Chapter 88: Tamago Boro
Translated by Kollumceti Exiled Rebels Scanlations
This Great Aunt, Madam Shen, felt stifled. Aunt Shen said in distress while cupping Xiao Yu’s face, “You’d better call me Madam Shen.”
Xiao Yu looked back at Shen Fu in bewilderment, he obviously did not know how he should address her.
Lin ShuYi rubbed Xiao Yu’s head and diverted the topic, “Did Aunt just come from the Principal’s office? Could you bring us there?”
Aunt Shen straightened and Alan quickly helped her up, “Since you’ve decided, then let’s go. This way.”
Xiao Yu’s eyes lit up and he pulled on Lin ShuYi’s hand.
Shen Fu beamed, “Let’s go together.”
Xiao Yu shook his head, “I’ll wait here for Tao Tao to wake up and tell him the good news.” Then he lowered his head and thought for a moment before raising it again, “I’ll be waiting for big brother here.”
Lin ShuYi reached out and hugged Xiao Yu. He felt that the Vice-Principal’s words were indeed right. This child was delicate and sensitive. He had lived in such a place and had even been abandoned twice. Thinking about it, Xiao Yu was also afraid that they would never come back after they left.
Aunt Shen reached out and made a six gesture with her fingers, “I’ll make a pinky swear with you. You can be at ease and wait here for Tao Tao to wake up. We’re going to go through the formalities to being Xiao Yu home, okay?”
Xiao Yu joyfully hooked pinkies with Aunt Shen. This simple gesture was not legally binding at all, yet it gave him an immense peace of mind. His tone became lively, “I will be here obediently waiting for Daddy to come back.”
The soft and shy call of ‘Daddy’ really made Lin ShuYi and Shen Fu’s heart become limp.
“When Tao Tao wakes up, let’s go home and eat delicious mini cakes, shall we?”
Xiao Yu nodded his head vigorously and smiled widely, revealing two white canine teeth.
The adoption procedure was very complicated, but it seemed relatively simple for Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi’s case. After all, Aunt Shen, who was standing here, was the greatest plug-in and the principal had gotten their most earnest assurance, “Now that Xiao Yu and Tao Tao have entered the Shen Family, the family will definitely treat them as our own blood.”
Aunt Shen was speaking of the Shen Family, and not Shen Fu. That was to say that in the worst case where Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi did not treat them well as per the arrangement, the Shen Family would keep their word. This was Aunt Shen’s most sincere promise to the two children. This was also the reason why Aunt Shen repeatedly asked Shen Fu if he had thought it over. Keeping one’s word was the most important rule in the Shen Family’s education.
Tao Tao still had not woken up when they returned from completing all the formalities. He had just changed his position and slept on his stomach on the wooden bed. Xiao Yu sat outside staring down at his hands with a bowed head. His fingers were clenched tightly and he quickly raised his head when he heard the slightest sound of a footstep. His taut small face bloomed into a smile the moment he saw Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi, then he dashed towards Lin ShuYi and threw himself into his embrace. He was afraid; afraid that this big brother who said he would give him a delicious cake would never come back, just like Tao Tao’s mother.
The little nurse followed behind Aunt Shen. It was only now that she discovered that these two handsome men were the young masters of the Shen Family, and they were the Second Young Master and his lover who announced their homosexual love.
The little nurse blushed. She was somewhat shy and was also happy for Xiao Yu at the same time, “Xiao Yu and Tao Tao are going to have a new home. Are you happy?”
Xiao Yu nodded his head repeatedly.
Aunt Shen was grinning behind her, “I’ll have to trouble you to pack Tao Tao’s things. What about your own things, Xiao Yu? Go and pack them.”
Xiao Yu reached out and pulled Lin ShuYi. Lin ShuYi smiled, “Let’s go, I’ll follow you.”
Welfare institutions did not have separate rooms for the children. There was only a bed and a personal cabinet with keys. Although the living conditions of the children’s welfare institution in H City were already considered good, they were still welfare institutions after all. There would not be any who was favored with so many children.
The only difference was probably for a child like Tao Tao. He was given preferential treatment because of his physical particularity, even though it is only a small compartmentalized space in the room.
There were four beds in Xiao Yu’s room. The beds were small and the children living here were all about Xiao Yu’s age. There was no one in the room at the moment. Xiao Yu walked to the bed by the window and pulled out a small key from the pillowcase. He was in high spirits as he opened the cabinet painted with a number four that was facing the door. Except for a few thick cotton jackets suitable for the current season that did not occupy much space, there was little else in the cabinet.
“I have something to give to Brother Daddy.”
Lin ShuYi smiled, “What is it?”
Xiao Yu rummaged through the cabinet and took out a glass bottle hidden in the innermost part. The big and beautiful glass bottle contained numerous big and small stars made of colorful paper.
Xiao Yu held the bottle like a treasure as be passed it to Lin ShuYi, “Here you are.”
“Did Xiao Yu fold it by yourself?”
Xiao Yu nodded, “The children in the welfare institution will fold one every day. Ten small stars can be exchanged for one big one. I already have thirty. There were more before, but they were all given to Tao Tao’s mother.”
