Watching Andre develop over the past year has been interesting. Many boys hit puberty and start transforming into unrecognisable beings at about age 12 or 13, and I've heard from some friends that their sons turned into strangers once they became teenagers. So I was curious as to whether the same phenomenon would hit Andre.
I had always thought that puberty in boys occur when their voices break so I was surprised when I read an article last year and found out that puberty actually happens much earlier. This article is pretty useful if you want to find out more about puberty in boys. In essence, there are five stages of puberty and voice-breaking actually marks stage 3.
Based on the article, I figure Andre is somewhere in stage 2. In the past 12 months, he has grown about 10cm. He's finally taller than Lesley-Anne and comparing photos from a year ago, I can clearly see that both his face and body have become less babyish. He has also become rather clumsy and his longer limbs add to the lack of coordination. He's constantly bumping into furniture and walls and we can hear him muttering, "Stupid gorilla arms!" Even though his voice has grown deeper, it hasn't cracked. (He can still muster up a squeal worthy of Kristin Chenoweth).
I think many boys of this age are surprised by their own physical development. Andre has a primary school classmate whom he met recently at a badminton friendly between schools. This friend, who used to be rather pudgy, is now taller than 1.7m and speaks with an impressive baritone. The friend told him rather delightedly, "I used to do so many situps but no use. I was still fat. Now I do a few and BOOM! Abs!"
I've always known this to be true - physical and mental maturity do not always go hand in hand. Cognitively, Andre's still as childish as ever. He's 13 but he still finds
girls annoying (especially when they pat his head and call him "cute"). It's quite funny. I don't have to
pre-screen movies because he's terribly embarrassed by love scenes. He
will self-censor by throwing a cushion over his eyes, saying, "Yuck!
Sick! Tell me when it's over!" He even refuses to watch Disney cartoon
characters kiss which baffles me. I mean, those shows are for
little kids, right? When we're walking in a mall and go past a lingerie
shop, he will make squeamish noises and shield his eyes, much to our
Recently, I asked him whether there were any BGRs in his class. He thought for a bit and told me quite a few boys were interested in two girls.
Me: "Wah, only two girls? How come they're so special?"
Andre (looks blank): "How would I know?"
Me: "Well, are they very pretty?"
Andre (shrugs): "I dunno."
Me (channeling the persistent mum): "Do they have long hair?"
Andre: (looks totally confused): "Long hair? What's that got to do with anything??"
Maybe this is mean, but I laughed very hard at his cluelessness. And secretly, I hope he'll be clueless for a little longer yet.