Epilogue 2: Ye An & Xie Shuo
In the end, the baby’s name was decided by Xie Shuo to be Xie Tangyi.
The “Tang” came from begonias, perfectly matching the season of her birth.
Before turning one year old, Xiao Tangyi was particularly fussy. She would cry loudly at the slightest thing, and sometimes, even both Ye An and Xie Shuo couldn’t soothe her when she got upset.
Ye An had a headache from her constant crying and couldn’t help but look at Xie Shuo. “You’re always so solemn and reserved in speech. Why is our daughter so fussy?”
Xie Shuo glanced at her, his expression speaking volumes.
Ye An: “…….”
Ye An felt subtly criticized and pinched him in anger.
As novice parents, it’s inevitable to feel overwhelmed, but as Xiao Tangyi gradually grew, the two of them adapted to their roles.
Although Xie Shuo was busy, he proved to be quite competent in taking care of his daughter. Whenever he had time, he would come back to spend it with her, personally taking care of many things.
Once, when Xiao Tangyi fell ill, Ye An called him, and he immediately rushed back.
At eight or nine months old, Xiao Tangyi began learning to speak and walk.
One morning, as Xie Shuo picked her up to feed her formula, the little girl, with her beautiful dark eyes wide open, waved her small hands toward his neck and suddenly exclaimed, “Dada.”
Xie Shuo was momentarily stunned.
Xiao Tangyi waved her tiny arms, smiling, and called out again, “Dada.”
Xie Shuo came back to his senses and smiled.
Ye An came over from behind, delighted. “Baby can talk now?”
Xie Shuo turned around, holding Xiao Tangyi.
Ye An gently tugged Xiao Tangyi’s hand, smiling as she coaxed, “Yi Yi, say Mama.”
Who knew that Xiao Tangyi would just blink and giggle at her?
Ye An: “…….”
Ye An, displeased, turned to Xie Shuo. “Why does she only call you and not me?”
Xie Shuo chuckled and comforted her, “Try coaxing her again.”
Ye An took the baby from him, feeding her formula while trying to coax her.
However, no matter how gently she guided, Xiao Tangyi ultimately never uttered the word “Mama.”
Ye An felt extremely defeated, and in anger, handed her back to Xie Shuo.
Back in Xie Shuo’s arms, Xiao Tangyi yawned and extended her arms toward him, nestling in his neck before calling out in a baby voice, “Dada.”
Ye An: “…….”
Who carried her for ten months anyway?
It wasn’t until the following night while bathing Xiao Tangyi, that Ye An, who had been nursing her grievances for two days, finally heard the long-awaited word, “Mama.”
When Xiao Tangyi celebrated her first birthday, the Xie family organized a birthday banquet for her.
By this time, her facial features had blossomed, flawlessly inheriting her parents’ good looks. With rosy lips and white teeth, she possessed a pair of dark and clear eyes. Her smile was beautiful and adorable.
Grandfather Xie and Xie Baiyan took turns holding her, reluctant to let go.
Even Xin Li couldn’t resist amusing her with toys, coaxing her to call her “Auntie.” Xiao Tangyi reached out with her little arms and planted a kiss on Xin Li’s cheek.
The fragrance and softness of a baby melted Xin Li’s heart immediately.
Seeing this, Xie Yuran walked over and whispered in her ear, “Shall we have one too?”
Xin Li remained silent, but her expression had already softened a bit.
When Xiao Tangyi celebrated her second birthday, Xie Yuran and Xin Li welcomed their first child.
It was a baby boy nicknamed Zhao Zhao.
Xie Shuo and Ye An brought Xiao Tangyi to visit the newborn.
Xiao Tangyi was highly intrigued by her baby brother, whom she met for the first time. She leaned over the crib, her grape-like eyes fixed on him without blinking.
While the adults chatted outside, only she stayed by his side, unwilling to leave.
After staring for a while, Xiao Zhao Zhao opened his eyes and looked back at her.
Xiao Tangyi tiptoed, attempting to talk to him, but unfortunately, after talking for a while, she received no response.
Zhao Zhao yawned and fell back asleep.
Later, Ye An came to take Xiao Tangyi home. Holding Ye An’s hand and clinging to the crib, she asked puzzledly, “Didi’s not coming home with us?”
Laughter erupted in the room, including Xin Li.
Ye An crouched down to explain, “Didi is Uncle Yuran and Auntie Xin Li’s baby. This is his home, so we can’t take him home with us.”
Xiao Tangyi half-understood and slowly released her little hand from the edge of the crib.
Ye An lifted her up, but before she took a step, Xie Shuo stepped forward and directly took their daughter from her arms.
Xiao Tangyi nestled on her dad’s shoulder, gazing toward the crib reluctantly and asking softly, “Daddy, can I come see didi again tomorrow?”
