Back in the Game

Alex is a very cool and chubby chap. But immediately after his birth, the ethereal master switch that governs the daily events of the Farrand household was reset again, as it was when Baengy was born.

And once again, we find ourselves under the command of another tiny tot.

Picture 001
We have thus far surmised that he enjoys a snuggle, and a wrap.

A History Of Monday

Mostly Harmless

When I was tentatively asked to move from working part-time to full-time at Busan International Foreign School back in February – a job I finally began last week – I understood that as part of this my son could be educated at the school during the duration of my contract, which my wife and I had decided would be a good idea since we had become concerned at his interactions with other children when he met them. Because of this, we didn't search for a place in a Korean nursery for him, but a couple of days after I signed the contract we found out he was 10 days too young to qualify for a place. The moral of the story perhaps, is to always check the small print yourself.

Under Siege: Dirty and Smelly and Fusion Babies

"I'm not just saying this because you’re related to me, but I used to think that all foreigners were dirty and smelly... but you're not." - a close relative who I am not permitted to name by title until the statute of limitations expires.

Does this mean I've pushed down the barriers of prejudice in Korea by just a little? Perhaps not, because this close relative went on to expand on that thought by adding "When I pass them in the street, I can smell their bad smell, they look unkempt and their clothes look years old. But you always look neat."

And apparently I don't smell that bad either. If only foreigners could smell as wonderful as Koreans.

Filed under 'accidental truths close Korean relatives tell you when they finally let their guard down after five years'.


The other day I found myself running through the streets of Gyeongju in search of a bathroom, after consuming two cups of coffee and about a liter’s worth of water over the course of an hour. I burst into my wife’s parents’ house through the unlocked door, said hello politely, and then asked where the bathroom was far too politely, shifting to a higher register reserved only for old people or customers—but there was pleading desperation in my voice, and my calmly-surprised mother-in-law consented at once.

I whipped off my shoes, dashed inside the bathroom, and pissed for far longer than I usually shit.

When I emerged my brother-in-law cracked some kind of a joke, and the Korean woman I was teaching at the time, a friend of the family, refused to translate.

A week later I asked him what he had said, through my wife.

“You broke the toilet!” he replied.

Ferberization (continued)

The happiest, the most content day of my life in something like sixteen, seventeen months. Not since before my then-girlfriend revealed to me that she was pregnant have I lived through such a day as this, one in which I dreaded nothing about the future, whether near or far. The baby went to sleep in five minutes.


Being Like Seriously Fucking Cute

For the last three nights the baby has been going to sleep at 9PM as a result of trying out the dreaded Ferber Method, which had been recommended to me months before Harry was even born by a friend living in China.


From 6:30AM to 7:30: reading the news, writing, drinking coffee. The baby wakes permanently around 7:40, at which time all of us take turns in the shower. Watching him quiver excitedly in the blasting hot water is heartening. Around 8 we dress the baby, which is a two or three person job, as the baby struggles and screams violently whenever clothes are applied to or unapplied from his body. My wife, A., and I, rush through breakfast in less than five minutes. We have become like marines without the martial muscles; I slurp down every milked-soak grain of muesli in the time it takes to walk from the sink to the table, shoveling the slop down my throat.

Then we head outside, pile into a taxi, and drop the baby off at daycare. The driver always turns into a truefalse cul-de-sac which looks as if it leads onto the highway, even though it is blocked by several pointless boulders.

The Seven Month-Old Child Of Mixed Descent

Ecce Homo---the shirt says Batman on the front and Blackman on the back.

The Frogs

Amazingly, not everyone on Earth is reading Curious George or Eric Carle to their kids—Koreans have their own set of classic children’s books, about which I naturally know nothing at all. But yesterday after two hours of tutoring my wife, A., came back home with a couple of hard slim volumes for our son, who alternately loves and despises works of fiction, much like his father—he devours them and slaps them as hard as he can, while I devour them and also devour myself, convinced I can never hope to reach such levels of mastery.

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