After the afternoon nap, Han Cheng returned to the army on time to work. Su Xiaoxiao started peeling the persimmon. This was a big mission, and the two cubs wanted to help. Su Xiaoxiao dared not let them touch the knife. She cut one for the two brothers to eat separately and also ate one for herself.
The taste was very refreshing.
Instead of letting them help her with the hard work, Su Xiaoxiao asked Fantuan to teach Xiao Doubao how to count persimmons.
“Doubao, look, this is a persimmon, a yellow persimmon.” Fantuan, a patient brother, arranged the persimmons in a row, “One persimmon, two persimmons, three persimmons, four persimmons…”
Xiao Doubao didn’t listen to him. He “slapped” the persimmons away and ran to Su Xiaoxiao. He reached out his hands for the knife in Su Xiaoxiao’s hand.
Su Xiaoxiao dodged him. “Baby, be obedient. Children can’t touch this. Your hands will bleed if you touch this.”
Su Xiaoxiao held Doubao’s hand with her other hand. “If this hand is wounded, you won’t be able to eat by yourself for a long time.”
Xiao Doubao was also quick at learning things. Now, he can hold a spoon firmly in one hand. He ate the potatoes and eggplants at noon with a small spoon all by himself.
Xiao Doubao withdrew his hand and stayed close to Su Xiaoxiao. With his big black eyes, he stared at Su Xiaoxiao, who was peeling persimmons.
Fantuan went to hold him. He was not angry, but stayed quietly with his brother and let his little brother watch him count persimmons from one to ten.
“Fantuan can count to ten? Do you know what comes after ten?” Su Xiaoxiao is actually surprised that Fantuan has a strong understanding and language organization ability, as well as good logical thinking. Sometimes even adults are stunned by his words. However, he can’t count, and he can only count up to ten.
Fantuan shook his head. “No, my mother only taught me how to count to ten.”
“Did your father not teach you?” Su Xiaoxiao asked again.
Fantuan continued to shake his head. “He used to be very busy and rarely went home. Sometimes he had to go far away with Uncle Zhao, for a long time.”
Su Xiaoxiao became silent for a while.
Fantuan said that he went far away with his Uncle Zhao. Maybe it was when there was a war. Han Cheng went to the battlefield with the army and came back after a long time. No wonder the child suffered so much from Zhou Cuihua and only found out about their situation after a year.
“Then, Mom will teach Fantuan how to count after ten?” Su Xiaoxiao thought that such a smart child needed to be enlightened.
Fantuan’s big black eyes sparkled, “Yes, yes.”
Su Xiaoxiao has arranged two rows of persimmons, ten in one row. “It is very simple. The first row is one to ten, and the second row is eleven, the second row is twelve, and the third row is thirteen…”
Fantuan raised his hand and said, “I know, Mom, that this one below the four is fourteen, and that one below the five is fifteen. I only have to add ten, right?”
Su Xiaoxiao applauded and said, “Oh, our Fantuan is so smart. Yes, after ten, it will be twenty, and then we will go to the third row…”
Fantuan quickly helped Su Xiaoxiao arrange persimmons. Fantuan pointed at the third row of persimmons and said, “That’s twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four…”
Fantuan counted up to thirty, then he lined up another row. He pointed to the fourth row of persimmons and said, “This is 31, 32, 33, 34…”
By similarity, he quickly lined up the persimmons on the ground and accurately counted up to 98.
He asked Su Xiaoxiao excitedly, “Mom, there are 98 persimmons in total, right?”
Su Xiaoxiao has to say that this child is really quick to learn and smart!
Su Xiaoxiao gave him a thumbs up and said, “Yes, there are 98 persimmons in our family that haven’t been peeled yet. Our Fantuan has counted them all. Our Fantuan is great!”
Fantuan happily clapped and ran in circles around the yard.
Su Xiaoxiao said, “After tens, there will be a hundred. One hundred one, one hundred two, up to nine hundred ninety-nine. After hundreds, it will be thousands; all of them will follow the same rule, but we don’t have that many persimmons in our family. Fantuan is still young. We will learn how to count up to 100 first, and we will continue to learn when you grow up. Mom will buy you pens and notebooks tomorrow, and then teach you to write these numbers and your name.”
Fantuan was so happy that he jumped straight up and said, “Yes, I want to learn how to write and write my name! I also want to write my brother’s, father’s, and mother’s names!”
Speaking of this, Su Xiaoxiao suddenly remembered that she doesn’t know what Fantuan and Doubao’s real names are!
“Fantuan, what’s your and Doubao’s real name?” Su Xiaoxiao asked.
