I Will Always Love You - chapter 9
“All right,” Xiaotu responded in a chirpy voice and automatically squeezed her soft little hand into Cheng Zhiyan’s hand.
“Mom,…” Cheng Zhiyan lifted his head and gazed at his mother as he groaned, “didn’t you say that you would be the one to play with Xiaotu? I haven’t even finished my summer assignments yet.”
“Come on, stuff like summer assignments…, you can do your summer assignments tomorrow. Didn’t summer break just begin? Back in the day, your mother…” AHEM! AHEM! “…your mother didn’t start doing her summer assignments until the last day of summer break.” Zhou Yue shrugged casually and said to Cheng Zhiyan, “Go play, go play. Other kids are always thinking of ways to have fun, yet why is it that in our family I have to push you to play?”
Cheng Zhiyan didn’t answer her as she pushed him upstairs. When he turned around to see Xiaotu following closely behind him, he couldn’t help but feel how much of a sellout his mother was.
When they arrived in Cheng Zhiyan’s room, Xiaotu, in her pink pajamas and carrying her teddy bear, instantly threw herself on Cheng Zhiyan’s big bed and proceeded to roll around. “Brother Orange Juice, your bed is so soft. My bed is super-hard.”
Cheng Zhiyan stood by his bedside and stared at Xiaotu for a while. Then he handed her a large puzzle and said, “You go play by yourself for a while since I still have homework to do. After I finish, I’ll play with you.”
“What is homework??” Xiaotu rolled around, sat up, and then stared at him with her eyes full of wonder.
“It is…after-class problems that the schools assign after classes end.” Cheng Zhiyan felt that it was somewhat difficult to explain the concept of homework to a little child that hadn’t yet started kindergarten.
“What are after-class problems?”
“Uh, it’s questions…”
“Free response questions, vocabulary words, arithmetic…”
“What are free response questions, vocabulary words, and arithmetic?” At her age, Xiaotu loved to ask questions, especially when they were related to topics she didn’t quite understand. In those cases, she liked to ask questions incessantly.
Cheng Zhiyan reached out to wipe the sweat off his forehead. He really felt that he wasn’t going to be able to stand this any longer.
“I’m going to start writing now.” He hesitated for a moment, before finally deciding to explain what he was planning to do in the simplest terms. “After I finish writing, I’ll play with you.”
“Oh, okay…” Xiaotu nodded her head. She knew what writing was, yet unfortunately she was still too young and couldn’t recognize any words, not to mention she couldn’t write any words either.
After reaching this seemingly mutual agreement, Cheng Zhiyan finally felt the peace of mind to sit down in front of his desk and continue writing his summer assignments.
As Xiaotu sat on Cheng Zhiyan’s fluffy big bed, she picked up a puzzle piece, looked at it, and threw it away. Then, she picked up another puzzle piece, looked at it, and threw it away.
Some 30 minutes later, Xiaotu rubbed her eyes. Then she yawned as she looked at Cheng Zhiyan and said, “Brother Orange Juice…I want to sleep.”
Cheng Zhiyan lifted his head and glanced at the clock on his desk. The hands pointed to 8:30, which seemed to him about the right time a young child should go to bed.
“You want to sleep? How about I take you back home?” He stood up, walked to his bed, and gazed at Xiaotu, who was wearing pink pajamas and was barefoot on his bed. Her large eyes were nearly shut she was so tired, and her little round head was bobbing a little. Since she was in a sitting position, her body started to sway back and forth as well.
“No, I want to sleep here…”