“I’m not afraid of the cold; you can have the quilt. The bed outside will be dry tomorrow. We’ll buy another one after we get our marriage certificate.”
Han Cheng didn’t expect that he would bring a wife back with him when he returned. In the afternoon, he listened to Su Xiaoxiao’s words and foolishly washed the quilt. He had never considered whether they still had a bed to sleep on at night.
Su Xiaoxiao sighed. In this age of material scarcity, the marriage certificate issued by the brigade to her can only be used in the local commune. If you want to buy a new quilt here, you need to show your marriage certificate.
No wonder her mother has to save a little bit of cloth and rags that can’t be worn anymore. Xiaobao’s quilt was made from scraps of cloth or rags saved over time. Fortunately, their commune plants cotton, and they can have a little every year. With a large number of people in the family, there won’t be enough quilts to warm the entire family.
Han Cheng has a few quilts. They are old, but he washed them and exposed them to the sun in the afternoon, so there’s no more quilt they could use to cover themselves. Besides, covering himself with a quilt at this time will only make him sweat throughout the night.
Su Xiaoxiao said: “Then you should remember to wear thick clothes, so you don’t catch a cold.”
Han Cheng nodded, “I know.”
The two cubs were so sleepy that Su Xiaoxiao had to take them back to their room to sleep. The smart boy Fantuan asked, “Mom, won’t Dad sleep with us?”
Su Xiaoxiao shook her head and said, “Dad is too big. The bed is not wide enough. So, Dad will sleep alone.”
Han Cheng took a deep look at her, lowered his eyes, but did not say anything, and went back to his room.
The room for the two cubs only has a 1.5-meter-long bed, which is insufficient for three people to sleep. Fortunately, Su Xiaoxiao is small and thin.
Su Xiaoxiao asked Xiao Doubao to sleep on the innermost side, and she slept on the outside, but Xiao Doubao refused and insisted on being next to his mother. Fantuan also wants to be next to his mother, but he also wants someone who will pamper his younger brother. In the end, he let Xiao Doubao sleep in the middle.
After fooling around for a while, the cubs became less sleepy.
Su Xiaoxiao believes that telling bedtime stories is an important part of raising young children, but she is unsure of what kind of stories to tell to young children of this era, or whether the Grimm’s or Andersen’s Fairy Tales were banned books. She could only tell them in advance that, they couldn’t tell these stories to other people after listening to them. This is their family secret, and once they tell it to someone who is not a member of their family, she will never read stories to them again.
The two cubs didn’t even know what the story was, so they naturally nodded and agreed.
Su Xiaoxiao herself doesn’t read fairy tales very much, and she has had no elders to tell her bedtime stories since she was a child. She could only recall the general idea of these stories. In addition to some of her own associations, she began to tell stories to the cubs:
“A long, long time ago, on a hot summer afternoon, under the grape trellis of an old house, the mother duck hid in the coolest corner to hatch duck eggs. Today, the duck eggs that had been incubated for a long time finally broke their shells. One, two, three, four… a few fluffy little heads stuck out of the cracked eggshells one by one. Guess what came out of the eggshells?”
The clever little Fantuan raised his hand: “I know, I know, it’s a duckling!”
“Yes, you’re right, our family’s Fantuan is really great. A fluffy yellow duckling has been born…”
Su Xiaoxiao spoke in a sweet and delicate voice. She didn’t ask any questions later. Her voice became softer. She briefly described the story of the Ugly Duckling in her memory. The two cubs gradually fell into a sweet dream, full of their mother’s gentle smile and sweet voice.
This was the sweetest night they slept after birth, and it was also the night they remembered most when they grew up.
Han Cheng also felt sweet. The two rooms were close to each other, and the door was not closed. Su Xiaoxiao’s voice was very clear in the night, where even fallen needles could be heard.
Han Cheng put his hands behind his head, looked at the dark roof, and raised his thin lips. Suddenly, he was very envious of his son.
After a night of silence, Su Xiaoxiao was woken up by Xiao Doubao’s kiss the next day.
Because Su Xiaoxiao always kisses Xiao Doubao, Xiao Doubao also learned to give kisses.
Su Xiaoxiao, who was a shitshoveling officer in her previous life, was always woken up by her cat. When she opened her eyes, she looked at the soft cub and was dazed for a while.
She took her watch and looked at the time. It was just past six.
Fantuan is still sleeping soundly. Baby shouldn’t be starved. Su Xiaoxiao guessed that he woke up hungry.
She held the baby in her arms and said in a low voice: “Good morning, baby, are you hungry? You should say good morning to your mother when you wake up.”
Xiao Doubao tried to move his mouth and said: “Da… Da”— however, he couldn’t speak.
But he has made a lot of progress compared with the previous “Ah-Ah”.
Su Xiaoxiao encouraged him and said: “Little cub is so awesome.”
Su Xiaoxiao came out with the cub in her arms and found smoke curling from the kitchen above the roof and a busy figure in the kitchen.
“Comrade Han Cheng, why are you up so early?”
