As I’ve said before, I really don’t like the way Michael reacts to the ‘horrifying’ and ‘unfair’ prospect of his mother ‘betraying’ him by re-joining the labour force. From his self-centred and ridiculous comments about the time Elly used to be a ‘real’ mother to his petulant whining about having to adapt to something not in the philosophy of some arsebucket of a hack sitcom writer, Michael makes it something of a point of pride to be a passive-aggressive, obstructive jackass whining about how unfair it is that things have to be arranged so that he gets off his lazy arse and helps out. The most irritating example of this tendency is his sitting in his living room stuffing his face full of food while whining about joining the ranks of the deprived. He might think of himself as being a figure of pity being persecuted but he’s not. He is simply a spoiled little boy who has to do something for someone else and he doesn’t like it a God-damned bit. Given the right guidance and the snotty little jackhole might actually become someone who isn’t a simpering twit.
Too bad he doesn’t have anything like the right sort of guidance. As we’re about to see, John thinks that having to adapt to his wife’s schedule instead of forcing her to scurry around like an imbecile of a morning is a horrible sacrifice on his part while Elly thinks that she’s gone the extra mile by lowering herself to buy her picky-faced princess butter tarts without raisins. In both cases, a lazy jerk thinks that having to think about the needs of other people is akin to being flayed alive. Or, if you really want to talk about something painful, having to attend one of their children’s events and thus be defeated by them.