I'm close; it's Elly being a crumby mother. Today, she testily denies Michael a simple request because she wants to save face.
Panel 1: Mike asks Elly, who's gardening, if he can play in the sprinkler; she, of course, says "NO."
Panel 2: He points out that it's a hot day and that he's not sick or anything. She says that she said no.
Panel 3: He yells "That's not fair; there's no reason why I can't play in the sprinkler!!"
Panel 4: Elly, whose face is frozen in the Bug-Eyed Glare of Existential Horror, thought-bubbles "I know, but once you've said No, you've got to save face."
Summary: Actually, Elly, you don't. You can easily say Yes without losing your credibility as a parent. Not that it matters. That's because tomorrow, Mike does an end-run around her by seeking approval from his