dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The battle of the bed and bath.....

The interesting thing about the second treasury is that we end pretty much on the note that Lynn intended. The front cover, of course, features Elly howling in despairing rage because her terrible children subvert her attempts to maintain order so that they can spread the chaos that they love. The back cover has Elly nearly comatose from having done her best to clean only to have Lizzie create chaos anyway. Translated from horrified imbecile woman who thinks that understanding how children think equates to losing at parenting, what's really happening is that a shrill nitwit who's too dumb to organize her time or supervise her kids loses her shit because her active children don't realize that Mommy expects them to be grinning little dummies who can only move and think and talk when she wills them to do so. Otherwise, they go back into their alcove and stare mindlessly into space like they're supposed to.

The form this takes this week is Mike's baffling-to-Elly reluctance to bathe himself and even more baffling reluctance to march into bed so Mommy and Daddy can sit on the couch and whine about how awful it is that these horrible little freeloaders cramp their style. Now, I know (despite not having or especially wanting children) that it's a really difficult thing to get a reluctant child to bathe and go to sleep when he or she doesn't feel tired. I also know that a lot of people resent the guidebooks telling them that it should a really simple thing to do. What I myself resent is the active hostility to the children I see here. It's one thing to be pissed off at a kid because he can't wrap his head around getting clean or to bed when there's good stuff on TV. That being upset marches hand in hand with the knowledge that said offspring hasn't got life figured out yet. What I take away from FOOB is Elly/Lynn's clear belief that her children do know better but they just don't want to because it would make Mommy happy and they hate that because they're evil and worship CHAOS.

What would never occur to Elly at all is that Michael equates having to clean himself with having to clean his room in that in both situations, he's being punished severely for merely existing. This is because Elly never really understood that her children thought of her as waking up and thinking "What horrible thing will I do to the children I loathe today?" or that she enjoyed tormenting them because mothers are cruel and have no sense of human and love to punish children for breathing. Sure, there were occasions in which she did seem to pick up on the fact that she came across as a filthy sadist but she immediately forgot the lessons she learned because it got in the way of thinking of herself as a victim.
Tags: elly versus her family

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