Every morning on my walk to work I play chicken with a six year old. I must point out that this isn’t through choice. I don’t make it part of my constitution that I must play chicken with a child before picking up my morning coffee (which is invariably a morning tea anyway). It’s him, the little oik. He makes me.
It has come to something when you strategise about how you are going to beat a six year old psychologically, especially when you keep losing. I probably should explain why I let this daily drubbing of my fragile self-esteem continue. The short answer is he scares me. That and his father, he scares me too. He looks like the kind of guy who is well versed with the machinations of loan sharks… and his father looks like a Russian boxer (boom-boom). I’m not talking Dolph Lungren in Rocky IV here, I’m talking Nikolai Valuev. I really can’t imagine Dolph Lungren walking his child to school through my local park.
Nikolai Valuev, who walks through Victoria Park at 8:25am every morning with he six year old “mini-me”
This morning I shunned convention and walked on the right-hand side of the path to try to avoid the daily chicken dodge and the little jobbie crossed over (out of his way) and headed straight for me. I did my usual “shuffle” to get out of his way, all the while chastising myself for giving way… again. His father looked on proudly as his son swung his satchel around his head and trotted on by.
There is some primordial instinct in me that wants to knee the little loan shark in the head and I’ve come close to doing this on occasion. However the vision of a knife in my esophagus and the thought of choking to death on my own blood and bile (would that happen?) has always stopped me from being brave. Actually, if anyone can suggest a stratagem that I should adopt I’m all ears.
So, the moral of this story is when marketing to children you can either remember who’s the boss and treat them like children, or you can try to play to their own ambitions of ruling the roost and talk to them on their level. They are an increasingly complex bunch and becoming more adult all the time. Marketing to them isn’t as simple as blue for boys and pink for girls, which is a shame really. Anyway, I think I have a new plan for my walk to work… the bus.