As Han Cheng looked at his wife, who was holding his son with her eyes bent and smiling, he couldn’t help but be infected with the atmosphere, which made his mood even better.
“I’m used to getting up early, so, I boiled some sweet potato porridge, heated the meal yesterday, and rinsed some vegetables. Is it okay?”
Han Cheng noticed that Su Xiaoxiao likes to eat meat, but every meal must have fruits and vegetables.
Su Xiaoxiao nodded and said, “I’ll take over. Doubao is hungry. You can make him a glass of milk first, and I will take him to wash.”
Han Cheng looked at his son, who looked like he was Su Xiaoxiao’s son. His younger son was too clingy to Su Xiaoxiao, it doesn’t matter if he’s a daughter… alas, he is afraid of raising him into a delicate son.
Then, Han Cheng watched Su Xiaoxiao stoop to brush his little son’s teeth. The little guy sat on the bench and opened his mouth. His big black and white eyes looked at Su Xiaoxiao for a moment, with a small expression of enjoyment and cooperation.
Han Cheng is jealous again. ‘It seems that my wife likes his son more than him.’
On the other side, Fantuan also woke up. He rubbed his eyes and came out of the room. The first sentence he said when he woke up was: “Mom, can I raise some ducklings?”
There were too many things to buy yesterday, and Su Xiaoxiao even forgot about this one. She shook her head: “We can’t raise ducklings; they need to live in water. We can buy a few chicks to raise, they are fluffy and cute when they are young.”
Fantuan asked again: “Then, can they also become white swans when they grow up?”
Well, I’d better avoid the fairy tales about hens in the future.
Su Xiaoxiao shook her head and said, “I’m afraid it’s not possible, even for a duckling. Only the special duckling mentioned last night can do that. But we can cook the chicken when the chicks are grown up. Did you forget the chicken leg you ate at the hostel before? That chicken was raised by Su Xiaobao when it was still a chick. Is it delicious?”
Fantuan recalled the taste and swallowed: “Well, it’s delicious. I’ll raise chicks!”
Children are still easy to coax. Su Xiaoxiao turned to face Han Cheng, and said, “Comrade Han Cheng,…
Now every family hatches their chicks with the eggs laid by their old hens. Han Cheng is unsure if he can purchase them outside.
He thought for a moment and said, “Okay, I’ll go back to the army and ask who has chickens. If there are some, we’ll trade them for an equal price. I’ll bring some bamboo back at noon and make a fence like Xiaobao’s chicken coop.”
Su Xiaoxiao looked back at Fantuan and said, “Comrade Fantuan, what do you think of Dad’s idea?”
Fantuan gave a thumbs up to his father, “Dad, this is a great idea!”
Han Cheng: “…” Come on, now the whole family is imitating the way Su Xiaoxiao talks.
Su Xiaoxiao is also very particular about instant-boil dishes. She cooks them in oil and salt water and then mixes them with garlic paste and peanut oil after they are out of the pot.
When the dish was made, the smell was fragrant, and it looked appetizing. Han Cheng didn’t know how she could cook so well. It seems that everything will become very delicious after being touched by her hands.
Sweet potato porridge with leftover fat intestines and small rapeseed is still a filling meal.
Han Cheng’s vacation was completely over, and he officially returned to the army to report for duty.
Su Xiaoxiao’s cub-raising life in the family compound also officially began.
After knowing what to do based on what she experienced yesterday, the first thing Su Xiaoxiao did today was to go to the market to buy vegetables, but the problem is that… the two cubs. The big one can’t still walk properly, and the small one hasn’t completely recovered from his sprained foot. They walked for nearly 20 minutes before they arrived at the market.
In recent years, everyone has become used to working at sunrise and resting at sunset. It is only seven o’clock in the morning, and the food market has been crowded with people.
Su Xiaoxiao loved shopping in the vegetable market in her last life. She thought this was the most lively and humane part of town, so as a house girl, she went to the vegetable market and supermarket the most.
But now, she is a little regretful. In the morning, Han Cheng asked her whether he would buy the vegetables first and then go back to the army, but she rejected his offer.
She should have let him buy them instead. Now it’s really hard to squeeze into the crowd with two cubs.
You need to queue up at the supply and marketing cooperatives. It was also the same with the meat joint factory, and you even had to queue up to buy vegetables. Su Xiaoxiao simply wants to cry.
Just as she was about to go home and eat the dried fish delivered by Zhou Yuhua yesterday at noon, an old lady who was about sixty years old and looked very unkind at first glance, stopped her, “Stop! Are you the rural girl that married Han Cheng?”
Su Xiaoxiao: “…” What is this situation?
T/N: Sorry for not updating! I got busy with my work and wasn’t able to have time to translate more chapters. Anyway, Thank you for reading!
Hello, I'm Lucia, and I love novels with themes from the 70s, 80s, and ancient eras. Therefore, I will mainly focus on translating novels from these time periods. If you have any recommendations for novels you'd like me to read and translate, please don't hesitate to send me a direct message on my Discord. Thank you!