(Strip Number 1618, Original Publication Date, 5 July 1989)
Panel 1: As we continue our look back at the past, Elly recounts the story of Elizabeth's first word without explaining how she learned it or what the word was. When we see Lizzie chewing on an electrical cord, I say "HOLY MOTHER OF CRAP!!!! KEEP TRACK OF YOUR KID, STUPID!!!!!!" and Elly, who's late on the scene again, yells "ELIZABETH!! NO!!"
Panel 2: She also yells Elizabeth-NO! because she's too late to stop her on pulling on the tail of the cat they used to have.
Panel 3: She also yells Elizabeth-No! because she's too late to stop Lizzie from eating a picture book.
Panel 4: She's right on time for Lizzie yelling NO!!! and shoving a bowl of porridge in her stupid, enraged face.
Summary: This sort of crap is kind of why Ruth did most of the heavy lifting. Lynn might also have wanted the kids to live to maturity but taking steps to ensure it at the expense of her own free time was just too much to ask. Also, this active refusal to eat icky tasting food is probably where Elly's belief that children express preferences for foods in order to bust her ass because they hate the love in her great big heart start.