In other words, more than three hundred days had passed since he had been returned to the welfare institution? Before then, it was estimated that there were several bottles of such stars, right?
Lin ShuYi pursed his lips and felt that he was really fortunate. What kind of feeling did the children have as they folded so many stars while waiting for other people to adopt them? How did Xiao Yu feel as he gave the stars away and begin to fold them once again?
The eyes of Lin ShuYi, who had no parallel in history, were somewhat red. “There’s no need to fold them in the future. I’ll also treat these stars as my treasure and keep them well.”
Xiao Yu shyly smiled, “Don’t be sad, Daddy. In fact, there are many children older than me in the welfare institution. I’m already very lucky.”
Yes, there were millions of such children. How many could he save? He could donate money, yet he was unable to donate a family to these children. In poverty, one should attend to their own virtue in solitude; in prosperity, one should commit themselves to the welfare of society. He could neither attend to his own virtue in solitude, nor could he commit himself to the welfare of society.
Xiao Yu packed up his clothes. There really were just a few pieces that could all packed into a small suitcase. Xiao Yu pulled the luggage along as he solemnly said goodbye to the room he had lived in for years for the second time.
Tao Tao was awake when the two came back and he was held by the little nurse. His things were all packed and Alan was carrying it while Aunt Shen was teasing Tao Tao. He was really an obedient and clever child who was not really shy of strangers. Tao Tao started laughing once Aunt Shen teased him.
“Say your goodbyes to the children before leaving. There are also some matters of note that I have to tell you first regarding Tao Tao.” The doctor in charge of Tao Tao’s condition said.
Lin ShuYi nodded and listened carefully.
Shen Fu started to make phone calls behind his back. When he hung up, the smile on his lips was particularly eye-catching.
“What made you so happy?” Aunt Shen asked.
Shen Fu put his mobile phone away and took Xiao Yu’s hand, “Nothing much. I found Tao Tao a personal doctor that doubles as a nanny.”
That’s right, one would definitely have to spend more time worrying about Tao Tao’s illness as compared to a normal child. it clearly showed that Shen Fu really liked these two children for him to be able to think of these. Aunt Shen felt extremely gratified.
The Principal specially gathered all the children before they left. All young and old kids were standing together and some were reluctant to say goodbye to Xiao Yu and Tao Tao. Xiao Yu hugged each person and bid goodbye to every child one by one. When he returned to Lin ShuYi’s side, his eyes were red but he did not cry.
This was the best thing he had ever experienced in his life. He could not cry now.
Shen Fu held Tao Tao in his arms. Tao Tao stared at him with wide eyes before looking at Xiao Yu as he smiled, revealing a few small milk teeth.
Finally, he solemnly said goodbye to the Principal, Vice-Principal, the Aunties, Doctors and nurses who took care of them. Only then did Xiao Yu follow Lin ShuYi into the car with reddened eyes.
Lin ShuYi took Tao Tao from Shen Fu’s arms and sat in the back with Aunt Shen and Xiao Yu. Then they drove back to the Shen Family’s home.
Old Master Shen was calmly practicing calligraphy. Father Shen and Mother Shen had come back from their shopping trip. In the end, Mother Shen had not been able to resist buying a pile of children products. However, they were for children of all ages, such as soft towels, pale blue children’s quilts suitable for girls and boys, and kids water bottles. The items filled the sofa to the brim, and she was still in high spirits as she introduced each item to Big Brother Shen as if enumerating one’s family valuables.
Everyone began staring unanimously at the door as soon as the doorbell rang. Then they saw Lin ShuYi holding one and Shen Fu leading another one in together, and all stared till their eyes were as round as a ball.
Xiao Yu jumped in fright upon seeing their attitudes. Shen Fu patted his head to soothe him, and then walked forward while holding his hand to introduce him one by one to everyone, “This is Great-Grandpa.”
Xiao Yu looked at him and obediently and cleverly nodded as he greeted, “Great-Grandpa.”
Old Master Shen looked at the obedient and cute little shota in front of him. He didn’t know what expression to show on his face. He had not even made any preparations, yet he had already become a great-grandfather?
Seeing that Great-Grandpa did not reply to him for a long time, Xiao Yu was somewhat nervous. After a long while, he forced himself to show a big smile and called again, “Great-Grandpa.”
Only then did Old Master Shen react. He stroked Xiao Yu’s soft hair with trembling hands, “Hey, what’s your name?”
“Great-Grandpa, my name is Lin Yu.”
This was what Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi told him on the way here. His name was Lin Yu and Tao Tao was Shen Tao.
“Lin Yu ah.” Old Master Shen looked at the one in Lin ShuYi’s arms, and smiled so widely that his eyes squinted, “Great-Grandpa likes this name very much. Then I will call you Xiao Yu, okay?”
Xiao Yu nodded, “As long as Great-Grandpa likes it, you can call Xiao Yu anything.”
A trace of love flashed in Old Master Shen’s eyes, then he affectionately taught the child, “No, people can only call you this if Xiao Yu likes them. If you don’t like it, no one has the right to call you by that name.”
