(Strip Number 166, Original Publication Date, 25 August 1981)
Panel 1: We start off watching Elly cursing silently under her breath (represented here as 'Grumble, grumble') as she does the ironing in the kitchen while Mike stands there blowing bubble gum.
Panel 2: As the bubble pops, Elly declares that she's tired of looking at the four walls that surround her.
Panel 3: Mike's wondering why she doesn't then do the ironing in the living room astonishes her. At this point, we'd probably expect Hank Ketcham to phone demanding his punch line back.
Summary: It really shouldn't astonish her that an incredibly average little boy like Mike doesn't understand why she's upset all the time; nothing that I've ever seen tells me that Mike was ever aware of how sick and tired she was of the life she led. As a matter of fact, he seemed to (and probably still does) believe that the only reason she wanted to get out of the house was because she hated him soooooooooo much that she didn't want to stay home like she was 'supposed' to. Then again, nothing I've seen would indicate that he was ever all that aware of her feelings to begin with. The Michael I know doesn't seem to have too much insight into the hopes and fears the people around him so calling him a Delicate Anything is, of course, an exercise in sarcasm. That's what happens when you're raised by entitled clods who insist on enforcing a favor-bank system of morality: no matter how nice you could have been, sooner or later you become a jerkass in your own right.