Communal Living

June 10, 2008

My sister and I have always been quite close. She is the oldest of five, and three years older than me. We shared a room for as long as I can remember, we still share clothes, and I can proudly say we have NEVER shred boyfriends. (I know a couple sisters who have done that and I just do not get it.) Admittedly, I always wanted to be just like my sister. She was always way smarter than me, so the only way I could imitate her was physically. She would get dressed first, and then I would put on the same outfit. This vexed her to no end. In fact, right after she moved in a few weeks ago, she was wearing a polo three-quarter length shirt with rolled up jeans. She left to go sign some papers for our house stuff (which we still don’t have a house to move in to! we are going on over a month! I thought this was a buyer’s market????) and when she came back I was wearing an identical outfit. It was awesome! Just like the good old days.

Anyhoo, she has always done things first- graduating, having a boyfriend, moving out, getting married, etc. But somehow, I managed to have a baby (actually, babies) before she did. Lily is three months older than her son Sungu. It’s pretty funny cause Chris and James (Jeehon’s husband) are literally like day and night- Chris is the prototypical Aryan that Hitler was trying to get the world to be full of, and James is a skinnier (and poorer) Hines Ward (we can’t all be Superbowl MVPs). In short, James’ dad is african-american, and his mom is Korean. So Sungu is 3/4 Korean, and Lily is 1/2. But they look like twins sometimes. It’s the hair I think. And the sweet, giant doe-eyes. So cute. Nothing makes me happier than the fact that Lily and Topher get to grow up with their cousins, since Jeehon and I never had hat opportunity.

But with all the great things that come with living together come some negative things as well. No matter how hard we try not to, we pin our kids against each other. Most of the time it’s a joke, but sometimes it’s not. We ‘joke’ about which kid is the ‘winner’ of the day. The winner is the kid who cries the least, eats everything that’s put in front of them, and naps the best (and longest). This automatically makes Sungu the winner everyday pretty much. Except with the food thing. Lily is quite the little piglet. But just as much as she can eat, the girl can cry. I really wish I knew why she cries so much, but I don’t. She cries when she is tired, and when she’s hungry, or thirsty, or hurt, truth be told- she cries whenever she feels like it. It kinda sucks and I really hope she grows out of it soon. Real soon. Sungu on the other hand does not cry even when he is hurt (he fell on his face the other day. Not a peep outta him) but will occassionally cry when he is tired, hungry, or tired of being in his car seat. But that’s about it. Sometimes I feel like pinching him just so that he will cry more and so that my sister would stop bragging about how little he cries! (I would never hurt the kid. Don’t call CPS). But she’s got a right to brag. I would brag about that too.

So Sungu doesn’t cry, but you know what else Sungu doesn’t do? Walk. (Yeah that sounds harsh, but it’s the cold hard truth!) Jeehon came out to Arizona at Christmas and she distinctly remembers Lily ‘walking’ between Chris and I. I don’t remember that, but I will take her word for it. She was nine months old then. Sungu just started taking steps between the couch and her, and he is eleven months old. Does it matter? No. But will I hang on to this nugget of info about Lily developing a touch before her cousin? You betcha! Should I? No. Everything is a competition. EVERYTHING. Wait till we get to the serious stuff- like how long it takes to potty train, and who gets into an Ivy league school, and who will marry a millonaire… There will always be a winner, and there will always be a… non-winner. Is this healthy competition? No. Not for the kids. Not even for Jeehon and I. But that sadly will not stop us. We will try to keep our kids out of the competition as much as we can, even though they are the ones who are competing against each other. But isn’t this just another ugly side of human nature?

But here is the good, no the great, things about living together. When the kids are napping, one of us gets to leave the house for some alone time. Even if it’s just to go grocery shopping, it’s nice to just go into a grocery store without worrying about a little one catching germs off of a shopping cart. Another great thing- Jeehon does all the laundry! And she is so good at it. The whites have never been whiter, everything smells fresh and clean, and all the clothes are folded perfectly. She is a laundry-doing genius. I do the dishes, and that’s fine with me cause though there are always a butt-load of dishes to be done on the regular, I feel like it’s easier than the laundry. And another great thing about communal living is the fact that I do not have to cook all the time. Jeehon is a great cook and loves to experiment. Fortunately for her, Chris and I will eat pretty much anything she makes. But not only does she cook for Chris and me, she cooks for the babies and that’s HUGE. She read ‘Baby Super Foods’, which I read too, and actually has been making stuff from there. That’s a step beyond what I did. She is so careful about what she puts in Sungu’s body, which translates into being careful about what she puts into Lily’s too. ONce Lily turned one, I bought a bunch of those Gerber Baby Meals which are full of preservatives and who knows what else. Jeehon is Little Miss Organics which is great for everyone. Plus, since she’s still breastfeeding, and so am I, she makes sure that I eat well for Topher’s sake. She is mother/sister/aunt supreme.

So all in all, living together is going pretty awesomely well. Jeehon and Chris get along perfectly well, and in our off time we all sit around and play Speed Scrabble together (Chirs has kicked our butts the last bunch of games now), or watch Korean videos (have Jeehon translate them). If only we could remove that competitive side of it all, things would be perfect, but alas we live in a fallen world, and what it all comes down to is that Jeehon and I are just big babies who happen to have babies.

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