(Strip Number 7198, Original Publication Date, 15 September 1985)
Panel 1: We find Elly and the kids at a lakeshore today; as they enjoy the scenery, Mike wants everyone to lookit the neat beach.
Panel 2: The trouble starts when Mike pleads pathetically with Elly to let her let them take their shoes off.
Panel 3: Elly tries reminding them that since they don't have their bathing suits with them, they're just going to walk down the beach; this elicits the standard "Aw, MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!" from Michael.
Panel 4: It would appear that Elly folded owing to the fact that now that the kids have got their shoes off to wade in the lake, Mike now asks if they can wade in up to their ankles.
Panel 5: When Elly barks about how Lizzie was told not to go in up to their knees, it's sort of clear what's going on here to everyone who isn't her.
Panel 6: As Elly stands there letting her resolve melt away, Mike promises to only go in up to his thighs.
Panel 7: Elly face-palms Lizzie tells MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that Mike fell in the water.
Panel 8: This makes Lizzie plead to be allowed to swim too since Mike is in the water making it unfair that she not get drenched as well.
Panel 9: As they walk back to the car, John reminds Elly that she said she wasn't going to let the kids get wet. Given that Mike and Lizzie are smiling because once again, they've brought a little CHAOS!!!!! into Elly's day, we're probably dealing with Aaron and Katie being nagged for not being tiny adults.
Summary: This, I think, shines a light on why they can't behave: Elly can't make discipline stick and always backs down when it counts. (When it doesn't matter worth a damn, she's a rock. When it does, she folds like an idiot.) It's akin to a very early strip that has Mike and Lawrence behave like wild monkeys because Connie and Elly promise more than they can deliver on meaning what they say.