Fantuan scratched his head and thought for a moment. After all, no one has called him by his real name for a long time. “My name is Han Jing, and my brother is Han Kang. My grandfather named me.”
Oh, Jingkang’s humiliation, Su Xiaoxiao suddenly realized.
The name chosen by the Gaozhi family is different from the popular names, but I don’t know if it has anything to do with Great Xia Jin.
“Your name has a lot of strokes, which may be a little difficult to write. Let’s take our time, learn the simple ones first, and learn to write numbers tomorrow, OK?” Su Xiaoxiao discussed this with Fantuan.
Fantuan kept nodding, “Mm-hmm…” Anyway, in Fantuan’s eyes, everything his mother said was right.
At this time, someone outside the door shouted, “Fantuan, Han Cheng’s wife, are you at home?”
Su Xiaoxiao and Fantuan looked at each other.
Fantuan shook his head, he didn’t recognize who it was.
“Yes, just a moment.” Su Xiaoxiao got up and opened the door.
“You are Han Cheng’s wife, right? Oh, you look so pretty. No wonder he doesn’t like the female comrade whom my old lady introduced to him.”
It was a kind-looking aunt in her fifties who was holding a small cage containing several fluffy chicks.
Su Xiaoxiao remembered that it was Han Cheng who sent the chicks.
“Hello aunt, just call me Xiaoxiao.” Su Xiaoxiao welcomed people to the door.
Aunt Zhang is a very cheerful aunt. She said with a smile, “My family name is Zhang, and my son is also in the military hospital. He said that Fantuan wanted to raise chicks, so I sent them to you. He said that Director Han asked me to choose a few mother hens. Isn’t this too difficult for me? How can I tell whether such a small chick is a male or a female? Anyway, you should keep it first. One of the four chicks is a female. You can just go to my house to change one when they are older.”
Su Xiaoxiao also smiled and reached out to take it. “It doesn’t matter. Thank you so much, Aunt Zhang.”
Fantuan couldn’t wait and ran over, saying, “Mom, show me the little chicken!”
Su Xiaoxiao put down the cage on the ground.
Xiao Doubao also ran over and tripped on his left with his right foot. His balance became unstable. He fell with his butt on the ground, and his expression was confused.
Su Xiaoxiao would let him get up on his own at ordinary times. Not now, she is worried that when he fell, it implicated his injured hand.
She went to help him up and slapped the dust on his buttocks.
Xiao Doubao nodded and said, “Hmm”.
Su Xiaoxiao put him down and said, “Walk slowly to your brother and look at the chicks.”
Xiao Doubao walked slowly, step by step, this time before squatting down to watch the chicks with his brother.
Aunt Zhang was secretly surprised, she thought that it was difficult to be a stepmother, but when she looked at Su Xiaoxiao, she thought it was not difficult for her at all, the two children listened to her very much.
“Xiaoxiao, these two children in your family are really good. Those two in our family are like monkeys. They are very naughty. They don’t go back to the house for three days to uncover tiles, and they make a scene every day.”
Su Xiaoxiao was very proud of these two cubs. “They are obedient.”
Clever and well-behaved.
After all, Aunt Zhang was not familiar with Su Xiaoxiao, and it was hard to say anything. Su Xiaoxiao was very enthusiastic and asked Fantuan to release the chicks, then filled the cage full of persimmons before returning them to Aunt Zhang.
Auntie Zhang refused, “Why? The chicks are not free. Head Han exchanged food stamps for the chicks.”
Su Xiaoxiao pushed it to her and said, “This is the fruit that grew from our tree. Take it back and give it to your children. Let them come visit our Fantuan when they have time.”
In this era, fruits are precious things, and money may not be able to buy them. When she came in and saw persimmons everywhere in the room. She thought Su Xiaoxiao would only give her two at most. Unexpectedly, she filled the cage for her. She was embarrassed to take so many.
“Your children may also want to eat this.”
Su Xiaoxiao pointed to the ground and said, “There is still a lot to eat for a long time. After the little hens lay eggs, I don’t know how to hatch the chicks. I have to trouble you.”
Auntie Zhang smiled and felt relieved. “What’s the trouble? In this town, I dare say that no one dares to say first when it comes to chicken farming. Don’t worry. Anyway, I have to go back to cook dinner for the children. If you have any problems with chicken farming in the future, just let Fantuan come to me.”
Su Xiaoxiao: “I’ll thank Aunt Zhang first. Fantuan, Doubao, say goodbye to Aunt Zhang.”
Fantuan took his younger brother up and waved to Aunt Zhang. He also grabbed Xiao Doubao’s little hands and made them wave, “Goodbye Aunt Zhang.”
