Friday, August 22, 2008

Psychic powers reveal friends

Sonny's best friends, as the two loyal readers of this blog will know, include a toy mouse and a cloth book (see 'Fantasy friends arriving'). But in a while, he'll be acquiring some flesh-and-blood pals, starting presumably at the infant care centre where he spends his weekdays. However, we're going to exert our psychic powers right now, and reveal that we already know who these friends are going to be. That's right, here - inevitably - are some of Sonny's future companions:

1) The Health Hazard: Whichever care centre Sonny might be at, there will still be one child who specialises in coming down with colds and the flu, then cheerily spreading them to everyone else. If everyone in the place is originally a hearty, strapping monster with an overdeveloped immune system, then a wicked Illness Incubus will fly over the place and zap some unfortunate, who will then become the Agent of Disease. For instance, the care givers at Sonny's current centre have already begun speaking of spreading sniffles. There's no escaping it, clearly.

2) The Bully: In any brood of little ones, one of them will somehow arrogate to himself the role of Mr Throw-his-weight-around (no, we're not offering another Mr Men book title, to join those mooted in 'New Mr Men characters, anyone?'). He - or she, in these enlightened times - will laugh too loudly, play the boss and possibly even shake everyone down for extra lunch money. Typically, he will have at least one sidekick, a snivelling fool who is feckless when the main man isn't about.

3) The Overachiever: Obviously, no collection of kids would be complete without one smart-aleck who'll have started reading ahead of everyone else, knows more and (usually) is better able to get to the right side of the care-giver/teacher. Chances are he'll not be the most physically impressive specimen, so the Bully will be able to exact some measure of revenge - even if constrained by his victim's ability to appeal to the care-giver/teacher.

4) The Nobody: Not everyone has a starring role, but that fact benefits the inevitable fellow who'll be so utterly colourless it proves remarkable. This kid won't be picked on because he's mastered the art of being invisible (whether he wants to or not), but he'll also be forgotten for games and other festive activities unless he literally jumps into the ring yelling. Which, of course,
would be completely out of character.

We'll stop here, though the list could be lengthened. If the pool of children is small - as is likely in Sonny's case - you might think that some of the characters might be go unplayed. Not a chance. Someone will just have to double up and play two roles, though it's hard to imagine someone being both The Nobody as well as The Bully, for instance. However, someone might be both a
bully and still be perpetually falling ill. And which role would Sonny play? We certainly don't want him to be pushing his weight around, and being the smart-aleck attracts too much opprobrium.

In the end, though, the social dynamics will evolve of their own accord. Really, being a quiet Mr Nobody doesn't seem the worst option...


Shirley said...

How in the world do you find so much to write about everyday??! You are really my "writing idol" (in view of all those idol contests thingy...)
I agree with you the different roles children play. As a teacher, I have watched these kids assume many roles. Some of them are bullies cum teachers pet. Oftentimes, the teacher is not even aware that the child is a bully cos the child really butters the teacher up very well.....
So here's another one.... the Bullying teacher's pet.

Cloudsters said...

You're much too kind. It's much easier when there are two minds tossing out ideas for posts...

Bullying teacher's pet: Quite right! Deceptive things, kids.