Why does Laurie misbehave, and what does he try to do by misbehaving?

Expert Answers
lisacoyotesfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Really Laurie misbehaves for attention.  If you look at Charles's behavior at school, it closely mirrors that of Laurie's behavior at home.  At school he hits children, kicks the teacher, does not follow directions.  At home he spills his baby sister's milk, he calls his pop a dust mop, he talks back.  What is amazing is that his parents are appalled by Charles's behavior at school yet seem pretty oblivious to Laurie's bad behavior at home.  Ironically, they are worried that Charles may be a bad influence on their son.  That irony is revealed at the end of the story when the mom is informed by the teacher at the PTO meeting that there is no Charles in class.

Laurie is a kindergartner whose bad behavior at home has followed him to the classroom.  He enjoys the attention.  He loves the attention he gets at school by misbehaving and the joy the next "Charles story" gets at home.  The only time Laurie is really sullen in the entire story is when Charles is being a good teacher's helper.  He is sad there are no fun stories to share at home.  Needless to say, Charles's good behavior is short lived.

I would love to know what happens when mom gets home from the meeting! I am guessing dad will be surprised too!

englishteacher72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Laurie has just started kindergarten, and he's quite the mischievous little boy, unbeknownst to his parents.  While the reason why Laurie misbehaves remains a mystery to the reader, one can assume that he does this to gain attention, albeit negative, from his peers and teacher.  Instead of coming home and telling his parents what he has done each day, Laurie comes home and makes up a fictional student in his classroom, "Charles", placing all of the blame on him instead.  This is not discovered until Laurie's mom goes in for a parent-teacher conference.