The recent strip in which Michael, who was told to build a snowman with the kit he was given, instead built a freakish-looking monstrosity that no normal child his age would make is symptomatic of a problem he has. Simply put, he has the annoying need to antagonize people who waste his time trying to teach him things when he'd rather sit on his ass watching TV by engaging in moronic horseplay; this, of course, is because he hates the idea of people telling him what to do despite the fact that, left to his own devices, he can't think of a productive way to spend his time. Therefore, I think it's fairly to safe to describe Michael as a bland, dull, somewhat lazy, by-the-numbers drone of average intellect who needed a firm, even hand to grow up and grow out of being the dismally dimwitted specimen his panicky idiot teachers describe as a non-linear thinker and who slapped said hands away because his idea of paradise is sitting in a pile of his own filth and listening to the shrill cries of the people that he upsets doing so. This leads me to my point; it takes two sets of people to make sure that a dunce who thinks he's too smart to obey the same rules as everyone else does learns that the Sun does not after all shine out of his sphincter. The first group, of course, are teachers who have the patience to disabuse the buffoon of the idea that there's a pill he can take to be instantly good at something and that people respect those capable of sacrificing a bit of their time in order to excel instead of those who whine about having to do things they don't want to. The second group is parents who don't suffer from delusions of grandeur. The problem there is that Elly seems to suffer from megalomania-by-proxy which causes her to misinterpret what Mike's teachers say, as the following examples will attest:
Teacher: Michael has trouble following directions.
Elly: The directions are too simple.
Teacher: Michael has special needs
Elly: Michael is special.
Teacher: Michael needs a tutor.
Elly: Michael is so good, they're giving him an assistant.
Teacher: Michael is loud, disruptive and rude.
Elly: The course work is so simple, he's bored.
The reason for Elly's refusal to see how incredibly average Michael is is sadly a simple one; if he's not destined for greatness, she cannot bask in the glow of his fame and herself have to accept being an ordinary mortal. It's also why she turns a sullen but essentially docile couch potato into an unstoppable menace; if he's a minimum cinch to handle, she not only can't wrap herself in the warm, comfy blanket of martyrdom, she'd have to admit that she was a high-strung idiot who screams about total non-events. Since admitting any of those things would mean that people who aren't supposed to know what they're talking about because they make a point of talking about how clueless and inept their parents are instead of slavishly following their example, common sense be damned, are right, she's not going to do it. She'd sooner swallow strychnine than her pride.