As I've said before, one of the most annoying facts of life in the Pattersons' world is the failure to plan the size and composition of their families. So far, we've seen the following children whose advent came as a shock to their parents:
- Michael Patterson. When revealing that she was having their first baby, Elly reportedly said that she didn't know how it happened. John's disbelief was palpable.
- Lawrence Poirier. The official story is that he's the end result of a night of passion between two crazy kids; he ended up being pretty much treated like a millstone around his insane mother's neck.
- Richard and Leah Nichols. Annie seems to have deliberately sabotaged Steve's attempts to impose a birth-control regimen in order to have an excuse to divert his attention homeward while not realizing that her obvious attempt to manipulate him was driving him away.
- April Patterson. Her birth was, to say the least, an inconvenience to her parents; through no fault of her own, she disrupted their plans to live the lives they wanted.
- Meredith Patterson. It seems to me that Deanna's brain stopped working after the Big Fat Fake Wedding; this is because she failed to really consider that neither she nor Michael could cope with parenthood at that stage in their lives.
There are others that I've missed but you can see the pattern that Lynn has unintentionally established: dumb women who, having failed to take personal control of their fertility, further fail be being totally unprepared for the consequences. The worst thing of all is that eventually the children themselves are blamed for ruining Mommy's life. This is, of course, because of Mommy's final failure: her failure to take responsibility for her life. Things don't just happen, after all; they happen because they're allowed to.