(Strip A: Number 7099, Original Publication Date, 1 November 1981
Strip B: Number 6076, Original Publication Date, 18 October 1981)
Panel 1: We start things off with Mike (who looks like he's eaten so much candy, he's started to liquefy) in his jammies sitting in a pile of his Halloween goodies; conflict arrives in the form of Gargoyle-Footed John tapping his misshapen gunboats on the floor in frustration.
Panel 2: Mike looks up at John's ugly, off-camera face in mild horror.
Panel 3: John tells Michael that it's time to clean up; Mike's asking "How come?" because he doesn't honestly know what the choad with the specs expects of him lands him in a world of trouble. It's at this point that I expect that Lynn's notes will be all about how children pretend they don't know what their parents expect of them to be mean and selfish.
Panel 4: John reminds us that he's a panicky asswipe who acts as if he doesn't clamp down hard on his children for showing the least sign of defiance, Chaos and Eternal Darkness will overwhelm the World by angrily stating "Because I said so"; Mike's "Yeah, but..." doesn't please his dad.
Panel 5: Since John thinks that the boring, placid, incredibly average little boy is a wild-eyed rebel hell-bent on overthrowing adult authority, he yells "No discussion; get the job done." Mike asks "Now?"
Panel 6: John snarls "NOW!". Mike makes his life harder by sputtering out the word "But...."
Panel 7: John then says "No arguing"; Mike says he wasn't.
Panel 8: John goes back to talking about how it's time to clean up; Mike sets himself up to get yelled at by asking why.
Panel 9: John's response: an inarticulate GROWL that will probably lead him to spank Mike for soiling his clothing.
Panel 10: We next see the great soft twit shivering in fear, drinking something to settle his tum-tum and whining to Elly about how it's getting harder and harder to get the last word. Things like this make me want to talk in a Yorkshire accent and call John "Prunella" in a derisive tone of voice.
Summary: As I've said in the past whenever I've referred to this example of ugly parenting, misaimed martyrdom and hapless idiocy, it's clear that John is seeing defiance where none exists because he suffers from the same limiting mental defect Elly does. Like her, he assumes that his children understand what's expected of them with his lowering himself to having to tell them. The idea of taking children seriously enough to explain things to them instead of barking orders like a dumb, fearful bully fills him and Elly with the same sort of horror my having to remember that Deanna thinks that they're model parents fills me with. A competent parent would establish rules and enforce them consistently because he wants his child to have a happy life; a selfish blunderer like John harrumphs about how his kids owe him for the air they breathe.
Panel 1: We start things with Elly peering over the door at Lizzie, who's on the chesterfield playing with a doll.
Panel 2: She smiles and asks "Where's Elizabeth?"
Panel 3: Her smiling and saying "BOO! I've found you!" remind us that she's in a rare good mood.
Panel 4: As a smiling Mike looks on, Elly says "Gonna getcha! Gonna give her a great big kissy!"
Panel 5: Her "Gonna give my Lizzie a cuddle!" reminds us that she is capable of actually parenting if she would put in the effort.
Panel 6: Lizzie wriggles loose with a happy shriek and a giggle.
Panel 7: Elly's smiling when she says "Here you!" again reminds us that if she tried, she could actually parent.
Panel 8: Mike unintentionally puts Elly's resolve to the test by asking "Mom..."
Panel 9: "....am I too big to hug?"; Elly's smile is erased and replaced by a deer-in-the-headlights stare."
Summary: Lynn's notes start by trying to absolve herself of an accusation of not caring by invoking how heavy Aaron was; she 'somehow' had a reminder that even though he seemed to not want affection, he actually yearned for it. In short, the answer to Mike's question is "No", no matter how much Elly's back would hurt.
The problem, of course, is getting Lynn to acknowledge that she didn't really synchronize the Sunday strips as well as she thinks she did; the video of the last new-ruin clearly indicates that she thinks that she has and she won't hear different.