For the first few years of his life, Dave leads a happy, idyllic life with his Brady Bunch-like family. All of a sudden, though, his mom's attitude towards him changes dramatically. Now, whenever Dave steps out of line—and even when he doesn't—he's no longer just disciplined but punished by his mom, and such punishments quickly get out of control.
The abuse starts in Dave's preschool years. His dad's at work all day, leaving his mom alone with the kids. It's then that his mom turns from being a sweet, loving parent into a deranged, evil woman who subjects Dave to what can only be described as a systematic campaign of terror.
It seems to be the case that Dave's mom is depressed. Her behavior would certainly seem to lend itself to such an interpretation. While her husband is out at work, she spends the entire day lying around on the couch dressed in her bathrobe, watching TV and drinking. This is the kind of apathetic behavior often associated with depression.
Whatever the reasons behind her behavior, David's mom starts turning, in his own words, from the "nurturing mother to the wicked witch". Thus begins her campaign of cruel abuse against her son—a campaign that will continue unabated for many more years to come.