Qin Yun’s painkillers helped him endure his pain post surgeries. The days that he was awake he got to play and eat together with Zhang Yu and appeared to be energetic. But as winter set in, it was harder for his body to cope despite eating nutritious food and resting often.
Han Ting Ting was expected to give birth on the second last day of December, it was less than a month away. Shun Shun was healthy and moved around a lot in her tummy. It was because Shun Shun had a healthy appet.i.te that caused her weight to balloon enough to make her dizzy. She freaked when she saw their combined body weight was seventy-five kilograms. Her baby b.u.mp was too big for her small frame and most days it was hard for her to stand straight on even ground.
The last semester of Ting Ting’s pregnancy was especially stressful for Qin Song.
When the first day of snow arrived, Qin Song was in no mood to build snow people as he did the previous year.
Qin Song returned home and stopped by his parents’ bedroom first. His dad was sleeping deeply. Under the warm lighting his dad’s face was still manly and handsome but his dad’s sunken cheeks caused his heart to wither. He softly closed his dad’s bedroom door and went to look for Ting Ting. He found her crying pitifully on the bed.
‘Honey, what’s wrong? You can’t fall asleep?’ Qin Song asked. He sat beside Ting Ting on the bed. He rubbed her plumper back. ‘Tell me where you feel uncomfortable?’
‘My whole body aches. Song Song, I think I’m about to die,’ Han Ting Ting said.
It took a lot of energy for Han Ting Ting to turn her body to sob on Song Song’s shoulder. She felt her body was heavy, she couldn’t stand properly or sleep. No matter what position she rolled herself on the bed, she couldn’t get into a comfortable sleeping position. It was worse when she woke up from a nap, her heavy body would ache more from tossing and turning during her nap.
Qin Song coaxed Ting Ting to go back to sleep. After a while she still had trouble sleeping, he lifted her into his arms and paced back and forth in their room.
Han Ting Ting stopped crying. She rested her head on Song Song’s shoulder and slowly became drowsy.
Outside Qin Song and Ting Ting’s room, it was snowing heavily and the winds were violent. He felt the same turmoil in his heart. He never felt as helpless as he did that night. When he was younger he thought he could control everything that happened in his life but recently he realised there were many things out of his control. He couldn’t give up his life for his dad and he couldn’t be the one suffering pregnancy pains instead of Ting Ting.
Qin Song felt that men truly matured after they started their own family.
‘You can put me down,’ Han Ting Ting said softly. ‘I’m ok. Song Song, have you eaten dinner?’
Qin Song boosted Ting Ting’s body in his arms and nodded his head. ‘I ate at a work banquet before.’
Qin Song gently hit Ting Ting’s bottom and he was in the mood to tease her. ‘Honey, stop thrashing about. Be careful or I’ll loosen my hold on you and you’ll fall.’
‘Then let me go,’ Han Ting Ting said. ‘Aren’t I heavy?’
Qin Song knew truthfully answering the princess’ sensitive question, who weighed more than seventy kilograms in his arms wasn’t going to earn him brownie points.
Qin Song secretly clenched his teeth and kept smiling. ‘However heavy my wife and son weighs I can still carry them.’
‘Um. I know it’s been tiring for you lately. I’m sorry I can’t help you and for being a burden to you,’ Han Ting Ting said softly and hid her distressed face on Song Song’s shoulder.
Qin Song tilted his head to kiss Ting Ting’s nose. ‘Honey, it’s been more tiring for you. Our son has been torturing you.’
‘But we love our son more each day,’ Han Ting Ting said. She wrapped her arms around Song Song’s neck. ‘Song Song, it’s rare for parents not to love their own child.’
‘I know,’ Qin Song said. ‘I love our son but it can’t compare to how much more my dad loves me. I get it now, I don’t have any regret left… I just don’t want to be separated from my dad.’
Han Ting Ting hugged Song Song. ‘You’ll still have me and our son with you.’
Before the official date Qin Song and Han Ting Ting’s son appeared in the world, Qin Shun Shun was a mighty baby. But Qin Shun Shun’s true mighty strength wasn’t revealed until he was born.
On the night of New Year’s Eve, during the New Year countdown on tv, Han Ting Ting felt a painful contraction. At midnight the fireworks blossomed in the night sky, she grabbed onto Song Song’s waist and moaned. ‘It hurts!’
Qin Song was giving out red packets to the little critters lined up in front of him when he froze for two seconds after hearing Ting Ting’s anguish voice. He lifted her in his arms and bolted to the car.
Han Ting Ting made it safely to the hospital operating room.
Qin Song was ready to punch one of the walls outside the operating room because his son was hurting his wife instead of him. But a moment later an obstetrician stepped out of the operating room. ‘Congratulations! Both mother and son are healthy.’