Years of living in the welfare institution had made Xiao Yu accustomed to expressing his attitude according to other people’s ideas. Now the Shen Family would slowly teach him that he could express his attitude according to his own ideas without caring about others opinions. This was his right.
Xiao Yu nodded his head even though he did not really understand, and then said, “I really like Grandpa calling me Xiao Yu.”
Old Master Shen smiled so widely that his eyes narrowed into slits. The child may be very smart. He absorbed it with a little teaching.
Shen Fu led Xiao Yu around and asked him to greet Father Shen, Mother Shen and Shen Yan one by one. Everyone liked this clever and lovable child very much after he had finished.
Lin ShuYi sat down on the sofa with Tao Tao in his arms. Mother Shen’s eyes were shining as she leaned over, wanting to embrace this small milk bun. However, she was afraid that he would be shy around strangers. Who knew that once Tao Tao saw her reaching out, he immediately giggled and reached out too, “Tao Tao, this is Grandma.”
Tao Tao could already say Grandma, it was just that the ones he called as such before were the middle-aged aunties that took care of them. Now that he was teased like this by Mother Shen, he instantly smiled and started to call ‘Grandma’.
Shen Mu did not dislike this address which implied her being called old at all. It had been more than twenty years since she last took care of such a child and had already forgotten that a child at such an age could already call people. She had originally been teasing him, who knew Tao Tao really addressed her as Grandma?
Mother Shen was pleasantly surprised and turned to Father Shen, “Listen, listen. The little milk bun can talk!”
Father Shen was also pleasantly surprised. He did not have his usual graveness and solemnness, instead only smiles showed on his face, “Come on, call Grandpa.”
Tao Tao was stunned and imitated the shape of Father Shen’s mouth. It was obvious that he did not know how to say Grandpa.
Father Shen was a little depressed, but he spared no effort to teach him, “Not gwanpa. It’s Grandpa, Grandpa.”
Tao Tao jumped up and down in Mother Shen’s arms, “Gwanpa, gwanpa.”
Mother Shen burst into laughter, and even Lin ShuYi could not help laughing.
Father Shen was unwilling to give up. He looked around and finally picked up a children’s snack on the table that Mother Shen had just bought. There was a string of English words on the bag, and inside were biscuits that were very similar to the mini version of steamed buns. Father Shen shook it and asked Lin ShuYi, “Can he eat this?”
Lin ShuYi kept the doctor’s instructions in mind. Although he could not understand English, he could read the Chinese label on the back. He looked at the ingredient list and was still not assured so he opened it for a taste. It melted in his mouth instantly and there was a faint milky taste. Since Tao Tao could eat this, he nodded.
Only then was Father Shen reassured. He was about to pick it up with his hands when he paused. Then he asked the Auntie to bring a spoon after thinking for a moment. He still remembered that he could not feed such a young child without washing his hands. Finally, he scooped one up and waved it in front of Tao Tao’s eyes to continue his pronunciation lessons.
Tao Tao had already noticed it long before Father Shen picked it up and could not stop smiling.
He even knows ‘sweet’? Father Shen thought that he would surely learn the word ‘Grandpa’ since this little baby was so smart. He never imagined that Tao Tao just felt that it was very similar to the sugar pills that the doctor gave to him. This was why he knew how to pronounce this word that was more difficult.
With single-hearted devotion, Father Shen placed a tamago boro near Tao Tao’s mouth, “Tao Tao, call Grandpa. Grandpa.”
Tao Tao turned his head and stared at him. It seemed that he knew he had to learn this before he could eat. He gravely concentrated on Father Shen’s mouth shape. Finally, he opened his mouth and let out a sound, “Ah pa pa!”
Father Shen was dejected.
Big Brother Shen could not resist as he snorted in laughter behind Father Shen. Then he reached out and took the soft and adorable little bun into his arms. Though he was a little awkward, he gently and cautiously carried the little bun in his arms and teased him.
The person who carried him had changed again. Tao Tao measured the man before him, and happily began to call this handsome uncle, “Uncle.”
Father Shen was totally depressed. It looked like he could call everyone except for Grandpa?
Xiao Yu, who was talking with Old Master Shen, saw the entire incident. Thus, he walked up to explain the situation with a smile, “Tao Tao can’t say Grandpa because there were no elderly men at the welfare institution. He knows how to say uncle because the doctor who checked Tao Tao is a middle-aged man.”
Father Shen was cured in an instant. He hugged his eldest grandson and lifted him in his arms, “Since Tao Tao can’t call me, then Xiao Yu should say it a few times more.”
Xiao Yu obediently called, “Grandpa.”
Father Shen glowed with happiness.
Aunt Shen, who was watching the happy family, dragged her feet as she walked over, “Why don’t you just call me Great Aunt, I don’t dislike being called old.”
Even this guy, Alan, was called Great Uncle. Suddenly, she did not dislike being called old. Instead, she felt that being addressed as Great Aunt made her heart warm.
The whole family laughed.