancer. He mean!”
“He no mean. He dance weally, weally, weally good!”
“Nuhuh!!” Youngjae was just so upset! He wanted Oceana to be quiet about that big old meanie Harang! He walked in front of her and pushed her.
She started crying. Her bottom hurt. Why did her oppa push her? That was a mean thing to do. Her oppa wasn’t mean. He was really nice! Did she do something bad? Oceana was very confused.
“Omo. Is that Oceana I hear crying?” asked Nikki Jo looking around.
I spotted Oceana on the ground and Youngjae standing over her. It didn’t look good. “Yes, it looks like it. Let’s go see what’s going on.” We walked over to the kids on the far side of the living room. “Youngjae, Honey, why is Oceana-yah crying?” He just stood there looking at his friend clearly upset over something.
“Oceana, come to the sofa with Mum and tell me what happened, okay?”
“My bottom hurts Mum,” Oceana said through her tears.
“I’ll make it better I promise.”
“Yes, Youngjae. We’re going to go to the sofa and figure out what happened.”
“No,” he said in a pouty voice.
“Oceana-yah is crying. Don’t you want to make her feel better like usual?” He shook his head. What has gotten into my son? This behavior wasn’t like him. “You’re her big strong oppa. Oppa take care of their dongsaeng. What about all the things you were going to do with Oceana-yah today? You can’t do those things if she’s upset.”
“Not gonna play with her anymore.” Did he just say what I think he said? He couldn’t have, could he? I have to figure out what happened because something is obviously very wrong. Youngie was so excited about the play date with Oceana this morning. What changed?
“Oh Honey, you don’t mean that. You love playing with her.”
“You, Mommy, Oceana-yah, and Aunt need to talk about what happened. You’ll feel better after talking about it.”
“Okay, I understand that something happened to make you feel bad and act the way you did. You don’t have to talk about it; you can just sit next to me and listen and talk when you feel like it. How does that sound?”
“No, no, no,” he whined.
I walked towards the sofa and turned around. “Come on Youngie-yah,” I said motioning my son in my direction. He just stood there with his arm crossed looking clearly upset. “Mommy loves you very much Youngjae, and I want to help you feel better. Mommies are good at making bad things not so bad. Come sit next to me, and we’ll figure things out.” He finally followed me. That was progress.
I sat down and patted the spot on my right. Youngjae hesitantly sat next to me cuddling into my side. Gosh whatever happened must have really upset him more than I even thought; he looked very hurt. I rubbed soothing circles on his back. Oceana’s crying had quieted down a tad, and I was glad for that.
“What did Oceana tell you Nikki Jo?” I asked.
“She said she was telling a story about visiting Appa at work this week and said she got to see Harang. You know how much she likes him.”
“She saw Youngjae wasn’t happy and asked what was wrong. He basically said Harang was mean and to only watch him dance and not Harang. In the end, Youngjae pushed her.”
“It hurted when Oppa pushed me.”
I think I knew what was going on. “Do you think Youngie was jealous?” That would explain why he was acting the way he was.
“That makes sense.” Of course Youngie had never been romantically jealous before, and this could be how he was reacting to the new form of the emotion. Aigoo my poor baby.
“Mum, wha jealous mean?”
“It’s an emotion people sometimes feel when they’re upset; I’ll tell you more about it in a minute. Alicia, why don’t you talk to Youngjae-yah somewhere else while I finish things here?”
“We’ll go to the kitchen to talk, and then,” I looked at my son,” Youngjae will tell Oceana-yah he is sorry for pushing her.” He just pouted at my words, and my heart hurt. Hopefully Nikki Jo and I would be able to make things better.
I sat down at the kitchen table and pulled the chair next to mine so it faced me. “Sit down please. Youngjae-yah, Mommy loves you very much. I heard Aunt say Oceana was talking a lot about another boy. Is that right?” He nodded his head. “You didn’t like that, did you?” Youngie mumbled a nuhuh. “It is okay to feel that way, but remember when you feel bad, you need to use nice words instead of yelling and pushing someone because yelling and pushing hurts the other person’s feelings.” My son started crying. My poor baby. What was going through his head? I pushed my chair back and knelt down enveloping him in a hug. “What’s wrong Honey?”
“Am I in trouble Mommy?” he said through his tears pulling back from the hug and looking at me. “I, I, I don’t wanna be in trouble. I’ll be, be a good boy, I promise.”
“You’re not in trouble for yelling and pushing Oceana-yah. Ssssh,” I said running my hand through the back of his hair. “It is okay.”
“But you said pushing and yelling was wong, and, and, and I already was bad today!”
“I know. Sometimes there are exceptions to the rules.” I knew that would be hard for a six year old to understand, but I hoped he would have some sort of understanding. I stood up and looked my crying son in the eye. “Let’s go upstairs to my room so we can lay on my bed where it’s more comfortable and you can cuddle with Mommy. It is too hard to do that here with your yeo-dongsaeng (sister) in the way.” I took Youngie’s hand and we walked upstairs. I really disliked seeing my children crying; it was one of the worst things in the world. I sincerely hoped Youngjae would understand what I had to say.
We climbed onto the king-sized bed. I took a tissue from the bedside table and told him to blow his nose while I held it for him. Then I wiped the tears from his face with my hands. He cuddled up to me and I rubbed soothing circles on his back. “Everything is going to be okay Youngjae-yah. You’re not a bad boy.”
“Really, you’re not. You do things that get you in trouble sometimes, but you also help Mommy make salads. You make Appa laugh when he’s feeling down. You share with nam-dongsaeng deul even when you don’t want to. You push Oceana-yah high on the swing. You do a lot of other things to help people; bad boys wouldn’t do those things. You aren’t in trouble for you did to Oceana since you don’t fully understand why you did it. Now Mommy knows you like when she says nice things about you, and today you said you were her big strong oppa and you do things for Oceana that she really likes.” Youngie had stopped crying.
