Friday, June 8, 2012

Something I really like about living in a foreign country is that language and cultural barriers sometimes breed surreality. Today Korrine and I were waiting on the elevator down the hall because the elevator nearest our apartment was too slow. We ran into an elderly man holding a pretty baby girl, about Joah's size. He was interested in us and our baby-having and wanted to connect. He spoke no words of English and what did come out of his mouth was nothing at all like Korean, but somehow he ushered us back into his apartment. It all happens so fast when it happens.

We walk in on a young woman sweeping the floor and two little girls sitting on the couch. The woman is his daughter and the girls are her daughters. She is Vietnamese and her parents are visiting for the month. She leads us to the couch, apologizing for the sweeping. Someone puts tea in our hands and both our babies are immediately cradled and then posed for many pictures. The only words exchanged are collective broken Korean and some English. We tried to leave several times, but they wanted to feed us oranges. One, two, three slices aren't enough. She has many oranges in the fridge; her husband works for Samsung. Joash forgets I exist and is chewing on rice cakes and bounding around in a baby walker. Miss Quinn is charming the grandmother. Korrine and I just keep looking at each other with the giddiness of bewilderment. Forty minutes later and Korrine announces that we'll be completing our E-Mart errand, but not before we deny an offer for coffee and, likely, endless other treats.

I guess we wanted to leave the whole time, but it was quite pleasant and so sweet and with that nervous twinge in your belly that tells you you're living. It made for a much better morning than just walking to E-Mart. And how else would I have learned to say "hi" in Vietnamese?

Joash is almost never content to lay on anyone, but we hang a ribbon and some toys from the window's handle, and that occupies him enough so cuddles are okay.

These are the profiles of a father and son.

These are their morning side-eyes.

Ghost baby on the counter. Ghost because he moves fast, but, also, have you seen the color of this child's skin? Trick question. He is translucent.
I mentioned Baby Quinn. Here she is! She is sweet and easy going, and I can't stop calling her "Little Miss," and I have no idea where that's coming from. Baby girls are just different from baby boys. Joash loves her, sometimes to her detriment.
He wanted to share the lens cap with her, but she's too busy with her yoga posing.
He just laid down and stared for a bit.
Joash and I got to babysit her for a short while, which he may have taken to its literal conclusions. We helped teach her how to brush her teeth.
That's a foot, not a hand.

I am always amazed how all babies are different but exactly the same, and every new skill, for Quinn here just holding the toothbrush, is a triumph.

Meanwhile, Joah baby is crawling upright, mastering sippy cups, always teething in the most miserable way, and reaching his tenth month outside the womb (equal out and in now, making his birth an equinox), weighing in at 10 kilograms. After holding the four month old little lady, his sturdiness was a shock to my arms. Time for a new one!


  1. I just wanted to say hi and let you know I love getting to know about your life :)

  2. Katie, I am glad to hear it and glad to oblige.

  3. I really like this story!

  4. I see that both Katie and Bonnie commented on this post, and I want to be part of the cool club. I'm THAT girl.

  5. Crystal, you are the PRESIDENT of the cool club, so, see? Girls can be president.