Panel 1: The background artist is still having problems with proportions. The front left kitchen counter goes too low into the panel to connect to the kitchen counters seen on the right. Elly towers over the kitchen counter and her head is above the oven fan. Robin, on the other hand, is drawn so small, his sitting position is barely above a single drawer in height. This is a curious question Merrie is asking. It implies Merrie wants Elly to stay for a long time. There has been some Merrie and Elly bonding clearly, to which we have not been privy, since there have been no strips showing Elly playing with Merrie since she was a little older than 1 year. I am guessing Elly picked up Merrie early from childcare, since Mike and Dee are not there, and Deanna normally does it after she gets off from work.
Panel 2: Elly certainly likes to cook soup. Merrie has now grown enough for her head to be seen over the side of the counter, when in panel 1, her head would have been half-way obscured. Elly, on the other hand, has shrunk so her waist is now below the counter top. Elly announces why she is there and it is pretty much her only reason for ever coming to Mike and Dee’s apartment, i.e. she only comes when they need help with the kids, as opposed to a certain other grandmother who drops by all the time.
Panel 3: If you measure Robin from top to bottom to feet and then compare that to Elly’s body, you will be astounded at how big the boy has become since just yesterday when he was only slightly above coffee table level, or for that matter just in panel 1. Elly’s waist line has moved above the counter top level again and Merrie’s neck (and not her head) is now level with Elly’s waistline. Elly is apparently completely and utterly oblivious to the overall question Merrie is asking, since she answers with an abrupt and tactless “Uh Huh!” “Yes, but I’ll be back soon, so don’t worry” would have been nicer, but also, probably dishonest, considering Elly’s track record.
Panel 4: Now Merrie shrinks well below Elly’s waist level while Robin seems to be getting bigger and bigger with every panel. I guess “back to normal” means the extraordinary physical growth he seems to be experiencing.
Panel 5: Now this is a sad panel. Fickle Meredith has replaced her sleeping bear with this bunny. The bear was cuter. Elly is now so tall her head almost hits the top of the doorway, while Robin shrinks down to well below Elly’s waist line. Meredith is pretending to be sick so Elly will stay longer. I would say to Lynn Johnston, there is a double-edged sword in using this method to portray Elly as Merrie’s favoured grandmother. It’s nice Merrie wants Elly to stay longer, but the dialogue leading up to this moment and the desperate looks on Merrie’s face when Elly says she is going to leave after Robin is better, make it look like Meredith is afraid that when Elly leaves she will not come back, or at least Merrie won’t see Elly again until she goes to Milborough for the next holiday dinner occasion. If it were my kids with their grandmother they love but don’t see often, they would start begging and whining for her to stay longer or they would extract some kind of promise that she would return soon. It is interesting that Merrie feels the need to use subterfuge to accomplish this, instead of just asking nicely.