(Strip Number 3997, Original Publication Date, 29 April 1981)
Panel 1: We start with a rather depressing image; Lizzie, who's holding on to her stuffed bunny, is on the couch crying softly as she tries to sleep.
Panel 2: We pan out to see Elly in the kitchen reading the paper; she thought-bubbles "The house sure is quiet when a kid is sick." My response: her name is Elizabeth and she's crying because her parents are shunning her like a leper.
Panel 3: As she stands over her, Elly says to herself "This is the one time I prefer the noise." This looks touching but since Elly seems to not want to do what a normal person would do and comfort her child, my gut tells me that she only wants Lizzie to get well again so she can stop exerting herself by having to pretend to care.
Summary: It's strips like this that Kool-Aid Nation points to when they tell us that the Pattersons aren't hateful jerks; while I can see where they'd get that impression, the Patterswine's palpable relief at being able to get back to normal and stop caring about the well-being of those around them tells me otherwise.