As you may or may not know, we're weeks away from the strip in which Phil gives Michael a trumpet for his birthday. I'm going to discuss why it is Michael fails and how that relates to the incessant howling by Eva Warzone about how superior Becky is tomorrow. Right now, though, I'd like to talk about something we've all seen: the love affair Elly has with lecturing her children about how hard it is being their mother and how they MUST hate her and how selfish they are and lazy and so on and so forth. What Elly fails to realize is that by making every single thing into a huge crisis, she desensitizes her children to her incessant beefing about whatever's got her outraged at any given time. Simply put, the reason that they don't take her as seriously as she'd like them to is that she takes herself and everything else far too seriously.
The example that leaps most readily to mind involves her endless beefing about tidying up their rooms. If they don't do it quickly enough, they get lectured about being horrible children who want her to sit home and dust furniture. If they don't do it exactly the way she would, she starts foaming at the mouth about deliberately making more work for her because they can't be trusted to do it the right way. Since every path leads to a belligerent fountain of nonsense about how much they HAAAAAAAAAAATE her and want her to suffer, listening to her is as hard as doing things in the first place. Not only is there no real incentive to do what she says if it's never good enough, they also have this terrible, cruel, selfish habit of wanting to preserve their identity from a woman who's fixated with the delusion that a house should be as sterile and empty as her mind.
The worst of it is that Elly has no idea what would have happened had she shut her mouth. Perhaps she has orderly children reacting badly to the constant stimulus of a nitwit who won't allow herself to be happy lest the Official Board Of Adults take away her licence to be a grown-up. Getting Elly to see that a lot of the children's less desirable character traits are not inherent but a learned response to the constant rain of corrosive yapping about how terrible they are would be fairly difficult, I should think. After all, admitting that she would have had a lot more time had she really been loving, fair, firm and kind would mean that she was a foul-tempered idiot who was too busy feeling sorry for herself to realize how great life was.