1) Her short memory span mandates that she's always blindsided by the commonplace.
2) She's the avatar of a woman who thinks that children can only destroy things, disobey parents and irritate those around them.
(Strip Number 135, Original Publication Date, 14 May 1981)
Panel 1: We start things off with Mike playing a drum solo on the kitchen table; since Lynn doesn't have much faith in her reader's intelligence, she indicates this by the use of the sound effects "BAPPITA-BAP-BAP! WHAPPA-BAP-BAP!" owing to her obvious belief that the motion lines and Elly's off-camera yelling "Michael, don't bang on the table!!" are sufficient to tell us that he thinks that he's Buddy Rich.
Panel 2: He continues to happily BAPPA-WHAPPA-BAP-BAP away; this causes Elly's disembodied head to yell "Michael, I said to not bang on the table!!!!!"
Panel 3: She reacts to his saying "I'm not banging ON the table, I'm banging UNDER the table" with the same embarrassed anger John would later have when Mike asked if he asked to be born.
Panel 4: We next see Mike in his room rubbing his hind end which, judging from the pain stars coming out of it, is still sore from when Elly went WHAPPA-BAPPA-BAP on it; he tells Super Teddy "The thing is to not let them know you're smarter than they are." (Note: the pain stars have disappeared, bis hands are at his sides and he's thought-bubbling the punchline but the same general need to punish Mike for having a brain is still there.)
Summary: I'd ask why it is that Elly constantly seems to be surprised that Mike tests her limits and splits hairs but I know better. Since she always starts her mornings looking as if she's been dead for five years, we can safely assume that she drinks to relax and thus turns her brain into a God-damned Etch-a-Sketch. We also get a free reminder that she and John assume going in that their children are their enemies who do dirt-ordinary things like this on purpose because they're evil and hate to see their parents happy. As for the modifications, Lynn doesn't want the antispanking people to come down on Elly; John, of course, will be allowed to wallop Mike but that's different. She WANTS people to hate him so he can tan hides unmolested.