‘My daughter-in-law has given birth?’ Zhang Yu asked anxiously.
‘Um, everyone is good. It was a smooth delivery,’ the obstetrician said.
Everyone wanted to ask the obstetrician more questions when a nurse stepped outside. In the nurse’s arms was Qin Shun Shun wrapped in a blanket. Qin Shun Shun was holding his little hands together and crying louder than other newborns.
Qin Song finally got to see his precious son’s little wrinkled face and was choked with joy, he stumbled back a step.
Zhang Yu reacted differently, she rushed to carry her grandson and the happiness that shone in her eyes lit up the hospital.
Qin Shun Shun’s mum was wheeled out of the operating room toward the maternity ward. She looked worn out but her complexion was a healthy pink. Qin Song rushed to the gurney Ting Ting laid on, he held her sweaty face and in that moment he was able to process the exhilarating joy he felt. He leaned his forehead on her forehead and his eyes were more red and teary than hers.
‘Our son… Ting Bao, thank you,’ Qin Song said in a choked voice.
‘Waaa waaa…’ Qin Shun Shun cried.
The tranquil morning at the Qin household’s home was broken by the sounds of crying of Qin Shun Shun. The crying was most sound and clear from his parents’ s.p.a.cious bed.
Ting Ting and Qin Song were hugging each other and blissfully sleeping in their bed. Her head was resting on his chest when a heart breaking cry woke up her tired body. She was about to get out of bed when he tightened his hold around her waist. He kept his eyes closed. ‘Ignore him!’
A disgruntled Qin Song was grieving his lost sleep. He’d woken up to coax the little menace two or three times during the night and couldn’t believe the little menace dared to disturb his and Ting Ting’s precious sleeping time early in the morning. Who else was that inconsiderate but their little menacing son?
‘Shun Shun’s nappy is full that’s why he’s crying. Song Song, go back to sleep. I’ll carry Shun Shun outside, we won’t disturb you,’ Han Ting Ting said.
Ting Ting gently patted Qin Song’s cheek before lifting their son from the crib. He couldn’t believe it was already their son’s one month milestone. Their son’s neck was soft and still fragile. Each time he held their son he made sure he supported their son’s neck carefully. Their son lived a life of luxury, all the kiddo did was eat a lot, go through a tonne of nappies and cried loudly. Their son was definitely a little menace!
‘Shush… don’t cry. Daddy’s sleeping. Shun Shun don’t wake up daddy,’ Han Ting Ting coaxed.
Qin Song from the bed saw their son’s little face was red from crying and their son snuggled against Ting Ting’s chest. She looked at their son adoringly, it made him wanted to protest. He sat up on the bed. ‘Give him to the nanny. Honey, come back to bed and sleep with me.’
Qin Shun Shun could sense his daddy’s jealousy and immediately stopped crying. His dark eyes that looked like his daddy’s eyes stared pitifully into his mummy’s eyes. His misty eyes always melted his mummy’s heart, and knocked out his daddy’s control over his mummy’s attention… he won!
Ting Ting carried the little menace to the bathroom. Qin Song heard water running, gurgling sounds and her gentle gibberish to coax the little menace coming from the bathroom. He called out her name two times but she ignored him. He was jealous and felt neglected. He crawled under the bed sheet, inhaled her sweet scent that lingered on the pillow and went back to sleep.
Han Ting Ting changed little Qin Shun’s nappy and breast fed him. Afterward she carried him outside but Zhang Yu hurriedly walked toward them before they reached the stairs. Zhang Yu wore an outer robe over her night gown and Zhang Yu looked excited about something.
‘Ting Bao! Qin Yun’s awake! He said he wants to see Shun Shun. Can you bring Shun Shun into our room for them to spend time together?’ Zhang Yu said.
Han Ting Ting’s eyes stung. Qin Yun was unconscious for nearly a fortnight. During that fortnight if he woke up for a little while, he had no sense of his surroundings. Since Shun Shun was born, he only got to see Shun Shun two times and wasn’t able to hold Shun Shun yet.
Qin Yun was alert and was able to sit up against the headbed. He smiled the moment he saw Ting Ting and Shun Shun enter the room. ‘Let me hold my Shun Shun for a bit.’
Han Ting Ting nodded her head and held back her tears. Zhang Yu carried Shun Shun to the bed and placed Shun Shun gently in Qin Yun’s arms. Qin Yun stared adoringly at Shun Shun, his heart ached, he wasn’t ready to be separated from Shun Shun, he wanted be able to see Shun Shun grow up.
