dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

On finding nothing to do.

The reprinted strip that first saw the light of day on 25 April 1984 is another example of something that's fairly commonplace: Elly stupidly not making sure that a child has something to do only to turn around and tell said offspring to do something with his or her time. As we know, the end result always involves Elly either gasping in horror or yelling in rage because that 'something' is not a thing they're supposed to be doing. We also know that since we're looking at things from Elly's perspective, we're not supposed to come away with the conclusion that she's the cylinder that isn't firing; after all, a strip about a busy mother with no help and no time to herself isn't going to have the desired impact if the reader thinks "Hey! That's not fair to the kid! It isn't his fault that Elly can't remember that saying 'do something' means nothing to someone who she has to prod!" Diane Wilkins of the comic strip Curtis might be a worse parent by not straight up telling her idiot eldest son to not get goaded so blasted easily, even she knows that you have to tell a forming mind exactly what she wants done. Not Elly, though. Elly simply cannot seem to notice that her children are not little adults who can navigate through life on an adult level. This means that she's always baffled by how when she says to do one thing, they do something unexpected.

What makes things worse is her love of taking her children to child-hostile environments like Phil's house, Exile Farm and other houses filled with old people. While she is on some level aware that children don't like being told to dummy up and keep a low profile while the grown-ups talk about things that they've never experienced, places they've never gone and times before they existed, it always somehow turns out to be the children's fault for wanting to interrupt and never her fault for not bringing something along with the children to amuse them. It's as if she fears censure for bringing toys into someone's house more than she fears having to deal with bored, unhappy children.
Tags: elly versus her family

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