In China, or at least where my husband’s from, there’s a saying that a man will have as many daughters as he did mistresses in his past life. Well, my husband must have been a very busy man in his past life as we now have four! He also had his fortune read by an uncle in the village who told him he would have several daughters first and so far that is true. Thankfully, all our family love girls and there’s no pressure to have a son although it would be interesting to see what a son of ours would look like. Our friends also joke about the value of our daughters because in China when a daughter marries, her fiance is generally expected to pay a hefty fee to her parents as a thank you for bringing her up.
My husband is a very hands of father. I find newborn babies too small and fiddly until they are at least three months old so he helps me with all the baths and when out of the house the nappy changes especially at the newborn stage. Now the girls are getting older he has become their taxi driver to all the different extra curricular activities. Each child has a completely different personality and different interests so no doubt his taxi driving duties will increase.
A familiar sight when we are with friends for dinner is my husband cradling a sleeping baby in one arm while holding his hand of cards in the other free hand playing dou dizhu (fight the landlord). Sometimes its not even our baby.
With recent changes to the famous one child policy, the media has been full of articles about the prospect of bringing up more than one child. For many it seems to be a daunting task. Some say that they would feel guilty towards their elder child because they would have to share their love with the new arrival. However, I have found its the other way round. New babies in our house just have to slot in to our daily routines, which involves a lot of hanging around and waiting for the older ones.
Last year my husband went on a business trip to China for two weeks. It was our first time apart in six years. It cemented how much our family needs him. One of our daughter’s missed him so much she could only go to sleep while holding his photo.