One day, coinciding roughly with when he first started preschool, Rockstar began to say “Audrey” whenever a little girl or princess cropped up in conversations. It turns out “Audrey” was a little dark-blonde girl with bangs and large blue-green eyes who often approached him at playgroup. I don’t remember seeing him paying particular attention to Audrey at play, but at night, our bedtime stories were peppered with “Audrey” exclamations for a few weeks. He would ask to see the picture I had taken of them together on my cellphone. When Audrey moved to a different class weeks ago, I seemed to miss the “Audrey” moments more than my son. Like any other male, he had proven the “out of sight, out of mind” saying – or had he?
Yesterday we bumped into Kaya and her mum as we were all walking in Cyberport. Normally Rockstar wrangles at least a few cuddles or even a lift along our several hundred meter walk – but not this day. He marched imperiously ahead, constantly calling for everyone else to “Come on. Walk faster!” Kaya, blessed with very blonde curls, very blue eyes and an outgoing personality repeatedly reached out and took his hand. “Aw Shucks” bashful is interesting to watch in a 28 month old male. Later, he mutters “Cannot hold hand. Too shy.” It’s true what they say – you see so much of a young child’s personality before he learns to hide it.
That night, I asked him who he liked better, Audrey or Kaya? “Audrey and Kaya. Both!” “Also Annie” he grins. Annie was the only Asian girl in his class for some time; they both moved up to a new class together in that preschool before everyone went to different Kindergartens and very different timings. Friends and colleagues have told me the girl-boy ratio in Hong Kong in Rockstar’s year is something like 80-20. And so it begins.