“I want to help you understand why her talking about another boy makes you feel bad. Do you remember when I said the word jealous before?”
“Well jealousy is an emotion people feel when they’re scared they are going to lose something important to them. You were very jealous of all the time Mommy and Appa had to spend with Yookwan after he was born. You didn’t understand what was going on; you were afraid we loved the baby more than you. But now you know that’s not true. No matter how many babies come into this family, Appa and Mommy will love you and your dongsaeng deul all the same. You have helped your nam-dongsaeng deul learn that many times. Appa and Mommy are proud of you for doing that. You’re such a big boy.” I smiled at my son and could see he was looking less tense.
“When Oceana-yah talked about Harang, were you scared she liked another boy better than you?”
“I dun know.”
“Okay. I’ll give you an example to help you. There was one time where Appa got very jealous of a guy friend I was spending a lot of time with while Appa and Mommy were dating. You know how we have to be on a plane for a very long time when we visit Grandma and Grandpa?”
“Well I was living by them when I entered a contest to be on a Korean TV show. That’s where I met Appa for the first time in person. Before then, I just saw him in pictures and videos online. We eventually started sending emails and other messages online to each other. He asked me one day if I would move to Korea because we were boyfriend and girlfriend and living far away from each other while being boyfriend and girlfriend is hard. We wanted to see each other in person, but we couldn’t do that. I thought about it and decided one of my best friends, Nikki Jo, and I could teach English in Korea, so we moved here.”
“The company we worked for would sometimes have parties. I met a guy who used to live near my parents back in America, and we became friends. I was really happy to find someone who was from the same city I was. We would talk about our experiences back home and things people only from Chicago would get.”
“Appa was jealous of my friendship with my friend Shawn. He didn’t like when I talked about Shawn; it made him scared. Remember that jealousy is an emotion people feel like they’re going to lose something important to them. So why do you think Appa was scared?”
“Um, well, you talk about something a lot when you like it lots and lots. Did Appa think you liked that Ahjussi more than him?”
“You are right Youngie-yah. Appa was scared I liked someone else better than him.”
“You would never do that Mommy. You love Appa lots and lots and lots and lots! Didn’t Appa know that?”
“I’m sure he did. Sometimes jealousy makes you feel things that aren’t always true. Appa was scared of something else too. Appa was (and still is) an idol, so we had to keep our relationship a secret back then. He was scared that I would leave him and date my friend, and he didn’t want to lose me. Appa thought I would like it better if I could be honest and open about being Shawn’s girlfriend if I dated him. Shawn and I could do things I couldn’t do with Appa like go on dates and not worry about Cassie getting mad about us not telling them.”
“What did Appa do?”
“He got really frustrated, mad, and didn’t talk to me as much as he did before. I didn’t understand why. Shawn was just a friend. I didn’t see a problem with being friends with him, and I didn’t understand why Appa acted differently. Uncle Changmin had to explain things to me for me to understand because Mommy isn’t perfect and doesn’t know everything.” Youngjae looked thoughtful, and I wondered what he was thinking.
“Honey, did you think Oceana liked Harang better than you when she kept talking about him?”
“Can you tell me what else you were feeling?”
“That made me scared like Appa. I told Oceana to stop talking about Hyung, but she didn’t. She wouldn’t stop Mommy! That made me mad. I just wanted her to be quiet. I didn’t know how to make her be quiet, so I pushed her.” Something flashed across his face. “Oh no! Mommy, what if Oceana doesn’t like me anymore? I don’t want her not to like me anymore! I like Oceana-yah lots and lots and lots and lots and lots. Like you and Appa like each other but more! What if she won’t play with me now?” Youngjae was working himself up. I rubbed circles on his back.
“Sssssh. It’s okay Youngjae, Honey. It’s okay. Aunt is talking to Oceana about what happened just like I’m talking to you. Trust me, she will still like you and want to play with you.”
“Are you sure?”
“Mommy is 100% positive.”
“Really. Let’s go back to the living room now.”
He looked at me with complete trust in his eyes. “Okay Mommy.”
Youngjae stood in front of the couch looking at the floor sheepishly. “I’m really sorry I yelled at you, and I’m sorry I pushed you Oceana-yah.” She looked at her mom for a minute, clearly unsure of what she should say.
“What do you say when someone apologizes?” coaxed Nikki Jo.
“I forgive you.” She yawned.
“Thank you. Do you…um… Do you still want to play with me?” Youngjae sounded and looked nervous of Oceana’s response. “We could go outside and play on the swing set if you want, but you don’t hafta if you don’t wanna.”
“Really?” His face lit up. “You wanna play with me?” Aw. My baby boy is growing up. I hope he would grow and learn from this experience.
“Yeah. You my favori oppa eva!”
“Sorry guys,” I said, even though I really didn’t want to break up their cute moment. “It’s nap time. I can tell you’re both tired. I know dongsaeng deul are tired too. I think some of the them are already asleep.”
“But Mommy, can’t we play a little first?” Jae yawned.
“Yeah Mum! We wanna play!”
“You can play after you take a nap,” Nikki Jo said.
“No buts Mister,” I said cutting off my whining son. I understood their emotions. Youngjae was very scared Oceana would never want to play with him again, yet here she was agreeing to play on the swing set. Oceana was full of confusion before because she couldn’t understand Youngjae’s words and actions. I could see the relief and happiness radiating from our eldest. I knew too that a nap was the best thing for everyone. Most of all, I knew Nikki Jo and I were able to solve the jealousy crisis, and that was one of the best things in the world.