Xie Shuo gently stroked her back and said lovingly, “Of course.”
Seeing her like this, Ye An couldn’t help but entertain the idea of having a second child.
However, that thought was quickly dispelled by the cries of Xiao Tangyi later that night.
After turning two, Xiao Tangyi’s temperament gradually settled down. She was no longer as fussy as before, and when she was quiet, she even displayed a trace of Xie Shuo’s temperament.
Ye An felt a sense of “my little one is growing up,” relieved that she didn’t turn into a mischievous troublemaker.
No matter how busy they were, the couple made a point to spend some time with their child every week.
Ye An’s professional skills shone particularly bright in the aspect of entertaining children. Every night, Xiao Tangyi insisted on hearing a story from her before peacefully going to sleep.
With this, Xiao Tangyi also learned to mimic various sounds, showcasing an exceptional memory. She quickly grasped whatever she was taught.
She adored Little Penguin Yin Yin, treating it like a close friend. Whenever she had free time, she would grab a small stool and sit in front of it, chatting with it.
Yin Yin had been upgraded to the latest version, almost capable of communicating seamlessly with people.
“Yin Yin, why are leaves green?”
“Because of chlorophyll.”
“What is chlorophyll?”
One time, she bombarded Yin Yin with too many and too peculiar questions that Yin Yin couldn’t answer. In frustration, she started pressing buttons on Yin Yin until she successfully crashed it.
After Yin Yin crashed, Xiao Tangyi was frightened, so she ran to Xie Shuo, crying, “Daddy…”
Xie Shuo was originally in the study attending a meeting when he noticed her tearful face. He temporarily halted the meeting and carried her onto his lap.
Xiao Tangyi choked out, “Yin Yin can’t talk anymore.”
Xie Shuo comforted her, “Daddy will take a look in a moment…”
Hearing the cries, Ye An entered the room. Seeing her causing a commotion on Xie Shuo’s lap, she frowned. “Yi Yi, how many times have I told you not to disturb Daddy while he’s working?”
Approaching to take her away, Xiao Tangyi turned her face away and sought refuge in Xie Shuo’s arms. She pitifully called out “Daddy,” with teardrops clinging to her eyelashes.
Xie Shuo’s heart immediately melted, patting her small head and reassuring, “It’s okay.”
Ye An: “…….”
Ultimately, Xie Shuo held Xiao Tangyi on his lap and completed the latter half of the meeting.
Toward their daughter, Xie Shuo was always exceptionally patient, almost to the point of granting her every wish—a daughter slave.
Sometimes, Ye An felt like he had changed into a completely different person, unable to connect the current him with the cold and solemn young master from before.
At night, after Ye An finished telling Xiao Tangyi a bedtime story, she returned to bed and told Xie Shuo, “Don’t pamper her too much; what if she gets too spoiled…”
Wrapping his arms around her, Xie Shuo said with a smile, “She’s still little; I know my limits.”
Ye An didn’t believe him for a second and was ready to dispute him when he suddenly silenced her with a kiss.
Ultimately, Ye An was left a bit muddle-headed with his kisses. She could only vent her frustration by scratching two red marks on his back.
When Xiao Tangyi turned three, she reached the age to attend kindergarten.
To prevent her from crying on her first day, the night before attending kindergarten, Xie Shuo and Ye An took turns preparing her for a long time. In the end, they even agreed to her request to sleep with them.
The next day, Xiao Tangyi indeed behaved very calmly. She didn’t cry throughout the car ride, just holding their hands when they got out of the car and asking when they would come to pick her up.
Ye An gently reassured her, “I’ll come pick you up after school.”
Xiao Tangyi looked at her and then at Xie Shuo. “Will Daddy come too?”
Xie Shuo chuckled. “Daddy will come too.”
Upon entering the classroom, Xiao Tangyi sat at her desk, hugging her small backpack while displaying an aloof demeanor reminiscent of Xie Shuo’s decisive business-making.
Her desk partner was a fair and somewhat frail-looking little boy with dark eyes filled with unshed tears, as if on the verge of crying.
Glancing at her, the little boy seemed to think it was embarrassing to cry when the little girl didn’t, so he forcefully held back his tears and tightly pursed his lips.
Ye An crouched down and exchanged a few words with Xiao Tangyi before speaking with the teacher and leaving with Xie Shuo.
Walking out of the classroom, Ye An seemed a bit reluctant, frequently turning back to look. Xie Shuo wrapped his arm around her shoulder and asked, “Do you have something to do today? If not, wanna accompany me to work?”
Before Xiao Tangyi was born and during her spare time, Ye An often accompanied Xie Shuo to the office and sometimes even on business trips.
