Panel 2: Well, I can understand that. He hates being reduced to this, and since it has to happen, he'd prefer to keep it to his wife and people who do this every day and won't make a big deal of it. I hope this is not being presented as his being difficult or childish or unreasonable.
Panel 3: Oh man. She is desperate for company.
Panel 4: So we go from Jim's humilation to Iris's loneliness. What is all this in aid of? All I can figure is, we're supposed to be saddened, and then go hug our grandma or something. Because they can't expect us not to realize that it wouldn't be like this if the Pattersons pulled their heads out of their asses. Excepting always April. Of course, Elly would probably turn it around on her anyway, saying, "But April's over there a lot! Why didn't SHE TELL us that Jim and Iris are having troubles?"