There are animals all around us. The personalities of children closely resemble animals that most of us are familiar with: the Tasmanian devil, bossy cow, chameleon, donkey, monkey and the doe. Even if we don’t have animals of our own, we still come in contact with some of these animals when we least expect it. I will classify the six animal categories that I come in contact with weekly. Maybe some of you will recognize these animals. Perhaps you’ve seen them on your weekly outings.
Imagine that you are at the grocery store minding your own business and picking out the brightest red strawberries. Suddenly out of nowhere, you hear a high-pitched scream. The noise is so intense that you feel as if you should now have holes in your eardrums. You grab your head and let your strawberries fall to the floor. “What was that horrible noise,” you ask yourself once the noise has ceased. After picking up your now bruised strawberries, you peak around the corner into the next isle. There in a cart is a beautiful blonde child with the sweetest looking face and big, blue eyes, holding a box of Lucking Charms. Who would ever suspect that this beautiful creature is a Tasmanian devil?
The Tasmanian devil: This animal appears as a good-natured, wonderful child until he wants something that he sees. When that all-important item is seen, a loud piercing scream can be heard from one end of the store to another. This child will get what he wants just so that the parent of the Tasmanian devil can avoid embarrassment as well as the inevitable headache that can follow one of the outbursts. The Tasmanian devil does not limit outbursts to stores. These high-pitched screams can be heard in various neighborhoods as well as within the confines of one’s own home.
The Bossy Cow: The bossy cow is not quite as obvious as the Tasmanian devil but can be just as treacherous to control. Many oldest children fit into this category. This child tends to tell everyone around her what to do and how to do it. This child will always believe that he knows best and won’t hesitate to tell you so. This child can quote statistics that will sometimes surprise adults as well as make them feel uneducated. In a family situation, where many bossy cows may exist, big problems can occur. I have seen these types of problems first hand when my own family is together. In my family we have three generations of bossy cows. We also have bossy cows that have married into the family. Other animals tend to hide when this herd gets going.
The Donkey: This child is the epitome of the phrase “stubborn as a mule”. When the donkey is asked to perform a task that he finds unworthy of his efforts, a great braying can be heard. Sometimes referred to as whining, braying can last for quite a long time. You may have recognized the braying in a sibling or a child. This is the child that when asked to clean his room, sits on the floor and says, “But I don’t want to.” The word is “want” is drawn out and spoken in a very nasal tone when vocalized. If a bossy cow mother has a donkey for a child, many stressful moments can occur.
The Monkey: The monkey often appears as an easygoing child with a generally happy temperament. He can be often seen playing outside. The monkey is commonly good at sports and enjoys most outdoor activities. The monkey takes pleasure in many adventures. Unfortunately, when the monkey has gone through his repertoire of activities, he can be often found repeating his mantra. “There’s nothing to do” can be heard over and over again from the monkey. This is especially true in the summer months.
The Chameleon: As the name suggests, this child is a master of disguise. He can blend into his environment and appear to be one thing while carrying the traits of a completely opposite personality. Teachers praise this child for the wonderful organizational skills and work habits he has. The neat way that he keeps his desk will often be mentioned, sometimes in reverence. When at home, the chameleon often cannot find his belongings and keeps his room in total disorder. The chameleon’s clothes and personal items can frequently be found scattered throughout the house. When asked to clean his room, the chameleon can sometimes be found lying in the middle of the floor trying to blend into his surroundings so as not to be seen, as a way to get out of digging through the piles to find the floor.
The Doe: More often that not, this child is female. In rare instances a male counterpart can be found. This is the most pleasant of thee animals I’ve categorized. The doe usually had big eyes and a sweet disposition. This child is able to convince anyone around her that she should have anything she wants with hardly a word. This child is the easiest to give in to and the hardest to refuse.
As parents, aunts, uncles, brothers or sisters, we are likely to come in contact with at least one of these animals in our lifetimes. The next time you hear the high-pitched scream of the Tasmanian devil or the braying sound of the Donkey, just remember: it is a jungle out there. It is up to us to be prepared.