Imaginary friends are common in childhood. They especially crop up when the child is experiencing a move or a change in their life. Laurie has just started kindergarten. Mother sends him off by himself with an older girl from the school. She doesn't even take him herself.
Laurie is not just disrespectful at school. He is also disrespectful at home. He tells his father that "Look up, look down..." joke and calls him dumb. Later he calls him an"ol' dust mop" His parents never correct that behavior. He trapses mud with a wagon through the kitchen. He is testing the waters in kindergarten. What can he do and not do? Sometimes children create an imaginary friend to explain their negative behavior. They are beginning to know the difference between right and wrong although it is still in the beginning stages. Laurie fears what may happen to him if he tells them he did it, so he creates Charles. His parents give him a lot of negative feedback about Charles. Generally children who act out this way are outgoing,(which Laurie is) have a lot of friends (which Laurie seems to have) and have lively imaginations.
You will notice that Laurie is getting better. In his third week of school, he has figured out that being a helper is cool, and he doesn't misbehave for a whole week. Charles suddenly wasn't getting into trouble anymore. The teacher even tells his mother "he had a little trouble adjusting the first week or so, but now he's a fine helper." (pg 3) I guess the thing that surprises me is that the school did not contact his parents before the PTA meeting.
Well, first of all, it's fun messing around with parents and most importantly, he wants to make his parents think that Laurie is a sweet little boy compring to 'Charles' which is actyally himself.