dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The cherry in the cake: on hypocritical parenting in the Pattermanse.

There's an upcoming strip that has Mike transfixed by a cherry that's sticking out of the side of a cake, Elly's refusal to let him have it and her own need to eat the cherry in question. A random, disinterested observer would take a look at the strip I'm thinking about and immediately realize from that one example what life in the Pattermanse is like. The first thing he or she would notice is Elly's need to stand on a principle no matter how pointless it is. As a matter of fact, the more pointless her objections to what her children ask of her are, the more vehemently she defends them. In this case, it would cost her nothing (except perhaps her idea of what credibility is) to let him have the cherry; the only reason she doesn't is her obvious belief that his demands are as insatiable as her own. What really annoys me is having to laugh at how hypocritical Elly is. Usually, when a parent says "Do as I say, not as I hope you don't find out I do," he or she is being held out as a cautionary example. In the case of the Perfect Patterswine, it's more like "There's one set of rules for John and Elly because they 'suffered' and another for everyone else."

What really makes them rank fairly high on my list of fictional characters who need to be trod on by Monty Python's Obliterating Foot is that their own parents are included in the 'everybody else' and most of the reason why they 'suffered'. Simply put, the reason John and Elly identify with Deanna is that they too feel as if their parents were out of line because they remembered that parenting involves being responsible. As elizcath reminds us, John and Elly want all of the power and privilege of being parents without having any sort of bummer responsibilty trip holding them back.
Tags: child rearing disasters, elly versus her family

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