It's Elly being half of a responsible parent.
Panel 1: We start off with Mike heading out the door. As he SLAMS it shut, we see Elly staring at him out of the front window.
Panel 2: As he walks down the street, we see her peeking out from behind a tree.
Panel 3: We see the same scene at a different angle.
Panel 4: As he tells Lawrence that she let him walk to his place all by himself, we see Elly behind the fence gasping for breath.
Summary: Sure, it looks like Elly is looking out for her kids here but there's a problem: where is Lizzie during all this? Unless John is home, it's sort of stupid to leave a toddler to her own devices so you can shadow her older brother.