- Stage 1: Elly keeps the knowledge of the impending separation to herself so as to not worry the child in question; this is owing to a misguided overconcern for the offspring's emotional statement, a desire to avoid a row and a belief that the child's memory is too small to hold things for longer than a second.
- Stage 2: Elly springs the separation on the child at the last possible second and runs off in a blind panic when the child starts screaming about being abandoned; this is owing to her fear of what other people might think, her belief that her children are faking being terrified because they hate the idea that she has time for herself and basically being too stupid to come up with any sort of reassuring words.
- Stage 3: Elly sits in her car filled with guilt because she's not filled with guilt at leaving the child; she's supposed to regret doing this but since she doesn't, she feels bad about herself.
- Stage 4: Having accomplished whatever she wanted to, she returns to find the child not sick with fear and sorrow at having to be separated from Mommy; since she's crazy, she doesn't see this as the positive called the adaptability of a child but a sign that she's no longer needed and must therefore die alone, unloved and forgotten.
About the only child who doesn't react at all well to the enforced separation from her is Mike; since he's got it in his fool head that Elly wants free time because she hates him and wishes he'd go away, he never seems to have realized how unfulfilled she felt as a stay-at-home mother. To this day, he still has no idea that his entitlement and selfishness was a problem.