Tags: lynn versus children

Snarky Candiru2

On waiting for an audience.

The irritating thing about this week's exercise in martyrdom is that we are reminded that Elly can't quite wrap her head around how very little a two and a half month old child actually knows. We hit the ground running with her confusion that while the white noise generated by appliances is similar enough to the heartbeat April heard in the womb to lull her to sleep, the sharp noise of the phone woke her up. Eventually, she had to pull over to a rest area to nurse because the baby was being 'unreasonable' when she could have 'waited' until she got home. This is because Elly is not quite reasonable and always tends to assign whatever mental faculties and knowledge she might have to the people and pets she interacts with.

The reason that I mention this inability (or more properly 'refusal') to understand how little April knew back then and how she had no more idea of what she was doing to antagonize Elly than Farley ever does leads to a foolish thought on Elly's part: children don't really feel pain but lie in wait until she herself is within earshot to holler about something that they should 'know' isn't a problem. Many is the strip that a hurt child waits until she finds an adult to holler at for one stupid reason: Lynn has it in her head that parents and kids are locked in a life-or-death struggle for supremacy:


As we see above, Elly assumes that the tantrum Lizzie would have thrown anyway only happened because Anne was there because Lynn wants to assume that children do things that irritate parents as part of an agenda to ruin them. The idea that children can behave in an unlovely manner or screw up without wanting to make life worse is not someone as belligerent as Lynn can encompass.
Snarky Candiru2

Children versus romance: the subtext made leadenly obvious.

As you will perhaps recall, long ago, I came up with the rather depressing idea that the reason that John and Elly kept going on those kid-hostile vacations in the sun was in order to finally have the honeymoon they never believe themselves to have experienced. It was never about the sheer impracticality of uprooting a child for two weeks every March or the logistic nightmare involved in corralling them or even Elly's sick dread that somehow, a child's naughtiness would end up causing a disaster. It was all about the very real problem of her being disappointed and feeling that yet again, the magic she was promised failed to materialize. The reason that I mention this is that when the Martian asked why she couldn't go on the trip, Carrie Patterson tried really hard to explain that parents are people too and it's nothing personal in order to avoid telling her the truth: the Pattersons and their co-cannibals think that the presence of rugmunchers and small fry puts the brakes on anything remotely romantic.

We confirm this suspicion every time the idea of John and Elly being in love and doing sentimental things baffles and disgusts the younger generation. The obvious subtext of Lizzie and Mike stating that parents simply aren't allowed to display affection like they were people are something is that evil, selfish children race around squealing "You can't have emotional needs.....you're a MOTHER!!" because Lynn doesn't want to live in the world we do. This world has children think that their parents were born old, angry killjoys who live to suppress fun and make them renounce happiness out of revenge. The idea that Mom and Dad used to be kids like them only ever fully develops when they're in their mid-twenties. This means that John and Elly are finally about due for their real honeymoon. It also means that some poor shmuck baby-sitter is trying to explain to Mike and Liz's kids why they gotta stay in the snow without flat-out calling them selfish romance-eaters.
Snarky Candiru2

On adjustment and other hypocrisies.

Of course, the most irritating thing about all of this talk about adjustment is that we never see an adult meet his or her child half-way. This, of course, is because doing so seems to be perceived as having been defeated by the children and surrendering the absolute authority over them implicit in being a parent. The most telling example is the total failure of Greg and Connie to adjust to Lawrence's outing himself. They might talk a good game about how accepting and tolerant they are but Greg still treats Lawrence like something that the cat dragged in and Connie is to this day bitching about never being a grandmother; if that's tolerance and acceptance, I'm Voldemort. I mean, these are people who can't even adjust to April telling them that yes, she WILL be down for dinner as soon as she straightens up her homework without shrieking about being disrespected and threatening her with physical force so we have to deal with the fact that the parents are a bunch of worthless hypocrites.

The problem, of course, is that when the children call their parents out on never being the least bit willing to do anything like that, we get grumbling, wailing about wild animals and buffoonish yelping about princesses owing to the whole 'never admitting they're wrong' thing that they do.
Snarky Candiru2

On step-families in the Foobisphere.

Having reminded myself that Lynn hasn't any use for joint custody, it seems appropriate to remind you that she also doesn't really have much use for blended families either. The difference is, of course, who's to blame for the chaos and acrimony that's the inevitable result of not blindly conforming to the norm. When divorce happens, the vector of discord is, of course, the cheating cheater who cheats. In the case of blended families, it's the spoiled children who don't want lonely women who want to learn to trust and love and so on and so forth who are to blame for all the unhappiness. The first instance of this sort of crap is when we have Lawrence being depicted as being a spoiled little princeling because he doesn't want to admit that what's best for the adults around him is what's best for him. Next, we have to contend with the fact that Molly and Gayle are depicted not as kids who are having their lives turned upside down arbitrarily so their douche father can step on a relationship that scares his dumb ass but as wild animals that hate Connie and want to ruin her because she's a target of convenience. Again, the presumption is that children don't actually feel anything but simply want to bust asses out of hatred. Finally, we have to deal with the fact that the Weird Frenchy Girl doesn't realize that Lizardbreath's best interests are her own best interests and wants to make her unhappy because children are evil.

In all three cases, we have the commonality of self-serving parents who seem to believe that taking the feelings of children into account is a form of surrender to said kids. Well, that and self-serving adults who won't believe that what happens to children matters worth a damn. Thinking along those lines might make them look like bad, selfish people and is thus as likely to happen as Liz realizing that she might actually look like a threat to a marriage.