(Strip Number 648, Original Publication Date, 6 July 1984)
Panel 1: For some reason or another (said reason probably being Lynn hammering us over the head with the idea that Alan was a BAD INFLUENCE on Aaron) Phil is putting Michael to bed. As he tucks his nephew in, Michael asks if he asks him a Very Private Question, will he promise not to tell?
Panel 2: He then says he needs help with a potentially life changing decision.
Panel 3: Said question is "When I go (on the plane by myself) to visit Grandma for two whole weeks..."
Panel 4: "...should I take my Teddy?" Phil's reaction to a nine year old acting nine is to look as if he's been hit with a two-by-four.
Summary: The reason for his gobsmackage is that Phil was probably expecting something more 'substantial' than a question about an 'irrelevant' kid's toy. That being said, he does sort of handle it well by warning Mike to expect to be eaten alive by other scruffy little boys for having a teddy bear. It ain't much but he does more parenting tomorrow than John and Elly do in twenty years.