Ye An nodded, aware that Xie Shuo was concerned about her being sad. “Sure.”
In the classroom, Xiao Tangyi watched as her parents left and couldn’t hold back a blink, tears welling up in her eyes.
Just as she was about to cry, she noticed the little boy next to her, with his big round eyes fixed on her.
Xiao Tangyi immediately stifled her tears and pursed her lips, declaring, “I didn’t cry.”
The little boy, unwilling to appear weak: “I didn’t cry either.”
So, in the midst of the bustling classroom, their table stood out with a different atmosphere.
While other kids were crying and making a fuss, they… were just staring at each other.
After a few seconds, Xiao Tangyi couldn’t resist anymore and took out a notebook and a pen from her backpack.
Seeing this, the little boy also rummaged through his backpack, pulling out a piece of candy.
He handed the candy to Xiao Tangyi. “For you.”
Xiao Tangyi looked at the candy in his palm, then found one in her backpack and offered it to him. “I have one, too.”
The little boy said, “Let’s exchange then.”
The two children exchanged candies while the surrounding kids continued to cry and fuss.
“Sigh…” Xiao Tangyi said with a slightly melancholy expression, “They’re so noisy.”
The little boy nodded in agreement, his small head bobbing. “Very noisy.”
As the teacher passed by them: “……”
A little over a week later, Xiao Tangyi had completely adapted to kindergarten life. She happily went to school every day without needing any coaxing.
In addition to her good looks, Xiao Tangyi also inherited Xie Shuo’s intelligence perfectly. She was naturally gifted, quickly grasping anything she learned.
She could memorize ancient poems as soon as she learned it flawlessly, and her skills in piano, drawing, and dancing were outstanding. The teachers liked her a lot.
The first piano piece she learned was taught to her by Xie Shuo. Watching the little girl focus on playing the piano, Ye An leaned against Xie Shuo’s shoulder and raised her eyebrow proudly. “Looks like my prenatal education paid off.”
One Saturday, Xie Yuran and Xin Li brought Zhao Zhao over to play at Xie Shuo’s place.
Xiao Tangyi had always loved this little brother of hers. As soon as she saw him coming, she eagerly ran to him, holding her doll and exclaiming, “Didi!”
Zhao Zhao saw her and joyfully called out, “Jiejie!”
Ye An, caught in the “reunion” of these two little ones, inexplicably felt a sense of a “moving and tragic” reunion. In her mind, there seemed to be moving and tragic music playing.
Just as she was about to remind Xiao Tangyi to take good care of her brother, Xiao Tangyi had already grabbed Zhao Zhao’s hand and was leading him to her toy room.
As they walked, Xiao Tangyi said in her baby voice, “Didi, Mommy told me you’re going to kindergarten soon. If anyone bullies you, tell me, and I’ll protect you.”
Xiao Tangyi first showed him her recent “artworks,” and then, in all seriousness, she started teaching him how to paint.
She emptied her paintbrushes from the box, arranging them one by one.
“Didi, use this one first, just like me…”
“No, you should paint like this. Let me teach you…”
Ye An and Xin Li stood at the doorway, watching with smiles on their faces.
As night fell, Xie Yuran and Xin Li were about to leave with Zhao Zhao when Xiao Tangyi reluctantly held Zhao Zhao’s hand, making plans to play together again next time.
The two of them seemed to be reenacting a tragic play, leaving Ye An and Xin Li both amused.
Even until bedtime, Xiao Tangyi was still talking about visiting her didi tomorrow.
As usual, Ye An told her a bedtime story lulling her to sleep. She tucked her in and then returned to her room.
Xie Shuo just came out of the bathroom after taking a shower and asked, “Is Yi Yi asleep?”
Ye An passed by him and got onto the bed, leaning against the headboard as she looked at him.
Xie Shuo wore a black robe; his figure was tall and slender, with broad shoulders. The belt of the robe hung at his waist loosely.
He also climbed into bed, meeting Ye An’s unabashed and direct gaze, causing him to pause.
Before he could react, Ye An threw herself onto him. Her fair fingers followed his neckline down, discreetly undoing the belt at his waist.
“Is there something you want to say?”
After several years of marriage, such hints couldn’t be more explicit. Ye An leaned close to his ear and whispered, “Shall we have another child?”
Xie Shuo paused for a moment, neither agreeing nor disagreeing.
In fact, Ye An had brought up the idea of having another child a couple of years ago. However, he was concerned about her health and suggested taking it slowly, which resulted in delaying the decision until now.
Lying on top of him, Ye An looked up and said, “My health has been good. Having another child would bring more liveliness and give Yi Yi a companion, so she won’t keep pestering other children.”
After a while, Xie Shuo’s breath brushed over her earlobe, replying with a simple, “Okay.”