Aunt Zhang laughed so much that she couldn’t see her eyes. “Goodbye, goodbye. Such cute little children. When I have time, I’ll bring Dundun with me.”
It’s almost five o’clock when they see Aunt Zhang off. The persimmons can’t be peeled today. Su Xiaoxiao has to prepare dinner, so she took the peeled persimmons to the wall to dry. Fantuan and Doubao picked up the peeled persimmons and put them on the stone bench.
The two brothers were attracted by the fluffy and golden little chicks, it was their first time seeing chicks. They did not receive the task from Su Xiaoxiao, so they squatted there, refusing to move.
Fantuan touched the chicks and asked Su Xiaoxiao, “Mom, they are beautiful. Are they the same as the ugly duckling you told us?”
Su Xiaoxiao went over and squatted down, grabbed one, put it on the palm of Fantuan, and shook her head. “The fur is the same, the eye color is the same, but the beak is different, the duckling’s beak is flat because it has to paddle and swim, and the claws are sealed up here, like a small fan to block the current.”
“Oh.” Fantuan nodded to show that he understood.
Su Xiaoxiao followed, saying, “If you can’t help Mom pick up persimmons, go to the vegetable patch and dig around to see if there are any little earthworms and if there are, dig up a few to feed the chicks.”
“Okay Mom, I’ll dig small earthworms to feed the chickens.” Fantuan ran away after he finished talking.
He ran to the vegetable field and dug the soil with both hands.
Su Xiaoxiao cut off the bamboo brought back by Han Cheng and squatted down to demonstrate, “Dig like this, don’t dig with your hands. There is a saying that ‘If you want to do well in your work, you must first use your tools.’ That is to say, to do well in one thing, we should use the best and most appropriate tools as much as possible, so that you can get twice the result with half the effort, and try not to make yourself so dirty. Mom will have a hard time doing the laundry.”
Fantuan seemed to understand some parts of it. So, he needs to use tools, and he should not dirty his clothes with his hands. “Yes, Mom, copy!”
Su Xiaoxiao rubbed the little guy’s head. There is nothing wrong with teaching a precocious child a little earlier. Well, it doesn’t matter how much he can absorb for now. He can always benefit from it in the future.
Xiao Doubao, on the other hand, is Su Xiaoxiao’s little tail. He didn’t help his brother dig up earthworms, but he helped Su Xiaoxiao pick up persimmons. He can only hold one at a time. He didn’t feel bored after running back and forth so many times.
Su Xiaoxiao likes him so much that she picked him up and kissed him twice. She let him pick up the last ten or so items and went to prepare dinner.
The benefits of the courtyard bungalow can be seen at this time, and it is especially fun to raise children in this place.
The dinner was also simple. The garlic-flavored ribs were pickled in advance and steamed in a pot. Su Xiaoxiao was too lazy to start cooking. Su Xiaoxiao took a pumpkin from the vegetables sent by Zhou Yuhua, did not peel it, cut it into a gourd, and put it on another plate. She used chopsticks to divide it into two layers and put it on top of the ribs. Then she took a steam rack and put it on top of the rice to steam.
In this way, as long as you cook the pot, you can have rice, meat, and vegetables. Healthy and nutritious.
Su Xiaoxiao has not drunk soup since she went to this era. She thought that since autumn is approaching, she should cook more soup for everyone to replenish their health.
When it is colder, she can also make dumplings and steamed stuffed buns, so that they can eat a hot breakfast, which is also convenient.
But the top priority is to plant in their vegetable garden and pick the vegetables you want immediately. It takes less than half an hour from picking up to eating. How delicious it would be.
But this…. Like hatching chickens, this touched Su Xiaoxiao’s blind area of knowledge. She has never touched the land in her previous life. At most, she raised many kinds of meat and flowers on the balcony. She never planted anything besides that. The original owner has never been to the ground, and she doesn’t know whether Han Cheng knows how to grow vegetables. Su Xiaoxiao couldn’t help but feel sad when she thought about it.
Su Xiaoxiao is still thinking about what to grow in her vegetable garden. Suddenly, Fantuan cried out: “Mom, come here, someone is stealing our persimmons!”
Su Xiaoxiao came out of the kitchen and saw Fantuan throwing stones at the wall full of persimmons. He probably hit a child. The cries of the children and the swearing of adults came from the wall….
Su Xiaoxiao, who had just taught Fantuan in the morning to use words and not his hands to convince others, and could no longer throw stones at people, kept breathing deeply and hypnotized herself. “I am a kind mother. Fantuan is still young, and even a good child could cause trouble.” This world is indeed full of chaos and bustle.
T/N: This chapter was too long!! It took me a lot of time and breaks to finish this. I’m back!! Happy New Year, Everyone!
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!