Panel 1: We find ourselves in the backyard watching John (who is carrying a bucket of soapy water and a brush) fail rather stupidly at parenting when he tells Mike (who's reading a comic book) that boy, there sure is a lot of work to do here. Mike says 'Uh?' because Lynn doesn't like writing "HUH?"
What John should be doing is saying 'put the funny book away and mow the lawn'; Mike will grumble about it but he'll do it.
Panel 2: What John does instead is continue being passive-aggressive and say that it would be nice to have some help. Mike mutters 'yeah' as he reads his comic.
Panel 3: Again, saying 'MOW THE LAWN, OKAY!' would get results that John's telling him to look at it sure doesn't.
Panel 4: Telling him how quick the grass grows also doesn't magically make Mike jump up and mow the lawn because John has no idea that his blushing bride smilingly destroyed anything like initiative in their son by smirking about how useless things she can't understand are.
Panel 5: He comes almost close to doing so when he says that mowing the lawn wouldn't take much effort. Mike might agree but he's not a self-starter. Self-starters want to destroy Elly's freedom of expression so any inclination towards 'deciding things on his own' must be suppressed at all costs.
Panel 6: This makes his wistful comment about how nice it would be to get it done sort of useless and silly.
Panel 7: After John gets done washing the Overcompensationmobile, he finds Mike still on the stoop reading.
Panel 8: This angers him because he mistakenly thinks that Mike knew that he wanted him to mow the lawn. He tells Mike something he already knows: that he's spent the last two hours sitting on his rump when he could easily have mowed the lawn so why did he not do so.
Panel 9: Mike says that gee, Dad, he dunno.
Panel 10: He would have if John had asked. Since John doesn't understand what's wrong with his son and has no real interest in learning, he's totally confused.
Summary: I know Mike better than his dad cares to and it sure does hurt. I know that doing things on his own has been, shall we say, disincentivized by a screeching ifreet in a low-hanging ponytail who hates the idea of actually doing any childrearing. John does not because he stupidly believes in a subspecies of bullshit called the maternal instinct and thus cannot allow himself to see that giving birth didn't cure Elly of being disastrously bad with kids.