That being said, none of the Patterson children have ever had the sort of Summer television promises them. This is, of course, because the prospect of having them underfoot without the structure of homework to keep them out of their hair horrifies John and Elly; when they're not dragging them across the country to meet old people and be yelled at for squirming in impatience at having to listen to boring stories of a time long before they were born, they're being given summer jobs they hate, packed off to summer camp to be the subject of taunting or shipped off to Exile Farm because John finds their individuality as big an inconvenience as Elly finds their developing relationships with people who might tell them to leave home and not let her and John own horses.
This would be bad enough were it not for what I've just reminded you of: their collective amnesia. We remember them having a fairly regimented youth wherein John and Elly took great care to separate them from outside influences that might affect their being paid back all the money they selfishly believe that their children owe them. The Pattersons, on the other hand, gloss over all the bungled and foolhardy vacation plans, all the whining about "How will we possibly survive two months of our placid children under the roof?" and all the children's confusion as to why they have to be isolated from friends for the crime of not bringing in a paycheck and convert an endless series of disappointing summers that are capped off by Elly snarling at the kids for dragging their feet about going to back to school sales into an idyllic, care-free romp through a wonderland of whimsy.