George doesn't celebrate his birthday because his mom never threw him a party; in turn, Max doesn't want a birthday party either. Angie feels George's attitude is having an unhealthy impact on Max and is determined to throw George his first birthday party.
George thinks that despite Max's school play about stranger danger, that's he not ready to walk to school by himself. But Angie doesn't agree. He attempts to show Max horror films and follows him secretly to school to see if he's prepared.
George quickly learns the meaning of company loyalty when his bosses ask him to pitch in on the assembly line and he's offered a job by a competitor with ulterior motives. Meanwhile, Carmen has to choose whether she wants to keep her best friend Toby or be part of the in-crowd.
George goes into denial when Max is thought to have dyslexia, and things only get worse when Angie suggests he may have it as well. Meanwhile, Ernie leaves home and moves in with George and Angie and takes on the job of minding his girlfriends kids while she enjoys life.
As George gets ready for Halloween, Carmen falls into a depression after her best friend, Toby, moves away. After George 'letting Carmen find her own way' doesn't work, Angie gets her on the cheerleader team so she can make new friends.
Amy, the new PTA secretary, is charged with keeping track of candy sales when the school tries to raise funds so the students can attend a space-shuttle launch in Florida. With Amy's daughter and George's son in the same class, the parents engage in competition for sales among the ranks at the factory. But when Max fails to make the quota, the only thing that is launched is a war of words between George and the adults.
When Angie's parents, Vic and Emilina, come to visit the family for Christmas, George thinks they still believe he's not good enough for their daughter. But George shows he can take care of his family without their help and battles it out with Vic for the best Christmas.