dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The art of underestimating how smart your children are.

The interesting thing about the "Mike gets banished to Vancouver" arc is that we're not just dealing with Elly's distorting what a child says to feed into her paranoia or her refusal to confront an uncomfortable problem head on or even her belief that yet another reminder that Mike's opinions don't count will finally make him the obedient child that Elly doesn't know she already has. What happens is that Elly uses his absence as an opportunity to throw away most of his things. While it's clear that Lynn is trying to set up a situation in which Mike only missed the things because CHAOS-loving Lizzie frustrated her purposes as well as a moral about how CHAOS-loving Mike takes pride in oppressing Poor, Put-upon Elly with his meaningless-to-her-and-thus-utterly-without-any-earthly-use junk, it's sort of obvious that he didn't actually need Lizzie prompting him. This is because Elly tends not to understand that children are smarter than she gives them credit for. Time and again, she and John assume that their offsprings and small ones are too young to notice what's going on or remember what's being said. They need to believe this because they don't want something they said to come back to haunt them later on; since they're arrogant as well as stupid and mean, they need to think because they want something to be so, it is.

The reason that I mention this is because they never learn from their mistakes despite it one time having lethal effects. Case in point: rather than do the smart thing and sugar-coat telling April that she's one of the things she and John want to get away from on their 1995 "Flee the children we can't deal with" cruise, Elly tells her a lie about what they're going to silence the child. As I said before, Elly thinks that lying to a child is a free action because, well, they can't remember what she tells them and, well, what happens in childhood doesn't matter because it's not happening to her. The problem is that April did a very naught and wrong thing by remembering exactly what Elly said and taking it personally. The underlying message Lynn clearly wants us to take away from April's having damned near drowned because her lazy idiot mother couldn't be asked to secure a gate isn't that "lying to children can have potentially lethal consequences" or that "Elly is too stupid to live" but that "it was fated that Farley die this way because nothing is ever Elly's fault." This is because, as I said, Lynn and Elly believe that lying flat-out to children is a victimless crime because they can't remember what their parents say. The horrible side-effect of this is that Mike and Liz have grown up both believing this and not taking any responsibility for the end results of their betrayal of trust. You and I might see a stupid asshole who lied his ass off to his kid for kicks only to shrug it off when the missus took the fall; Lynn sees a man doing something harmless because a CHAOS-loving little stranger did something that she wasn't supposed to do: remember something Mommy and Daddy said that would boomerang on the parents to whom she owes everything she'll ever make.
Tags: child rearing disasters, one big oblivious family

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