The heater was turned on and made the room toasty warm. Shun Shun was wrapped in a blanket and wore a light yellow baby onesie. Shun Shun’s little chubby body was round like a duckling’s tummy. It was too soon for Shun Shun to know how to laugh but the moment Shun Shun laid in Qin Yun’s arms, Shun Shun laughed clearly whilst looking into Qin Yun’s eyes.
A breath of spring essence entered Qin Yun’s battered body, he laughed a jolly laugh.
‘My Shun Shun’s growing up fast!’ Qin Yun said proudly. He looked up to face Ting Ting. ‘The kiddo’s probably a menace like his dad. You look more tired than when you were pregnant.’
Ting Ting didn’t get a chance to say a word before Qin Song appeared behind her and answered in her stead. A butler had informed him that his dad was awake and he ran to his parents’ room. His selective hearing only heard half the conversation. ‘Dad, you don’t know the half of it. Shun Shun eats and sleep most of the day. When he’s awake he soils a tonne of nappies. From morning to night, Ting Ting and I can’t get a minute peace with the kiddo around.’
‘What else did you expect from your son? He’s exactly like how you were when you were his age,’ Qin Yun said.
‘Mum, is that true?’ Qin Song asked.
Zhang Yu bit her lips. ‘I… I don’t remember.’
When Zhang Yu gave birth to Qin Song she was twenty-two years old and still a naive girl. She was sheltered and doted on by her family. The scar on her stomach scared her to death. It took her body over a year to recover from the caesarean. During that period Qin Yun was busy with work, looked after her weak body and adamantly wanted Qin Song’s crib to stay in their room. Day or night Qin Yun tended to Qin Song’s every need. Qin Yun cherished Qin Song’s every big and small milestones.
‘Today is my grandson’s one month. How do you and Ting Ting intend to celebrate Shun Shun’s one month milestone?’ Qin Yun asked.
‘We don’t want an extravagant celebration for Shun Shun’s one month milestone. We’re happy to have a simple family dinner gathering,’ Qin Song said.
Qin Song stared adoringly at his little menace’s chubby face sleeping like a little dummy and couldn’t help but smile.
‘Um, that sounds good. Zhang Yu, help me bring the things I prepared in my study room here,’ Qin Yun said.
Zhang Yu went to Qin Yun’s study room and returned with a thick pile of doc.u.ments and a red jewellery box. Qin Song picked up Shun Shun into his arms. Qin Yun received the items form Zhang Yu. Qin Yun opened the jewellery box and inside was a vintage opal necklace.
‘The necklace is for the first born son of each Qin generation. Qin Song and I wore it when we were Shun Shun’s age,’ Qin Yun explained. He gestured for Zhang Yu to put the necklace around Shun Shun’s neck. He called Ting Ting to sit on the bed and gave her the doc.u.ments. ‘Ting Ting, this is mine and Zhang Yu’s gift to you.’
Qin Yun gave ten percent of Qin’s company shares to Ting Ting. Qin Yun owned thirty percent of Qin’s company shares and he divided it equally for three people. When Qin Song took over Qin’s company, he gave Qin Song ten percent of Qin’s company shares and also gave Zhang Yu ten percent of Qin’s company shares.
‘I’m not giving you the shares because you gave me a grandson. I’d saved the shares for you long ago. Qin Song’s hard to handle. He treats you well now but there’s no guarantee what he’ll be like in the future. He may have a momentary lapse of judgement and stray. The shares are for yours and Shun Shun’s security and you don’t have to put up with Qin Song if he treats you badly in the future,’ Qin Yun said.
Ting Ting was stunned. Qin Song elbowed her from behind. ‘Honey, accept it from dad.’
Han Ting Ting accepted the shares with shaky hands. ‘Thank you dad.’
Qin Song carried Shun Shun outside and Ting Ting walked beside them. He sighed. ‘A son after bringing a bride home is like a bowl of water thrown away. Honey, how are you so good and loveable? Everyone loves and dotes on you. This time dad helped you block my road from other beautiful snowflakes for the rest of my life.’
Han Ting Ting laughed softly. She picked up Shun Shun from Song Song’s arms, Shun Shun was sleeping peacefully. ‘Oh, so if I didn’t have the shares in my hands you’ll find opportunities outside to have ‘a momentary lapse of judgement,’ right?’
‘I wouldn’t dare,’ Qin Song promised. He kissed Ting Ting and pressed her against a wall. ‘As if there’s anyone more loveable than my Ting Bao.’ Their bodies were too close together and made Shun Shun woke up and ‘waaa waaa’ cries were heard. Ting Ting reacted quicker and pinched Qin Song’s cheek then carried their son straight to their room. Qin Song was left behind frustrated enough to stomp his feet.