Imagine her trying to buy the kid a present. You just know that she's going to move heaven and earth to get Caleb something he outgrew years ago. Subtle hints from his mother don't penetrate her defenses because she's sure the boy is going to love something that leaves him confused and vaguely disappointed when given to him. It's going to be forced smiles all around in order to placate the poor dear because flat out telling her that he isn't interested in something any longer is going to be taken the wrong way.
The reason that I mention this is that we see much the same scenario taking place in Funky Winkerbean. While we initially thought Batiuk would go for the image of Corey's hand holding a funny book while the rest of him was scattered all over Iraqistan, what he's actually doing is having Holly totally lose her shit at him because he sold the collection she worked so hard to get despite it being well within his rights to do so. What seems to have shut her up is his waving the engagement ring he's planning on giving his girlfriend so he, she and a kid can live in the craphole apartment over the depressing pizza place most everyone in the strip has lived in at one point or another. This means she will have a different means of proving to herself that she was a more attentive, clued-in and loving mother than she actually was: being presented with a grandchild because everything's a referendum on what people think about a self-absorbed boomer mental defective.