One of the most annoying things about Elly is that she thinks that the simple act of being a parent is indescribably traumatic. As I said before, she thinks that she must control every single aspect of her childrens' adult lives in order to balance the scales because it took so much out of her. What makes Elly's belief unbelievable is knowing how easy her life really was. Mike, Liz and April were not the uncontrollable monsters of her angst-ridden recollections, after all. They were, as we all know, ordinary, reasonably well-behaved kids who lived amazingly conventional lives. All they needed was a bit more attention and a little less screaming about how they could do some minor thing that Elly inflated into an atrocity to their poor, long-suffering mother and they'd have been fine. She never had to deal with any real problems with them until April showed up; that's because she stopped paying attention all together by then. Another annoying thing about her is that she treated the simple, easy-peasy parts of motherhood as overwhelming, soul-crushing burdens. She actually meant it when she wrote those idiotic poems that described getting kids ready for school as being a grueling ordeal. Watching Elly make mountain ranges out of the mole-hills of her life as a means of explaining why she must dominate those of her children is as enjoyable as it is smart or palatable.