- Since Michael is stupid, lazy, anger-prone and misogynistic, he doesn't ever spend his summers doing anything constructive. Sooner or later, he finds a way to spend his time that outrages and inconveniences his family.
- John and Elly have no interest in policing Mike's behaviour because they have lives.
- John and Elly are inept fools who believe that exposure to magic will make him wonderful.
- This means that they end up making Mike's idiocy someone else's problem.
- Since he cannot be with his friends and he's also exposed to the change he hates more than anything else, this convinces Mike that his parents hate the idea of his being happy because they're too old to enjoy life any longer.
- Go back to Step One.
This is why next year, Mike ends up getting packed off to summer camp in order to instill in him a love of nature that will somehow make him the grinning gumdrop they want instead of the sullen goof their ineptitude would have to create. This is why doing chores that he hates all the next summer further convinces him that they're Nazis who hate happiness. This is why they get him a job in order to keep out of trouble and why he ends up thinking even more that his parents are too old to laugh and enjoy life and want to punish him for still being able to do so. This, finally, is why they hit on the idea of sending him and his siblings off to that damned farm. The idea seems to be to cut him off from the familiar surroundings and familiar friends and anything that would allow him to feel as if his opinion matters. Exposing him to horned cattle, grain and old people who look down on him and lecture him will somehow make of him the pliable drone that they think they want. Ah, well. Evil people pay for their sins sooner or later and since they got what they wanted, they're finding out that they were fools to want it.