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I can hear all my parenting comrades gloating. Yes, we’re dealing with the all-nighters with Jian now. She was up from 2 to 8 in the morning. Poor EJ has been stressed.

The helper ajumma was anything but. It feels like I’m the only person in this country who knows anything about taking care of babies. And I think EJ is finally starting to listen to me ahead of those Korean old wives’ tales that keep coming our way–starting with the bone dry overheated hospital room.

The helper ajumma had good intentions. But this was her first day after training, and she didn’t know how to take care of a baby nor had any common sense. EJ and the baby had been up all night. They had just fallen asleep when the helper ajumma came over. EJ told her some basics and said she needed to go back to sleep. So the helper ajumma thought that it was a good time to open all the doors and windows and run the vacuum cleaner. She then left to go shopping while leaving the window open.

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There were things she did that I considered minor but really irked EJ. She’d clean stuff that didn’t need cleaning while creating messes of her own. I had to take the trash out and clean up after her after she left. I had gone into Seoul for a lunch meeting, but when I returned, EJ gave me an earful. The part that was the red blinking warning sign was that she gave Jian an immersion bath. All doctors and nurses say that newborns need to only have sponge baths until their umbilical cords fall off. Not only did she give her a full bath–she gave the baby a bath without taking off her diaper!

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That’s when I realized she had no common sense on top of everything else. I felt like we’d be assholes to bitch about this, but hey, we’re paying for this service to relieve EJ’s stress and it’s only been increasing it for her and the baby. EJ’s friend Eun Gyeong (EG) came over. I really love it that she’s connected with a good friend like her, and she’s just a few stories downstairs. EG said she definitely needed to fire her, so EJ called the company and complained. She got off the phone and said, “She’s not coming back. A new one will be here on Friday.”

So then we had that long night. Or rather, she had it. When I got up to help, she told me to get some sleep. Jian has been cranky and almost inconsolable. But I figured out what it was. When the girls took a nap, I went out to do some shopping. When I returned, EJ was trying to settle a pissy Jian. I took her in my arms and pulled out what I brought home–a binky. Sterilized it. Gave it to her.

It’s been the most peace we’ve had in days!

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